The truth about Flood Damage, Molds and Bleach

Banishing Common Ideas

Using vinegar for a natural clean

How effective is bleach in cleaning mold caused by flood damage? (Photo Credits)

Bleach is well-known for its disinfecting, virus, and germ-killing properties. But how effective is it when it comes to killing molds brought about by flood damage?

Rhinohide says it will depend on the surface a property owner is trying to clean.

“Bleach labels will warn you that chlorine bleach will only be effective on a “hard, non-porous surface.’’ This basically means that chlorine bleach is not made to “soak in.” Therefore, its disinfecting properties are limited to a hard surface like tile or glass. So here’s the problem: To ensure survival, mold spores spread its roots (Mycelia) deep into a porous surface. Mold remediation requires a cleaner to reach deep down into wood and other porous building materials to remove or “pull out” the roots. The properties of bleach prevent it from soaking into these materials. The surface mold looks gone (it’s bleached white) but the internal mold always remains to grow back. Another issue: Bleach contains 90% water and mold LOVES water. When bleach is applied, the chlorine quickly evaporates after use leaving behind A LOT of water. This water often soaks into the porous surface allowing the mold to flourish and re-grow in this moist environment. So in effect, using bleach actually feeds the internal mold spores!”

Read the continuation here.

Extreme Danger

Surviving Toxic Mold warned its readers about the extreme danger they are to face if they use bleach as mold remover.

“OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is a federal agency that gives strong warnings against recommending the use of liquid Bleach for mold remediation or even cleaning any kind of mold/mildew and most recently, The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has since edited their “A brief guide to mold and moisture and your home” so that it now excludes their previously stated use of bleach as a remedy to kill mold.  If these ruling agencies are making strong statements and retracting from previous advice given that tells us that they have used govt money to fund some pretty extensive laboratory studies.  Let these studies be a warning to us all.  NOT to use bleach around toxic mold.”

Check out the whole post here.

Better remover

Rodales Organic life says that although bleach can be an effective mold remover in hard surfaces, Lemon can be as effective, even in porous surfaces. San Diego 

“Both lemon and chlorine bleach will effectively remove surface mold and its stains, but neither can permanently “kill” the mold. Since both are performing the same function, opt for the safer, healthier lemon juice. If you have a particularly tough bit of mold or mildew, rub the spot with salt and lemon juice, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before wiping it away. You can also try adding a splash of vinegar.”

Read the rest of the article here.

The best way to permanently remove molds is to tap the services of expert mold removal service contractors.

Removing Molds after a Flooding Incident



Appliances and Flood Damage

When appliances get submerged in flood waters


What can be done about flooded home appliances? (Photo Credits)

Home appliances usually get submerged in flood waters during any flood incident.

They are bulky, heavy, and difficult to remove from inundation hence these are the home fixtures that usually get left behind.

Malaysian media outfit, The Sun Daily shared an article reminding its readers about the safety measures in handling flood damaged appliances.

“The public is advised not to use any electrical equipment if their premises were flooded to avoid unwanted incidents like electrocution.”

Read the rest of the report here.

Replacing flooded fixtures

The Irish Times for its part shared that flooded basic appliances can be replaced by their government using humanitarian funds. San Diego, CA

“As people move back into their houses, the department will fund replacement of white goods such as fridges and washing machines, and ‘basic furniture’, she said. Longer term she said the department could offer support for decorating and repairs, such as rewiring.”

Check out the whole article here.

Salvaging flooded appliances

The website Service Centre Info meantime shared useful information on saving and refurbishing flooded appliances for possible re-use.

“Disconnect the power source that is feeding the appliance before unplugging it from the socket. Since water can short circuit an appliance, non-conductors can shock you so it is advisable to wear gloves before handling wet insulation. Flush all parts with clean water and allow the appliance to dry for several days. In order to get rid of moisture on contacts and motors use spray on drying agents. Remove insulation and install new insulation. If the insulation can’t be removed better discard the appliance and if you are not ready to discard your appliance and if you feel that water is not contaminated then drill on the outer casing of your appliance and allow the insulation to dry and make sure you don’t drill through the wires.”

Read the rest of the guide here.

When faced with flood damage, it is important to call flood damage professionals as soon as possible to mitigate problems.

Devastating Flood Damage

Epic Proportions

Hurricane Tomas Floods Streets of Gonaives, Haiti

Epic flood damage. (Photo Credits)

Flood damage can be very devastating that it does not only damage properties it can also claim lives.

A flooding in Louisiana for instance, resulted to fatalities and at the same time destroyed properties as reported by the website The Daily Mail. San Diego AceRestoration Flood service 

“At least 13 people died in the flooding that swept through parts of Louisiana after torrential rains lashed the region over the last week. Approximately 40,000 homes were damaged by the floods, while 4,000 people still remain in shelters. While the waters have slowly receded in many areas, the hard work of rebuilding lives is just ramping up, with people cleaning out their homes while others struggle to find a place to stay.”

