Saturday, January 17, 2009

Flood control Basic & Mold Remediation Basic

Flood damage restoration- Basic

Mold and Mildew remediation-Basic

Unless you are properly trained and certified in Flood Damage Restoration and Mold and Mildew remediation, do not attempt to do more than these basic steps for your customer. If the damage is great such as involving sewage overspill, wet wood walls, floors, ceilings, please ask the building owner/manager to call professionals to handle possible mildew or mold problems after taking these basic steps.

Flood damage restoration – Basic

Required items: (Attached are suggested products and get more information at -



Dry/ Wet vacuum, (Nobles, Typhoon EV dry/wet vacuum)

Air movers, (Nobles Air Mover)

Dehumidifier (if available), (Interlink products at Lamers Enterprise)

Floor squeegees,


Wet floor signs,

Caution tapes,

Carpet extractor (Nobles, Power Eagle 1016 or 1020),

Enzyme based extraction solution (Bio Assist Extraction solution from Spartan) or disinfectant cleaner (Spartan, Green Disinfectant Cleaner),

Deodorizer, (Spartan Airlift Lemon or other scents..)

Step 1: Post the wet floor signs. Tape the area off limits with caution tape.

Step 2: If it is a hard floor, use dry and wet vacuum to vacuum off all water from the surface.

If water is contaminated with sewer, dirt, etc, either mop or vacuum to clean first and use disinfectant cleaner to do final mopping of the floor. Post air mover/s and dry the area quickly.

If it is carpeted floor: If the floor is flooded with only clean water, use extractor to vacuum water off the carpeted area. If you do not have a carpet extractor, use dry/wet vacuum and vacuum off the water as best as you can.

If it is carpeted floor: If the floor is flooded with sewer contaminated water, use extractor or dry/wet vacuum and vacuum off the water first.

Use disinfectant cleaner into a spray pump and spray the entire area and let it sit for 30 minutes or more to make sure to properly disinfect the carpet.

After, do regular carpet cleaning procedure.

Dilute pre spray solution into spray pump and spray the carpet and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Dilute extraction solution (use enzyme based cleaner) into a carpet extractor according to recommended dilution ratio by manufacturer. Extract the carpet. If hot water is available, use hot water for pre spray and extraction.

If you don’t have a carpet extractor and vacuumed with only dry/wet vacuum then use a pump sprayer: Dilute 10 to 15 oz of disinfectant cleaner into a gallon of water and spray over the area needed to disinfect. This area must later be cleaned with a carpet extractor using an enzyme based cleaner to prevent mildew and mold as well as to deodorize it.

Step3: Use air mover(s) fan and dry the floor as soon as possible.

If it is carpeted: Leave the air mover for 24 hrs or more until the carpet and the area is completely dry even under the matting (unless you have proper training, do not attempt to remove carpet without authorization).

Step 4: If area is very humid and dehumidifier is available, turn the machine on for 4- 5 hours depending on the size of the room. Humidity in the room should be in the range of 35 to 50%. Room should not be too dry or too humid.

If possible, leave all the windows and doors open and have outside air to move in freely for a day or two as needed to prevent mold to grow.

These are steps you can take for your customers. Have them call the professionals if the flood damage is extensive going behind the walls, inside of ceiling panels, below wood floors, etc. The building could have possible mold and mildew problems after the flood. If that happens, it will be a good idea to call the professionals to inspect the building and take proper steps to prevent mold infestation which can cause allergy, or even sickness.

Note: If you are a cleaning contractor and would like to be certified in this field, please contact ISSA for available training schedule or check on-line to see if any other agencies or companies offer the courses near your area.

Mold and Mildew remediation-Basic

If your customer has mildew or mold problems, depending on the size of problem, unless you have the training with the right equipment and certification to do the job properly, please do not attempt to do more than the following basic steps:

If your customer has small mildew problems in the shower or near the kitchen sink area, please read the article “Mildew and Algae” in the cleaning instruction section of our CD or MS.

Use mildew cleaner and remover and spray over the area and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub with brush in the grouted area to completely remove the mildew and rinse.

If you use disinfectant cleaner to clean the area regularly mildew should not come back.

Another suggestion is to properly seal the area with sealer to prevent the mildew from coming back.

If your customer has serious mold problems covering large areas, on the wall, on the ceiling panels, etc., this could indicate bigger problems behind the visible surface. Please recommend the building manager or home owner to call the professional mold and mildew remediation company.

Difference between Mildew and Mold


Mildew is "mold like" and caused by two specific organisms. Mold grows on organic matter. Mildew can grow on almost anything with moisture.

Mildew can thrive on any organic matter, not just living tissue, and can appear on clothing, leather, paper, and the ceilings, walls and floors of many homes. It often lives on shower walls.

Mildew is a grey, mold-like growth caused by one of two different types of micro-organisms.

The ladybird is a Psyllobora species which feeds on the mildew. What most horticulturalists and gardeners call mildew is actually powdery mildew, caused by various Ascomycota fungi.

There are several species, all pests of flowering plants, which are obligate parasites. The species that affects roses is Sphaerotheca pannosa var. rosa.

The other main form of mildew is downy mildew, which is a member of the Oomycota phylum in the Protista kingdom. In commercial agriculture, downy mildew is a particular problem for growers of potatoes, grapes and vine-type vegetables.


Molds (or moulds) are microscopic multinucleated multi cellular fungi made up of hyphae (tube-like structures) which are usually separated from each other by divisions called septa. They are genetically similar to yeasts.

There are thousands of known varieties of molds. Their primary energy source is organic matter which is broken down by enzymes released from the mycelia (the mass of hyphae) into simpler compounds. By decomposing organic matter, molds play a big part in material biodegradation, enabling decay and rot necessary in all ecosystems. The enzymes and mycotoxins can also inhibit the growth of other molds and microorganisms. Some mycotoxins are considered to be harmful to health. Adequate humidity and temperature are needed for optimal growth. Molds do not use photosynthesis to receive energy.

Molds reproduce asexually through small spores, which can remain airborne indefinitely. Spores are able to survive extreme temperatures and pressure. Some molds can begin growing at temperatures as low as 2°C. When conditions do not enable growth, molds can remain alive in a dormant state, within a large range of temperatures before they die. This explains how molds can survive harsh conditions such as containers in refrigerators or inside building structure cavities. Moving air may prevent mold from growing since it has the same dessicating effect as lowering humidity.

Although molds grow on organic matter everywhere in nature, their presence is only visible to the naked eye where conditions allow mold colonies to grow. In man-made environments, humidity and temperature are often stable enough to foster the growth of mold colonies, commonly seen as a downy or furry coating growing on food or surfaces. Thus buildings, being stable environments, enable mold proliferation.