To Ensure Safe, Effective Cleanup

Specialists offer the following suggestions

  • Wash all items that came in contact with floodwaters with a chlorine bleach solution of no more than one cup of bleach in one gallon of water.
  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners.
  • If you have electricity, use a dehumidifier or a fan in front of open windows or doors to help with the drying process, and be sure that fans blow outward, rather than inward to avoid spreading the mold.
  • Throw away all moldy items that cannot be thoroughly cleaned. If in doubt, throw it out. This includes carpets, mattresses, upholstered furniture and stuffed animals.
  • Take out any drywall or insulation that has been dampened by floodwater.
  • Most antiseptics, including chlorine, are toxic to humans — rinse the skin quickly and well if there is accidental contact with the solution.
  • Remember, chlorine bleach no longer is effective when the chlorine smell disappears.
  • Have professionals check heating/cooling ducts and wall insulation for mold growth. If the system has mold inside, it will spread mold throughout the house.

For more information on mold or mold clean-up, visit the CDC Web site at

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