Cleaning Up After A Flood? How To Prevent Odors In The Process

Coming home to a flood is never fun, especially if you have children with allergies. Sure, you'll do the right thing and call in the professionals to help you remove the water and clean up any damage that the flood leaves in its wake. But simply drying out the space may not be good enough to prevent odors from any mold and mildew that could begin to grow. For this you need to be vigilant, not only to protect your belongings, but more so to protect the health and well-being of your family.

Don't Depend On Just a Fan

Once you have sucked up as much water as possible with a shop vac, you might think that drying items out with a fan is good enough. However, even if you think an item is dry, there may still be some dampness present. To truly prevent odors from infiltrating the air your family breathes, purchase a de-humidifier to help eliminate residual moisture.

Depending on the severity of the flood, you may consider an industrial size de-humidifier, as well as larger fans. In other words, don't depend solely on a box or ceiling fan to dry out carpets and the subfloor underneath.

Remove the Source

If your carpet, furniture, baseboards and other water-damaged areas are dry, but your home still emits a mildew smell, replace the source. Use a flashlight to check the baseboards for spots of green or black; these indicate mold. Hire professionals to replace these baseboards and the drywall in the area as well, if needed.

Keep in mind that a wooden subfloor can also grow mold, creating a foul odor. Walk around the once-flooded space to see if you can pinpoint the spot where the odor is coming from. When you sense a greater odor, sniff the carpet in the area. You'll know you've found it if the odor is much stronger in that spot. Again, call the professionals to install new carpet and to replace that section of the subfloor.

Periodically inspect furniture legs after a flood for spots of mold. If you notice any, replace the legs. If this is not possible, take this opportunity to go shopping for new furniture.

Keep in mind that your insurance company, if you have flood insurance, will help offset the costs of any cleanup or replacement of items. However, expect to be thinking about residual flood odors for a while. Sometimes mold can grow quickly, but there are also times when it grows slowly. For more information, contact CDM Cesspool Service or a similar company.