Health and Property Since 1962
New Orleans Area
Mold Growth When Cleaning Flooded and/or Rain-Wetted Homes
Durr Environmental recommends these repair and cleaning
steps be taken to prevent any long-term health risk or exposure to toxic
remove all carpets, furniture, clothes and other items wetted by
interior wall coverings and insulation in the wall cavities.
the wall cavities and wall framing with an aqueous detergent solution
using low to moderate pressure. Several people are using sodium
hypochlorite (e.g., Clorox, Purex, etc.) solutions for such operations,
but this is not recommended except when small areas are to be cleaned.
While sodium hypochlorite is germicidal, its corrosivity can compromise
electrical connections, etc. In addition, building materials will
absorb large amounts of sodium hypochlorite. This will cause the
gradual loss of chlorine gas into the living space for an extended
period of time. Sodium hypochlorite is an EPA-registered pesticide,
but it is not labeled for wood treatment.
the framing and wall cavities with a non-volatile antimicrobial
that is registered by the EPA for that use. All pesticides should
be applied according to label directions. Restricted use
pesticides should be applied by a licensed, certified pest control
technician. General repair contractors are not certified or trained
by Nisus Corp. to apply Bora-Care with Mold-Care. Borate
products supplemented with a mold-control agent are recommended
because borates are biocidal to bacteria and wood decay fungi as
well as insects such as termites and roaches. The mold-control agent
must be added to increase the biocidal activity of borates to mold
fungi. In addition, borates have a low mammalian toxicity, are corrosion
inhibitors, colorless and odorless. One EPA-registered product that
is labeled for use on wood for controlling wood-inhabiting insects
and fungi, including molds, is Bora-Care with Mold-Care by Nisus
Corporation (www.nisuscorp.com). This product contains both borate
and a mold control agent.
fans throughout the structure to increase the rate of drying.
the framing is dry, the electrical connections and plumbing within
the walls should be checked by licensed professionals.
wall insulation and wall coverings after verifying that the moisture
content of the wood framing is below 20%. Failure to make sure the
moisture content is below this level will result in additional mold
growth within the wall cavities. Durr Environmental’s licensed,
certified pest control technicians are familiar with the proper
use of a moisture meter, if needed.
All of the points discussed above for flooded homes apply to home “flooded”
by rainwater, except for item 3. The wall cavities should be relatively
clean when exposed and not require a detergent wash. In most instances,
homes wetted by rainfall have experienced roof damage. In these homes,
the ceilings and insulation above them also must be removed if wet.
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