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Fact Sheets for Disasters: Mold - Basic Info
Stay safe when you clean
Mold can grow within 12 to 24 hours after a flood. Mold can make some people sick, like when they have an allergy (stuffy nose, sore eyes).
Cover your skin. To clean mold, wear:
- An N-95 respirator on your face;
- Goggles over your eyes;
- Rubber gloves;
- Rubber boots; and
- Long sleeved shirt and pants.
Protect bare skin from mold and bleach.
Be careful – bleach can burn skin!
Throw out water- soaked items
Throw out items that soaked up water. Wet items will grow mold that can make people sick. Furniture made with cloth, carpets and pads, drywall, wood paneling, pressed wood, and drywall grow mold when they are soaked.
When in doubt – throw it out!
Clean all surfaces touched by flood water or sewage. Use ¼ to ½ cup of bleach per gallon of water.
Clean surfaces that are not water–soaked. Examples are hard plastic, concrete, glass, and metal.
Do not mix bleach with soap or other products. See:
Dry home and items quickly
After cleaning, dry home and items quickly so mold will not grow. Open door and windows to move the air. Use fans and dehumidifiers.
Let surfaces dry until they are dry like similar surfaces that did not get wet. You may use a moisture meter to do this.
Drying can take a long time. You may need to wait months before redoing a basement. Mold may grow in the walls if you redo your basement while the walls or studs are still damp.
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