Preventing and Dealing with Mold after Heavy Rains
30 sec. Public Service Announcement attached
Concord, NH – With all the recent rain throughout the state, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services wants New Hampshire residents to be aware that mold is a serious problem when the interior of a building becomes wet. Mold is a source of indoor air pollution and, in large amounts may cause mild to serious health problems. Mold can cause structural damage to home leading to costly repairs.
DES encourages residents to follow these steps in order to control indoor mold growth after water damage occurs.
First, make sure the materials that get soaked do not contain asbestos. If in doubt, they should be tested.
Second, dry out any materials that have been damaged by the water. Completely drying out materials will take time, and you may have to remove ceilings, wallboard, insulation, flooring and other materials. Microorganisms will continue growing as long as there is moisture. When fumes aren’t a problem and if electricity is available and safe, you can remove moisture by closing windows and running a dehumidifier or a window air conditioner.
Third, if you see mold or if there is an earthy or musty smell, you should assume a mold problem exists. Once you have discovered the mold, any porous materials like sheet rock, insulation, carpets, plaster, ceiling tiles, and paper products with mold growth need to be bagged and removed. Non-porous surfaces like hard plastic, concrete, glass, metal, and solid wood can usually be cleaned with detergent and water, and dried completely. A disinfectant may be used to eliminate any mold missed by the cleaning. Keep people with mold allergies out of the area while cleaning. Everyone should use protective equipment and techniques while cleaning up mold.
For more information about mold cleanup, please call (603) 271-3911 or visit the DES Indoor Air Quality web site at www.des.nh.gov. For information on asbestos testing, please call (603) 271-1373. And for more storm recover information, please go to http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/storm/index.htm .
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30 Second Public Service Announcement:
Mold is a serious problem when the inside of a building becomes wet or flooded.
Any areas and materials that have been damaged by water should be dried out immediately.
Earthy or musty smells indicate a mold problem exists.
Porous materials with mold growth should be bagged and removed.
Non-porous surfaces like hard plastic and concrete can be cleaned with detergent and water, and dried completely.
Everyone should use proper protection when cleaning up mold.
For more information about mold cleanup call the NH Department of Environmental Services at (603) 271-3911.