PROTECT YOUR HEALTH WHILE ATTEMPTING TO SAVE MOOSE-CONTAMINATED ITEMS

PROTECT YOUR HEALTH WHILE ATTEMPTING TO SAVE MOOSE-CONTAMINATED ITEMS

Media contact:
Wendy Jackson, Public Information Specialist
[email protected]

Volusia County, Florida –The Florida Department of Health in Volusia County is urging residents in flooded areas to follow safety guidelines to protect their health while cleaning up water-damaged homes and businesses.

“It’s important for residents to keep in mind how to handle mold-contaminated items while cleaning their homes,” said Robert Maglievaz, Environmental Health Administrator. “Mold-contaminated items could cause infections or trigger allergic reactions in some people.”

Mold-contaminated items must be properly dried and cleaned before being returned to the living environment.

  • DOH-Volusia recommends the following safety guidelines for salvaging mold-contaminated items:
  • Mold will eventually destroy the object it grows on. Mold should be removed as soon as possible.
  • Consider hiring a water damage restoration or mold remediation professional if you have several water damaged items you want to salvage or mold contamination over 100 square feet.
  • If your salvage items are wet notes they don’t see moldthe guidelines in table 1 are recommended
  • If you see mold growing on salvageable itemsthe guidelines in Table 2 are recommended
  • Whenever handling potentially contaminated items, use an N-95 respirator, gloves, and goggles. Those with mold-related allergies, asthma, or the immunocompromised should not handle potentially contaminated items.
  • If you develop health symptoms that you suspect may be related to a salvaged item in your home, please see your doctor immediately and ask an unaffected family member to remove the item from the living area.

For more information on indoor air quality and mold growth, contact the Florida Department of Health-Volusia at (386) 274-0694 or the Florida Air Toxics Hotline at (850) 245-4288 . You can also visit the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor Air Quality webpage at http://www.epa.gov/mold/

Table 1: Salvaged items with no visible mold[1]

Material damaged by water Actions
Books and documents
  • For non-valuable items, discard books and documents.
  • Photocopy valuables/important items, discard originals.
  • Freeze (in a frost-free freezer or meat cabinet) or freeze-dry. Do not mix items with food
  • Consult a water damage or restoration specialist for items of high sentimental or monetary value.
Clothing
  • Wash the clothes according to the manufacturer’s instructions
Carpet and underlay – dry in 24-48 hours
  • Dry by aqueous extraction under vacuum.
  • Reduce ambient humidity levels with a dehumidifier.
  • Speed ​​up the drying process with fans.
Ceiling tiles
Cellulose and fiberglass insulation
Concrete or cinder block surfaces
  • Remove the water with a water extraction vacuum.
  • Speed ​​up the drying process with dryers, fans and/or heaters
Hard surface, porous flooring (Linoleum, ceramic tiles, vinyl)
  • Vacuum or damp wipe with water and a mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary.
  • Check that the floor covering is dry; dry flooring if necessary.
Non-porous, hard surfaces
(plastics, metals)
  • Vacuum or damp wipe with water and a mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary.
Sofas
  • Remove the water with a water extraction vacuum.
  • Speed ​​up the drying process with dryers, fans and/or heaters.
  • It may be difficult to dry completely within 48 hours. If the item is valuable, you may wish to consult with a restoration/water damage professional who specializes in furniture.
Window curtains
  • Follow the washing or cleaning instructions recommended by the manufacturer
Wooden surfaces
  • Treated or finished wood surfaces can be cleaned with a mild detergent and clean water and allowed to dry.
  • Wet paneling should be removed from the wall to dry.

Table 2: Salvaged objects with mold caused by rainwater[2]

Affected material or furnishings

Cleaning method

Books and paper

After the item or material is dry, use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum to remove mold from surfaces. Dispose of vacuumed waste as normal waste in a tightly sealed plastic bag. Place items from which mold cannot be removed in a sealed bag and dispose of as normal waste. Consult a water damage or restoration specialist for items of high sentimental or monetary value.

Clothing

Wash the garment according to the manufacturer’s instructions or have it professionally cleaned. If the mold stain or odor does not come out of the clothes, throw them away.

Carpet and carpet padding (less than 10 square feet)

After the item or material is dry, use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum to remove mold from surfaces. Dispose of vacuumed waste as normal waste in a tightly sealed plastic bag. Place items from which mold cannot be removed in a sealed bag and dispose of as normal waste.

Carpet and rug padding (between 10-100 square feet)

OR

Carpet and padding (less than 10 square feet where storm-related odors cannot be eliminated)

Store the item in sealed plastic, remove from the building in a tightly sealed plastic bag and dispose of as normal waste. After removal, HEPA vacuum the dried surface covering the item. Dispose of vacuumed waste as normal waste in a tightly sealed plastic bag.

Concrete or cinder block

Material should be HEPA vacuumed after drying. If vacuuming fails to remove the mold, additional cleaning with soap and water is recommended, followed by drying and then vacuuming again. Dispose of vacuumed waste as normal waste in a tightly sealed plastic bag.

Ceramic tiles, vinyl, linoleum

Wet surfaces with plain water or an aqueous detergent solution until visible mold is removed. Allow the surface to dry and then HEPA vacuum. Dispose of vacuumed waste as normal waste in a tightly sealed plastic bag.

Wood and laminate

Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations. If there are no recommendations, use a wood cleaner. Scrub as needed until visible growth is removed. Allow the surface to dry and then HEPA vacuum the surface. Dispose of vacuumed waste as normal waste in a tightly sealed plastic bag.

Non-porous (wood, plastic and metal) furniture

Plastic and Metal: Moisten surfaces with plain water or an aqueous detergent solution until visible mold is removed. Allow the surface to dry and then HEPA vacuum the surface. Dispose of vacuumed waste as normal waste in a tightly sealed plastic bag.

Method 5 for wooden furniture: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning. If there are no recommendations, use a wood cleaner. Scrub as needed until visible growth is removed. Allow the surface to dry and then HEPA vacuum the surface. Dispose of vacuumed waste as normal waste in a tightly sealed plastic bag.

Upholstered furniture and curtains

Consult a water damage restoration professional. Place damaged materials in a sealed plastic bag and dispose of as normal waste if the item cannot be cleaned.

Wall (plasterboard, plaster)

Place the damaged materials in a sealed plastic bag and remove them.

[1]These guidelines were developed based on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s document, Mold Remediation in Schools and
[2]These guidelines were developed from the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s document, Mold Removal in Schools and

About the Florida Department of Health

Florida Department of Health Nationally Accredited by The Public Health Accreditation Board works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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