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 www.cdc.gov/mold/cleanup.htm