FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Prompt Flood Cleanup and Removal of Mold Can Help Prevent Health Problems
Wise – For Southwest Virginia flood victims there may be an invisible threat that is nearly as dangerous as the floodwaters. Standing water and waterlogged materials are a breeding ground for mold. Mold should be dealt with quickly in order to prevent illness, according to disaster recovery officials.
When airborne mold spores are present in large numbers, they can trigger allergic reactions, asthma attacks, infections and other respiratory problems. In addition, exposure can cause development of an allergy to mold, resulting in long-term problems.
If you can see or smell mold, a mold problem likely exists. (Mold has a musty or earthy odor.) The first step in the clean-up process is to identify the source of the moisture and try to stop it. Then clean, disinfect and dry the moldy area.
Moist, fibrous materials and stagnant water provide the ideal climate for mold growth. Molds can infiltrate sheet rock, carpeting and insulation. These materials generally should be discarded if they become saturated.
After cleaning, apply a disinfectant solution of household bleach to the surface (one to two cups bleach per gallon of water.) The bleach solution can be applied with a garden sprayer or wiped on with a sponge or rag. Be sure to wet the studs, wall cavities, and floors thoroughly. Use a wet-dry vacuum to collect extra bleach solution. Allow the bleach solution to dry naturally for six to eight hours. The bleach solution should not be removed or dried quickly because extended contact time is important.
Some points to remember when working with bleach:
When working around moldy areas, use respiratory protection. People vary in their susceptibility, but almost anyone who breathes enough mold spores will have an adverse reaction. Such problems may include tightening in the chest, flu-like symptoms or even more severe reactions.
Anyone with questions about the cleanup of a water-damaged home can contact their local emergency manager, extension agent or health department.
Be ready. Be willing to help.
Virginia Disaster Relief Fund
How is the money distributed?
Fund proceeds will be distributed to local long-term recovery groups, members of the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other non-profit and faith-based organizations as a grant.
Many of these groups work directly with individuals and families following a disaster.
How else can I donate?
The Virginia Disaster Relief Fund benefits projects that include: repair or rebuilding of underinsured dwellings, transportation assistance, replacing essential household items, helping renters establish new rental residence, temporary living expenses while recovering from loss, and more.
How can I donate?
If you want to help, send checks made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with “Virginia Disaster Relief Fund” noted in the memo line to:
P.O. Box 1971
Richmond, VA 23218-1971