Water damaged buildings, as well as any furniture and personal items that were affected may have varying levels of damage depending on how porous they are. Depending on one’s constitution and whether they are already more vulnerable, ensuring the immune system is able to function optimally and able to properly clear dampness and cultivate resiliency to any exposure is also an important approach to consider.
Minimising Mould Growth
When returning to a flood affected house or building, it is important to dry it out as soon as possible. This is of course dependent on the weather conditions. Optimal drying conditions include:
- Heat (27°C is ideal) - it lifts moisture off surfaces
- Dehumidify - remove moisture from the air with a dehumidifier if you can access one
- Turn on any fans to speed up evaporation
- Utilise air filters to remove fungal particulate
There can be a lot of misinformation out there about how to properly clean water damaged items or buildings. Although bleach may remove the visual presence of mould, the active spores can still remain and multiply.A simple cleaning solution to use in a spray bottle and in a well ventilated area is:
- ⅓ white vinegar
- ⅔ water
- 6 drops clove oil
- 6 drops castile soapWhen cleaning rugs, upholstery etc
Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, followed by cleaning with a damp microfiber towel (using detergent and warm water), followed again by the HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.It is of course important that any of these items are properly dried out, and if possible with sunlight.
When sorting and cleaning mouldy or water/flood damaged items or areas within the home affected, make sure you are wearing protective gear.
- PPE masks
- Protective clothing.
To further educate yourself, we highly recommend listening to the free webinar provided by Dr. Sandeep Gupta and Nicole Bijilsma 'Preventing Mould After Floods and Extreme Weather'.