Hurricane Clean up and Mold Treatment

Hurricanes are devastating, and the cleanup afterward is incredibly difficult.  So, there are no easy or inexpensive answers.  However, the threat of mold can turn a $20,000 restoration into a $40,000 bill.  Without electricity, air conditioning, and time to start the cleanup; mold will start growing within 48-96 hours, and once started the ambient moisture will allow it to spread throughout the house or building in just a few weeks.

We see our goal as MITIGATION of the post-hurricane damage.  At this level of devastation, there are no guarantees; but the speed of the cleanup is extremely important to limit damages and get back into the home.

Cleanup is "Job #1", so take an aggressive approach.  Throw out anything that the flood waters have affected.  This includes carpet and furniture.  You cannot clean these items.  Sediment in flood water is very fine and is impossible to completely clean.  Hopefully, the insurance will cover these goods, but flood insurance is another issue.

Remove drywall, paneling, or walls higher than the flood water and expose the studs to the air.  

Run fans to help dry the wet areas.  The furnace and AC may not be working, so run fans 24 hours a day.  Wood is not just wet.  It is soaked, and will hold water for months if not fully dried out.  Do not be mistaken here.  Unless the wood is fully dry, it is a mistake to put new drywall up yet.  It is better to live with stud walls for a while than close up moist wood.  Also, if you have one or more dehumidifiers, run them on full power 24 hours a day.  Drying wood requires 3-5 days when you push the humidity level to below 30-20%.

Treat the house for odors, contamination, and mold.  We strongly recommend an initial treatment with Decon Five throughout the house.  This product is applied in a spray or mist that should be applied to every surface.  

Flood water contains a frightening amount of sewage, toxins, and pathogens.  These may not be a concern today, but will be embedded in the house for year.  Decon Five not only kills and inhibits mold, it kills pathogens, destroys odors, and neutralizes toxins.

It is likely that the house will be waiting for workers for weeks, months, and years.  So, the ongoing effort will be to MAINTAIN the house so there is no further damage.  This means that the house many need monthly maintenance treatments with Decon Five and spot treatments to address any mold that is hatching out.

Most homeowners do not realize that the threat of mold can magnify three foot of water damage to a mold problem rapidly spreading through the whole house.  Clean and throw out can flood-damaged areas or goods.  Pump out the water and start the drying process as quickly as possible.  Know that this large-scale disasters affect tens of thousands of homes, and the restoration of your home could literally take years as you wait for insurance, make claims, find contractors, and get someone on the job.

That is why we strongly suggest that the home not be abandoned or ignored until workers show up.  Once you have cleaned the flooded areas, be diligent to dry out the house.  Until the house is ready to be restored, use the Decon Five each month to maintain and decontaminate the house until workers can begin restoring your home.