Aerial POV view Depiction of flooding.

Post Hurricane Mold Prevention Guide

Clearwater, Florida is an area that sees a lot of hurricane activity, so mold prevention is likely something that you have concerns about if you live in the area. Mold can start to grow within 24-48 hours after water damage occurs in your home. Here is a helpful guide for you to use to prevent mold from growing in your home after a hurricane—or steps to take if mold is already present.

How To Prevent Mold After A Hurricane

If your home experienced storm damage that included flooding or water intrusion of any kind, time is of the essence when it comes to preventing mold growth. If you have evacuated your home due to a storm, do not return until it is safe to do so. When it is safe to return, here are some steps you can take to prevent mold growth:

  • Wear personal protective equipment to protect your eyes, nose, skin, and mouth—N95 (or higher rated) respirators, gloves, goggles, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants—if there is any chance of mold in the home.
  • Use a wet vacuum to remove water from floors, carpets, and hard surfaces.
  • Dry your home and everything in it as quickly as possible. Within The first 24-48 hours if at all possible. 
  • If there is no power, open all doors, windows, closets, cabinets, drawers, attic and basement/cellar access, and especially any interior rooms with no windows or doors to the outside. Do this as soon as you are able to safely re-enter your home to allow air to flow throughout the house and aid the drying process.
  • If power is available and safe to use, close all doors and windows to the outside (and open up all of the interior rooms, drawers, cabinets closets, etc) and turn on the air conditioner or heater to help assist with drying and dehumidifying.
  • If you see signs that mold has already begun to grow, do not use any fans to assist with drying out your house. Fans will spread microscopic mold spores to other surfaces and areas of the home. Dehumidifiers can be used and are strongly recommended.
  • If there are no signs of mold, use fans and dehumidifiers to help reduce the amount of moisture in the home.
  • If there are any holes in the roof of your home where water or rain can enter, have them covered with a well-secured tarp. 

Clearwater Mold Removal & Remediation 

If your home experiences Water Damage and mold growth following a hurricane or severe flooding, the best practice is to hire Mold Removal & Remediation Professionals. You want to hire a reputable licensed firm. Trained, experienced, and qualified professionals from Mold Removal Companies can safely clean up mold damage and help you prevent it from recurring. Able Restoration, Inc. is a longstanding, local building & restoration company based in Clearwater, and we have decades of experience with Mold Removal in Florida. If you need Mold Removal or Mold Remediation in Clearwater, we are here to help!

How To Clean Up Mold After A Hurricane

If a large storm event has taken place, many people will be contracting Clearwater Mold Removal Professionals. There are some things you can safely do to prevent mold from spreading before the professionals arrive!

  1. Always wear your protective gear when cleaning mold.
  2. Remove mold growth from hard, non-porous surfaces with a bleach solution (no more than 1 cup of household bleach in 1 gallon of water). Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
  3. Take an inventory of your damaged items for insurance before removing or cleaning anything in the home.
  4. Cover moldy material with plastic sheeting before removal to control the spread of mold spores.
  5. Moldy or soaked carpeting, carpet padding, upholstery, fabrics, mattresses, furniture, etc should be removed and discarded as soon as possible. Special throw rugs may be cleanable by a professional but should still be removed from the home. 
  6. Surface mold can be cleaned from your china, hard plastic, glass, and metal surfaces and objects. Solid wood can also be cleaned since mold grows only on its surface.
  7. If you discover mold on porous home materials, it is highly recommended that you call in Mold Removal and Remediation Professionals. This included plaster, drywall, insulation, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, flooring (that is not solid wood flooring) and any else that is absorbent or porous. 

Mold Removal Health & Safety

While taking precautions such as wearing protective gear is always a good idea, some people have a greater health risk than others from mold exposure. Children, seniors, and people with pre-existing respiratory conditions, who are pregnant, or have diseases that compromise the immune system should avoid mold exposure and cleanup activities. In these cases, it is important that you call your Clearwater Mold Professionals and have the mold cleaned up by a  trained and experienced team.

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The Difference Between Mold Removal And Remediation

When you discover mold in your home or business, you might run into the terms “mold removal” and “mold remediation” as your search for mold removal companies. While the terms are often used interchangeably, they are technically the specific names used for two types of mold abatement services. 

Mold is extremely common in hot, humid climates like we have right here in Clearwater, Florida. Fortunately, Able Restoration has decades of experience with Clearwater mold removal and remediation services. As a longstanding, trusted, and local business specializing in building and restoration services, we can help you determine if you need mold removal, mold remediation, or both!

What Is Mold Removal?

Mold Removal is the term most frequently seen and heard when researching to mitigate a mold infestation. But, it is a bit of a misnomer. There is no such process that completely removes mold from an environment—indoors or outdoors. It is impossible to completely remove all airborne microscopic mold spores from the atmosphere, but they can be greatly reduced down to a healthy level.

A small mold outbreak can sometimes be cleaned up using a vinegar and bleach solution. This is advisable for mold outbreaks that are within a 10’x10’ space or smaller, and the affected surfaces are non-porous or semi-porous (such as tiled bathrooms or kitchen backsplashes). It’s a good idea to wear a mask and gloves while doing this so that you don’t ingest airborne mold spores during the cleaning process.

For a larger removal, call professional mold removal companies. They can remove the surface mold and sanitize the air to reduce the airborne spore count.

What Is Mold Remediation?

