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Mold Prevention Steps if Your Home or Building Has Been Damaged by a Hurricane, Typhoon, Tornado, Windstorm, or Fire

If your home, condominium, apartment, office, or other building has suffered serious damage because of a hurricane, typhoon, tornado, windstorm, or fire, you would be wise to take the following preventive steps to reduce the resulting mold infestation that will surely grow from the damage your home or building has suffered.

1. Prior to any repairs, photograph from every appropriate angle all damage that has been happened to your home or other building. You may need this photographic evidence to help collect for the water, structural, and mold damage.

2. Use do-it-yourself mold test kits or the Scotch tape lift sampling technique [explained in the mold test kit section of Mold Mart] to test any visible mold growth so that you can send the mold test kits to a mold laboratory for analysis and mold species identification.  Also, use mold test kits to mold test the air of each room, attic, basement, crawl space, and the outward air flow [if electricity is on] from each heating/cooling duct register for the possible presence of elevated levels of airborne mold spores, in comparison to an outdoor mold control test.  You should repeat this testing of the air every 7 days so that you can determine if the mold situation is under control or out of control. You should also be photographing and testing any new mold growths.

3. Read your insurance policy very carefully to see in what ways the insurance company could try to restrict or reject your insurance claim for mold growth damage and for the expenses of mold inspection, testing, and remediation. If you don’t understand the policy, have it explained to you by your agent, the insurance company claims adjuster, an independent insurance adjuster [who works solely on your behalf against the insurance company on a commission basis], or your attorney. You may need to have the home or building inspected and tested [with a written report of the inspector’s findings] by a Certified Mold Inspector. The goal of the Certified Mold Inspector is to document that there is new mold growth that was directly caused by the sudden and accidental, insured event such as a hurricane, typhoon, tornado, windstorm, fire, or water line break. If you believe your insurance policy should cover the water and mold damage, but the company refuses to pay, you definitely need to have professional representation by an independent insurance adjuster or an insurance-oriented attorney. You should also read the in depth book Mold Legal Guide. You should also visit
Mold Lawyer.
 
4. Cover or close in securely with tarps all broken windows, damaged roof sections, damaged siding sections, and other storm or fire building damage to keep as much rain as possible from entering into your home or building. The more water that enters your home or building, the worse the mold damage your property will suffer.

5. Spray at least two wet coatings of boric acid mix [with drying in between, assisted by a fan after the fungicide has worked for at least one hour] into all damaged building areas and on all exterior and interior surfaces [attic, basement, crawl space, each room on the walls, ceilings, and floors, plus into each heating/cooling duct register]. If there is no electricity, use either a hand pump sprayer [about $40 from Home Depot, Lowe’s, or a hardware store], or a small electric sprayer connected to a small electric generator. Spray all of your furnishings and carpeting and personal possessions with Shockwave.  For every week that your home goes unrepaired, repeat this boric acid powder mix spraying of both the home and your possessions. Shockwave is one of the few EPA-registered fungicides that are rated to treat both porous and non-porous surfaces. Most fungicides are only rated to treat nonporous surfaces such as a kitchen counter top or ceramic tile.  What mold will grow in is porous wood, other building materials, carpeting, padding, furniture upholstery, clothing, and other cellulose based materials which mold growth is able to feed upon.

6. Learn and utilize the 20 steps required for safe and effective mold remediation, as explained at Mold Removal .

 

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