How to remove the threat of mold after flooding

------------------------------------------------- Revised 09/03/17
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How to test and get rid of mold

Mold can make you sick: test for it!
Water damage can lead to the problem of toxic mold, which is
particularly troublesome for people with asthma, chronic lung
illnesses, the elderly and people with compromised immunity.
Along with a host of health problems, mold may cause coughing
and wheezing, eye and throat irritations, and even skin irritations.

Learn how to test for mold and how to get rid of it.

How to Combat Mold and Mildew
You have stuff that's blackening the grout lines, discoloring your
drywall, and possibly causing health issues. Do you have mold,  
mildew or fungus? How do you know?

Do you have mildew or mold?
Mildew is generally a surface fungi that turns up as a patch of
gray. Thankfully you can easily scrub away mildew. Mold is more
troublesome and you'll find the color black or green and taking
over a larger space. There are many kinds of molds and it's good
to know what you're dealing with.

How do you really know if you have mold?
If you've worried about a mold issue or have had water damage,
then you understand how troubling it can be to not know if you
have a mold growth in your home. No one wants to deal with the
stress of an unknown health issue and to make matters worse
hiring a professional  can cost hundreds of dollars.

Put your mind at ease and the
Mold Test Kit, pictured right. Mold
and the toxins they produce can be dangerous and they can also
be hidden. Some instant check kits only test for 3 different mold
types, but the Easy Mold Test uncovers all mold types. The kit
also includes a guide to help you understand how to properly
inspect your property for signs of mold and water damage.

Inspections are an often overlooked aspect of mold testing.
Without properly inspecting your property you could miss a huge
issue and never know it. The mold test kit contains 3 tape lift
samples (surface test), a quick start guide, and a mold inspection
booklet. The tape lifts can be used to test surfaces that you
suspect may be mold growth. The inspection booklet will tell you
where to look for mold. Once you've collected the samples you
will mail them to the lab (shipping to lab not included). Your mold
samples will be sent to an experienced Lab that has processed
more than 50,000 mold tests. The lab will analyze your samples
and produce an illustrated data report that you will receive
through email. (Lab tests in Texas require a lab fee.)

How to Combat Mold
Below are some good everyday practices to combat mold and
mildew, as well as tips on what to do after a flood to prevent
toxic mold from making your family sick.

#1: Employ liberal use of vinegar.
Vinegar is a simple and natural antimicrobial that you can use in
a spray bottle anywhere you find mold and mildew growing. In
short it kills the mold and it's as simple as spraying and wiping.
Apple cider vinegar is a popular prepper choice for many reasons.

Vinegar just one way you can combat mold and mildew. There are
many more methods and products available.

#2: Stock up on Tea Tree Oil.
For health reasons tea tree oil is extremely useful in the prepper's
medicine cabinet, but it also can help you combat mold and
mildew. It's a natural fungicide!

Vinegar, tea tree oil and bleach will work for everyday mold and
mildew, but if you're recovering from flood damage, it will take
much more.

#3: Reach for the Bleach.
Another arsenal in the fight against mold and mildew is to reach
for the bleach.
Preppers love bleach for so many reasons and
dealing with the problem of mold is one of them.

  • How to use bleach to get rid of mold:
    Use one cup bleach with one gallon of water.
    (Do NOT use ammonia. Never mix bleach with ammonia.)

#4: Get a dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier removes the moisture from the air and this can
inhibit mold. When electricity is restored you can use a
dehumidifier to remove damp, mold and moisture from your
kitchen, bedroom, garage, and basements and such. The bonus is
that a dehumidifier also helps eliminate bacteria in the air that
can make breathing difficult.

Controlling humidity levels is one of the best ways to control
mold growth in your home.

#5: Know where to find the mold.
If you have a little mold, you may have more mold problems. Mold
hides in unexpected places! Mold thrives:
  • in basements
  • in rusted chimney caps
  • in and around showers and in other damp spaces
  • around window sills
  • around heating or cooling appliances (refrigerator drip pans,
    front-loading washing machines, dishwashers, air

#6: Fix the leaky problems.
Being proactive to fix leaky roofs, pipes and windows is another
of the most effective ways to combat mold. In so doing you
resolve the issue long before it becomes a problem.
Unfortunately, budgets and time constraints often get in the way
of being proactive.

Creativity is key here. You can fix a leaky problem with innovative
products. Hey, if that guy on T.V. can saw a boat in half and put
it together with some goo, then so can you!

  • FlexShot, pictured right, caulks, bonds and seals virtually

#7: Ventilate.
Everyone should stop mold in its tracks by ventilating their
shower and other damp potentially areas like the laundry room or
in cooking areas (kitchen faucets and places where steam from
cooking rises). The key to controlling mold is to control the
moisture. Opening up an enclosed area can do just that.

Use your nose to find the mold! The Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) says, "
Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be
many different colors, and can smell musty."

Get started! If something smells musty you can ventilate by
opening up the windows and quickly get to the task of scrubbing
mold away with bleach. The CDC says to wear gloves and
protective eye wear and to ventilate!

#8: Clean, remove and dry.
Mold is a natural occurence and really isn't a problem until it's
inside your home. Clean up, dry and remove sources of moisture
to help prevent mold. This is the most difficult of the remedies for
mold, but doing the hard work will keep your family healthy.

Here are some tips for the Evironmental Protection agency for how
clean up mold in your home.
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Water, heat and organic material = mold! The video above shows you how
to kill the toxic black mold. Killing the mold is easier than you may think,
according to Corey Binford.

Happy endings...
Prevention is always your best preparedness remedy! You can
change your daily routine to combat mold and mildew every day
to prevent toxic mold from making your family sick. Consider
stocking up on natural products and have a supply of toxic killing
commerical products ready. It's easier than you may think to kill
toxic mold.

Stay happy and healthy!

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