Mold Remediation is the term for the process used to eliminate harmful mold growth. Mold remediation includes mold testing, cleaning, removal, demolition, sanitizing, and prevention awareness. 

The goal of mold remediation is to return your home or office to a healthy and harmless level of natural mold occurrence. While there is no process that can completely eliminate mold or spores from the air, there is a process to reduce mold to a level that is considered safe and healthy—even for individuals with sensitivities to mold.

The biggest difference between mold removal and mold remediation is that remediation involves locating the source of a harmful, active mold growth, removing it from your home, and taking measures to prevent mold from returning. Mold remediation is usually necessary when the affected space is larger than 10’x’10’ and/or includes porous surfaces. Often, this involves removal of materials from the home such as textiles, flooring, and wall materials. Textiles (such as carpeting, furniture, drapes, etc) can often be cleaned of mold. Porous building materials such as wood, drywall, or roofing will need to be replaced. There is a standard process for mold remediation that involves the following steps:

  • Mold inspection and assessment – Property inspection, testing & identification of mold source and type.
  • Containment – Containment will prevent the spores from moving to another surface during cleaning and removal.
  • Disposal or removal – Materials that can not be safely cleaned or salvaged are removed and disposed of.
  • Mold cleaning and air filtration – The cleaning method will depend on the surface’s porosity. HEPA vacuuming is used to remove mold spores on surfaces.
  • Sanitizing – Thorough cleaning of all affected items and areas as well as running air scrubbers with HEPA filters to drastically reduce airborne mold spores.
  • Preventative measures – In this crucial last step, the expert mold remediation team will share tips with the homeowner about how to prevent mold from returning. This helpful information might include leak detection and water damage awareness, which is a primary cause of mold growth.

Clearwater Mold Remediation Experts

Safe and effective mold removal and mold remediation requires licensed, specialized, and experienced professionals. Your expert team can safely complete your mold remediation while ensuring the structural integrity of your property and the safety of those involved with the remediation process. 

At Able Restoration, we can provide everything you need at every step of your journey, and we specialize in emergency restoration. We have a team on call 24/7, so you can reach no matter when you discover your mold issue. Reach out to us any time, and visit our contact page to Get A Quote!

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How To Tell If It’s Mold Or Mildew In My Home

In the Clearwater, FL area, mold can thrive in the warm, humid climate. As a homeowner, it’s important to know how to identify mold or mildew. Recognizing mold or mildew in your home can help prevent health complications or extensive damage to your property.

Mold And Mildew Differences

Mildew is a type of mold, but there are notable differences in their characteristics. Here are some ways to spot the difference and identify either mold or mildew in your home.

  • Mildew is low-profile, and starts out white or gray in the early stages before turning brown over time. Mildew can appear “powdery” and spread in a small dot formation. It tends to spread outward and stay on the surface of whatever material it is growing on. 
  • Mold has a higher profile than mildew and can appear fuzzy. Mold is typically darker in color, typically deep green, red, or black. Mold can eat into the base that it is growing on, making it harder to remove. Unlike mildew, it can move upward. 

Common Types Of Molds

These are some common types of molds you might in the Clearwater, FL area:

  • Cladosporium – a greenish-gray (sometimes black) mold most commonly found in homes. Rarely harmful, but can cause minor issues such as nail infections.
  • Penicillium – called “green mold” for its dark green color. Typically grows in large patches on walls. Used to make penicillin, but can be toxic to some humans and animals.
  • Aspergillus – raised, greenish-white in color, sometimes cloudy in appearance. Usually only harmful to those with weakened immune systems.
  • Alternaria – greenish-white with some black patches. Can be confused with “black mold.” Can exacerbate asthma, especially for people with mold allergies.
  • Stachybotrys chartarum (atra) (aka Black Mold) – black in color, this is the most harmful type of mold. It can release harmful mycotoxins into the air and compromise indoor air quality leading to a serious infection called stachybotryotoxicosis. Typically appears in circular patches, and is especially common in water-damaged homes.
  • Health And Allergy Issues From Mold Or Mildew

There are four types of health issues that come from exposure to mold: allergic illness, irritant effects, infection, and toxic effects. Allergic illness is the most common. Some people have no reaction to mold or mildew in their homes. Others, especially those with allergies or other underlying health issues, are much more sensitive to mold or mildew spores. Pets can also be affected by mold or mildew in the home. 

An easy way to tell if your allergy-like symptoms are due to mold or mildew in the home is to take note of whether your symptoms subside when you leave the home or go outdoors. 

What To Do If You Find Mold Or Mildew

You can clean a small mold patch with a few safety precautions. Wear protective eyewear, rubber gloves, and a mask so that you do not come into contact with the mold or inhale the spores. Use a bleach and water solution to carefully clean away the mold. Be sure to assess the cause of the mold growth and try to prevent it from returning by keeping the area dry and clean.

While this process may help with small mold patches, it is not uncommon for additional mold patches to be hidden—or for the mold to return. The best way to ensure total mold remediation for your house is to call in the professionals. They can assess the cause of the mold growth, provide removal services, and help you put further prevention in place. If you find mold in your home, contact the mold remediation professionals at Able.  Book a free mold inspection today!

Clearwater Mold Restoration & Mold Remediation in Florida

Why Mold Removal

Why Mold Removal

Able Restoration in Clearwater is asked what is Mold Removal?  Our Mold Remediation company knows that in as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water leak.  Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property.

How Mold Affects

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting

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