From Senator Erpenbach's e-newsletter
Mold Cleanup Serious Concern –
Even if you only had slight water damage in your home, please make sure that cleanup is completed and that all affected areas are dry and sanitized or you may be facing mold issues in your home. Water-damaged rooms are moist environments ideal for mold to flourish. People with respiratory problems such as allergies or asthma should not spend time in houses that might contain mold.
Mold often is visible as a fuzzy growth or discoloration on surfaces. It usually has a musty, earthy odor. Those sensitive to mold spores may experience wheezing, difficulty breathing, nasal and sinus congestion, burning and watering eyes, dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or skin irritation. For more information on clean up visit this website: http://www.cdc.gov/mold/cleanup.htm
Specialists offer the following suggestions to ensure safe, effective cleanup:
• Have professionals check heating/cooling ducts and wall insulation for mold growth. If the system has mold inside, it will spread mold throughout the house.
• Wash all items that came in contact with floodwaters with a chlorine bleach solution.
• Open windows for ventilation and wear boots, rubber gloves and clothing that fully covers arms and legs, and use an N-95 rated mask.
• Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners.
• Mix no more than one cup of bleach in one gallon of water.
• Most antiseptics, including chlorine, are toxic to humans -- rinse the skin quickly and well if there is accidental contact with the solution.
• Remember, chlorine bleach is no longer is effective after the chlorine smell disappears.
• Use a fan in front of open windows or doors to help with the drying process, but it is important that fans blow outward, rather than inward, to avoid spreading the mold.
• Throw away all moldy items that cannot be thoroughly cleaned. If in doubt, throw it out. This includes carpets, mattresses, upholstered furniture, stuffed animals, pillows, wall coverings and all paper products.
• Take out any drywall or insulation that has been dampened by floodwater.
• If there is more than a 10-square-foot area of mold in a building, consider using a professional mold cleanup contractor.