If your home has been flooded, chances are, mold will soon follow. Here’s what you can do to clean it up and take precaution against it returning.

How To Dry Out Your Home After A Flood

It’s imperative to get the water out of your home as quickly as possible, as mold spores can start growing within a day or two after it becomes flooded. The quicker you are at removing floodwaters from your residence, the greater the likelihood of preventing mold altogether.

Make sure your home’s structure is safe before entering. Once inside, remove anything that isn’t waterlogged or wet, including furniture, clothing and other personal items that are still dry. This way, you’ll have more room to tackle the problem at hand and save the items.

Proper ventilation is essential. Use dehumidifiers, fans, or heaters to help dry out rooms faster (but make sure its safe to use electricity beforehand). If you don’t live in a humid climate, open the windows—the dry air outside will help lower humidity inside.

Next, remove as much floodwater as you can. If there’s too much water for a simple bucket and mop, pump it out with pumping equipment—your local fire department may also be able to help pump water from your home.

How To Clean Your Home After Flooding Occurs

Remove dirt, mud, or other debris that came into your house during the flood. If floodwaters have damaged items you own, those, too, must be removed. The items that can be spared can be cleaned, dried, and put in plastic bags to prevent mold from spreading. Other objects that can’t be recovered—like flooded carpeting—must be removed and destroyed.

Wet building materials such as drywall, wall paneling, and flooring must be removed and replaced as mold can grow on the walls, or inside the wall cavities, of rooms that were flooded. Make sure those areas are completely dry before installing new materials. 

Clean hard surfaced, non-porous items using detergents once they are dried. Porous items which absorb water and can’t be dried thoroughly in a reasonable amount of time must be thrown away. Clothing—if it’s mold free—can be washed and dried as usual.

Moving Back Into Your Home

When the water has been removed, and your home and the items inside have been thoroughly cleaned or disposed of, it is safe to move back in, but keep a watchful eye on any signs of mold, including musty odors and illnesses (respiratory ailments, allergies, or skin infections). If you’re still unsure, call in a mold remediation professional to inspect and test for mold in your home.