Read more here.

Destruction from Flood Damage meantime featured photographs of a family home that has been destroyed by flooding from a body of water that overflowed following continuous rains.

“The family said they fact that everyone is safe makes the situation, which could have been a lot worse, a lot better. They said while the home is close to a creek, it is not in a flood plain. They estimate about five feet of water flooded their yard.”

Check out the photos here.

Further damage from flooding

WDSU Meantime shared some tips on how to clean up flooded homes following a major flooding incident.

“Wear gloves, breathing masks, eye goggles, long-sleeve clothing and pants when cleaning up mold. Find and fix the moisture problem; otherwise, mold will return. Shut off all heat or air conditioning to stop mold spores from spreading.”

Read the rest of the tips here.

Flood damage professionals should be called in as soon as flood waters start to subside so that further flood damage can be avoided.

Walling and Flood Damage


Protecting against Black Water Damage

The illnesses that black water damage can bring

Eww this is dirty.

Black water damage and health. (Photo Credits)

Black water damage can be life-threatening. It can cause illnesses and discomforts that could pose serious health risks to occupants of a home or a commercial structure. Ace Restoration Homepage

Category three water damage or what is described as water damage is primarily from Sewage backups, drainage overflows, and weather-related flooding. says in case a homeowner finds his home getting inundated with black water damage here are preventive measures that he can do to avoid illnesses.

“Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water. Discard any food that was not in a waterproof container. Undamaged commercially canned foods can be saved if you remove the can label, wash the can and then disinfect it with a solution of bleach water. Relabel the cans, including expiration date with a marker. Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent. Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill.”

Read the rest of the post here.

Other preventative measures

The News Star also published some warnings. “If your home was flooded, it should be cleaned and dried quickly and thoroughly to prevent mold and future damage by wood rot. Since flood water may be contaminated with sewage or other biological pollutants, it’s advisable to safely disinfect, too. Areas wetted by clean rainwater, for instance from a leaking roof, may not need to be disinfected. All wet areas should be allowed to dry thoroughly before being covered or enclosed.”

Check out the rest of the post here.

More than just the obvious health dangers

The website My Ark LA Miss meantime shared that apart from the obvious illnesses there are other physical and mental discomforts that flooding could bring to homeowners and their families.

“The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says the flood water and damage could pose a risk to the family’s health. Dr, Shelley Jones, the Regional Medical Director for DHH, says, ‘People, who have been through these traumatic things, are more likely to not eat right or not get enough rest making them more prone to disease.’ Experts say flood victims returning to their homes should be on the lookout for mold that could make them sick.”

More on the report here.

Black water damage should never be dealt with on one’s own. Professional help should be sought at all times to ensure that illnesses and other damages can be prevented.

Saving Flood Damaged Photos


Restoring Flood Damaged Photos

Can pictures still be restored?

Photo Album - 1919

What to do when photos get damaged by flooding? (Photo Credits)

Apart from furnishings and personal items, photos are also one of the personal effects of home owners that get damaged by flooding.

There is hope though for those who end up with damaged pictures. San Diego, California offers a unconventional tip for salvaging water-damaged pictures.

“While it may seem like an odd place to store wet photos, photo restoration professionals recommend that you place them in a container filled with clean tap water — the colder, the more beneficial to salvaging your photos. Only place photos in water if they’re still wet from a disaster, however. Change the water every day while you’re working on saving your family photos.

Separate as many photos as possible before returning them to the cold water bath, and repeat the soaking process if needed. After you’ve successfully separated your family photos, you should then store them in water until you are able to rinse them individually. Rinse each photo in another container under clean tap water (paying strict attention not to run it directly onto the photos). Do this until water runs clear into the container. Repeat.”

Read the rest of the article here.

There is still hope for flood-damaged photos

Click Here also offers some advice especially to those who may not be able to tackle the salvaging process right away.

“If you are unable to deal with the drying process at the moment, carefully place all items into a plastic bag and then directly into a frost-free freezer. If possible separate some of the most important items using layers of wax paper. These items will hold up in a frozen state, buying you several weeks or even months of time so you can deal with them when you are ready. Once you’re ready to proceed, place your items in a cooler inside an air-conditioned space and allow them to slowly thaw over the course of ~2 days, then proceed with the following steps.  Note: If the items are in enclosure like albums or frames, remove them immediately to prevent from sticking. REMEMBER: Do not freeze glass!”

Check out the rest of the tips here.

Avoid water damage

Protecting documents and photos from possible flooding is still the best way to ensure that important memorabilia like pictured remain undamaged.

Water Damage gave this advice to property owners.

“Sort your documents by the ones that are most important to the ones that are less important. The most important documents will need to be moved as far away from flood damage as possible. This means upstairs or in an attic. You can even go the extra measure of storing them off of the property in a storage unit or a safety deposit box at a bank.”

Read more here.

Did you ever had to deal with flood damaged photos?