Public Health: Be sure to safely remove mold from living spaces after floods

If your home experienced moisture or water damage during the recent flooding, it may be at risk for mold growth. Use the following information from Schuyler County Public Health to make sure you are safely removing mold from your home.

Water damage can promote mold growth and the decay of building materials. Molds are microscopic fungi that break down plant and animal matter in the environment. They can grow almost anywhere there is moisture or organic material like soil, foods, plants, and in people’s homes. Mold can look fuzzy or discolored or can be in slimy patches. It also frequently causes a musty smell.

“Not only can mold damage your home, it can cause health problems for people too.” Schuyler County Public Health Director Marcia Kasprzyk warned. “It can cause issues for people with allergies and asthma and, in rare cases, can even cause infections.”

She offered the following tips:

  • Remove standing water and wet carpeting, sheetrock, and upholstered furniture from your home. If materials can’t be cleaned and dried, you should get rid of them.
  • Get air moving in your home to reduce moisture. Open your windows and use fans. Dehumidifiers can also help.
  • Clean mold off of small areas on hard surfaces like wood or concrete that are not damaged or rotten. Wear rubber gloves and a N95 mask to reduce your exposure – these are usually included in a good emergency kit. Scrub the area with a rag wetted with a cleaning product. Make sure to follow label directions. Do not mix cleaning products.
  • If there is a lot of mold, you should consider hiring an experienced professional.
  • More information about mold cleanup after flooding can be found at:

– CDC’s Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters https://www.cdc.gov/mold/cleanup-guide.html

– NYS Department of Health’s Mold and Your Home: What You Need to Knowhttps://www.health.ny.gov/publications/7287/

– NYS Department of Health’s Preparing for Storms & Weathering Floods and Power Outageshttps://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/flood/

– FEMA’s Tips to Prevent Post-Flooding Mold at Home: Clean It, Dry It or Discard It https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2012/09/07/tips-prevent-post-flooding-mold-home-clean-it-dry-it-or-discard-it

Schuyler County Public Health’s mission is to protect and empower the community to be safe, healthy and prepared. Schuyler County Public Health’s vision is a connected community of healthy people and safe places.

For more information, visit Schuyler County Public Health online at www.schuylercounty.us/publichealth or follow Schuyler County Public Health on Facebook and Twitter.

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