Health Dept advice for dealing with mold for flood victims - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Health Dept advice for dealing with mold for flood victims

Posted: Updated:

As flood-affected homeowners begin the cleanup process, the Department of Health offers the following basic information about dealing with mold.

Is mold a hazard after water damage? Molds can produce toxins. There is always a little mold everywhere – in the air and on many surfaces. However, when mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, especially from flooding, they will attach themselves to many things and grow. Many building materials such as wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and others support mold growth.

Who is most at risk in reacting to molds? People who have allergies or compromised immune systems are most at risk. Symptoms may include minor irritations such as nasal stuffiness or eye irritation but can also include severe reactions such as fever, shortness of breath or infections.

How do I disinfect my home? Fully disinfecting a home after it is flooded is critical, particularly if small children will be crawling on or touching affected surfaces. Clean walls, hard-surfaced floors and household surfaces with soap and water, then sanitize with a solution of 1 cup of bleach to 5 gallons of water. To clean actual mold growth from hard surfaces such as floors or countertops, wash with a solution of 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon water, rinse with clean water and allow to air dry. Ventilate the area while using any cleaning products. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners – mixing bleach with cleaning products produces dangerous, toxic fumes.

Mattresses, upholstered furniture or other items that cannot be washed in hot water or dry cleaned should be air-dried in the sun and sprayed with disinfectant. Steam-clean carpets and wear boots and rubber gloves while cleaning. Not everything can be safely cleaned — some building materials damaged by prolonged exposure to moisture may have to be thrown out.

More information on flood cleanup is available at doh.sd.gov/flood/

Cleaning and Sanitizing With Bleach after the Flood

First, wash surfaces with soap and warm, clean water to remove dirt and debris.

Next, sanitize surfaces with household bleach.

  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleaner.
  • Wear rubber or other non-porous boots, gloves, and eye protection.
  • Try not to breathe in product fumes. If using products indoors, open windows and doors to allow fresh air to enter.
  • Use regular unscented 5%—6% household bleach and follow the instructions in the chart below.

 

                                               Cleaning and sanitizing with bleach

Area or Item to be Cleaned

Amount of Bleach and

Water to Mix

Cleaning Steps

 

Clean and Sanitize Food Cans and Surfaces

Food surfaces that may have touched flood water [Examples: countertops, plates] Note: Throw

away wooden cutting boards, baby bottle nipples, and pacifiers

 

1 teaspoon

bleach

 

1 gallon

water

 

1. Wash with soap and warm, clean water.

2. Rinse with clean water.

3. Sanitize using a mixture of 1 teaspoon

of bleach per 1 gallon of clean water.

4. Allow to air dry.

Food cans that are not bulging, open, or damaged

 

1 cup

bleach

 

5 gallons

water

 

1. Remove can labels.

2. Wash cans with soap and warm, clean water.

3. Dip cans in mixture of 1 cup of bleach per 5 gallons of water.

4. Allow to air dry.

5. Re–label cans with a permanent marker.

Clean and Sanitize Other Household Surfaces and Items

Surfaces that do not soak up water and that may have touched floodwater [Examples: floors, stoves, sinks, certain toys,

countertops, flatware, plates, tools]

 

1 cup

bleach

 

5 gallons

water

 

1. Clean surface with soap and warm, clean water.

2. Rinse with clean water.

3. Sanitize using a mixture of 1 cup of

bleach to 5 gallons of water.

4. Allow to air dry.

Clean Mold Growth Off Hard Surfaces

Mold growth on hard surfaces [Examples: floors, stoves, sinks,

certain toys, countertops,

flatware, plates, and tools]

 

1 cup

bleach

 

1 gallon

water

 

1. Mix 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water.

2. Wash surfaces with the bleach mixture.

3. If surfaces are rough, scrub them with a stiff brush.

4. Rinse surfaces with clean water.

5. Allow to air dry.

http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/bleach.asp

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.