Controlling Mold In Wake Of Flooding Event

Controlling Mold In Wake Of Flooding Event

A flood is a terrible event for any homeowner. A home is typically our most expensive asset and even a few inches of flood water will have a devastating effect on your house. My house flooded in 2016 so I have empathy for those that have flooded.

Some of our personal items grew mold immediately and most had to be discarded. Two days passed before we could return to the house and then another few days before the house could be gutted. My house received 14 inches of water. Time is not on your side after a flood event. It is imperative that all wet material be removed from the house as soon as possible. This includes sheet rock, insulation, carpet and drapes. I had to remove all personal items from the house prior to the ‘gutting’ of the house. This is the process by which the sheet rock is cut and removed 4 feet from the floor and the old insulation is removed.  Houses are typically gutted at 4 ft. from the floor because that is the joint in 4×8 sheetrock panels in most houses.  My house did not lose electricity and no water got into the electrical outlets so I was able to run ceiling fans and bring in large de-humidification units to dry out the house. Everything was removed so that the studs in the walls could dry out. All bathroom counters, showers, bath tubs, kitchen cabinets, counter tops, the oven and so much more had to go.  All that was left were the toilets!

The studs need to dry so they will not be attractive to fungi and wood-destroying insects. However, as they are drying they can easily be attacked by mold fungi. These fungi will not degrade the strength of the wood but will discolor the surface and in certain cases can causes respiratory problems. For my house, I used Bora-Care with Mold-Care. This is a safe and economical product that anyone can apply with a typical garden sprayer. It needs to be mixed 1:1 with water before application. I sprayed from the sill plate upwards of four feet. I waited a few hours for it to dry and did a second application. I never saw any presence of mold, fungi, or insects in the frame of my house after the flood.

BoraCare is also an excellent product for new construction or during remodeling or additions of existing houses. It is available on Amazon or directly from the manufacturer, Nisus, at www.nisuscorp.com.

Meet the Author

Dr. Todd Shupe is the President of Wood Science Consulting, LLC. He is a well-recognized expert on wood forensics, wood preservation, wood decay and degradation, and wood species identification. He has a broad background in new product development, quality management, and marketing and sales in both the public and private sectors. For more information please visit DrToddShupe.com.

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