Mold Prevention Tips
Mold Prevention Tips
- Keep humidity levels as low as you can - no higher than 50% - all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Keep in mind the humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
- Be sure your home has enough ventilation.Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Fix any leaks in your home's roof, walls, or plumbing.
- Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24-48 hours) after flooding.
- Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly.
Mold and Your Health
There is always some mold everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces. Molds have been o the Earth for millions of years. Mold grows where there is moisture.
Mold and Your Health
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease. may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed to mold. These people should stay away from areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas.
From The Ordinary....
Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In face, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people.
To The Unhealthy....
Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks, and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply.
Mold is detectable by smell and signs of water damage on walls or ceiling and can grow in places invisible to the human eye. It may be found behind wallpaper or paneling, on the inside of ceiling tiles, the back of drywall, or the underside of carpets or carpet padding. Piping in walls may also be a source of mold, since they may leak ( causing moisture and condensation)
Spores need three things to grow into mold:
- Time (24 hours to 10 days)
Mold colonies can grow inside buildings, and chief hazard is the inhalation of mycotoxins. After a flood or major leak, mucotoxin levels are higher even after a building has dried out.
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Tornadoes - Finding Shelter
Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of are that are created by a thunderstorm and tunnel to the ground. Tornadoes can be very destructive to buildings, vehicles and create deadly objects to fly threw the air. Tornadoes can happen anytime and anywhere. Winds can reach over 200 MPH.
Find Shelter When Under A Tornado Warning
- If you can safely get to a sturdy building, then do immediately.
- Go to a safe room, basement, or storm cellar.
- If you are in a building with no basement, then get to a small interior room on the lowest level.
- Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
- Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are sager in a low, flat location.
- Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.
- Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
Tornadoes - Prepare NOW
Preparing Before A Tornado Warning
- Know your area's tornado risk. In the U.S., the Midwest and the Southeast have a greater risk for tornadoes.
- Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud; an approaching cloud of debris; or a loud roar - similar to a freight train.
- Sign up for your community's warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. If your community has sirens, then become familiar with the warning tone.
- Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.
- Identify and practice going to a safe shelter in the event of high winds, such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
- Consider constructing your own safe room that meets FEMA or ICC 500 standards.
Tornadoes - Survive During the Storm
Surviving During a Tornado
- Immediately go to a safe location that you identified.
- Take additional cover by shielding your head and neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around you.
- Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
- Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.
- If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible.
Be Safe After the Storm
- Keep listening to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, and local authorities for updated information.
- If you are trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust. Try to send a text, bang on a pipe or wall or use a whistle instead of shouting.
- Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
- Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told that they are safe.
- Save your phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and friends.
- Be careful during clean-up. Wear thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves.
Flooding - Find Shelter
Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. The most common natural disaster in the United States is flooding. Failing to evacuate flooded areas, entering flood waters, or remaining after a flood has passed can result in injury or death.
- Result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems.
- Develop slowly or quickly - Flash floods can come with no warning.
- Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides.
If You Are Under A Flood Warning, Find Safe Shelter Quickly
- Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don't Drown! (Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 1 foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.)
- Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.
- Determine how best to protect yourself based on the type of flooding.
- Evacuate if told to do so.
- Move to higher ground or a higher floor.
- Stay where you are.
Flooding - Prepare Now
How To Prepare Now for Flooding
- Know types of flood risk in your area.
- Sigh up for your community's warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- If flash flooding is a risk in you location, then monitor potential signs, such a heavy rain.
- Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
- Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind each person's specific needs, including medication. Don't forget the needs of pets. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.
- Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect and can protect the life you've built.
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
- Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.