15 Nov Water Damage – Cleaning up After a Hurricane
in Disaster Preparedness
- Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
- There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
- If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
- Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
- Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
- Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
- In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
- Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
Cleaning Up After a Hurricane Flood
The role of plastic sheeting in Hurricane/Flood Clean up is versatile and necessary. Mold is the number one concern when disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and Katrina take place, because it’s effects are hazardous. Mold Remediation work involving 100sqft or 10’x10′ and larger areas should be performed by trained mold remediation professionals. Mold can grow in the smallest areas containing moisture so its important to be very thorough in moisture control. It is recommended to use a 6 mil or greater for proper containment and moisture control. Americover offers several products that will aid you in cleaning up after a hurricane flood.
Plastic Sheeting in Containment Applications:
- Plastic Sheeting is used for containment in work areas to prevent the spread of hazardous substances, and protect belongings, furniture and floors. Also to areas that might be contaminated by paint debris.
- Collect debris that may contain asbestos in plastic sheeting. Also cover any exposed asbestos until it can be removed by a trained professional.
- Remove and dispose materials contaminated with mold. Items such as sheet rock, insulation, plaster, carpet, ceiling tiles, wood and paper products. A roll of plastic makes jobs like that easier and has better containment.
- Create a Temporary Containment area by hanging plastic sheeting in the work areas to separate them from the clean living areas and keep them at minimal risk of contamination.
Products Americover recommends for Cleaning Up after flooding
- Zipwall 4 pack plus Kit makes setting up a containment area a breeze. In combination with our ASFR6 plastic Sheeting and Sticky Mats, you will have a containment area to set up in your home within minutes.
- BearAcade is great for setting up unbreachable containments for industrial areas. The applicator saves time with criticals and since the material temporarily adheres to the walls you don’t have to worry about billowing. Great for Asbestos Removal.
- Vapor tape or Flame Retardant tape is suggested instead of the commonly mentioned duct tape. Duct tape is porous and easily penetrated by gas and liquid, but Americover’s tapes are heavy duty, water and weather resistant, and available in flame retardant.
- Carpets on concrete floors are ideal for biological pollutants. A Vapor Barrier should be laid over the concrete and then covered with insulation and plywood to prevent moisture problems.
- Epa states “Conditioned” crawl space designs are not appropriate for homes in flood zones, because they have no outside air vents for drainage of flood waters. Crawl Space liner will prevent ground moisture from evaporating and causing humidity and condensation in the crawlspace, it also seals out dirt, odor and pests.
- Use heavy duty plastic sheeting or visqueen as a temporary roofing solution until an insured contractor can repair the damages. This is not suitable for a long period of time, but it will aid in emergencies.
Products Americover recommends for Mold Prevention
- TS-12AM, an antimicrobial, scrim reinforced vapor barrier. This is designed to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi, mold and algae. Since it’s non-toxic it’s environmentally safe as well.
- Heat Shrink Wrap is also great for temporary roof repair tarps. It is environmentally friendly and weather resistant and is available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses