Kansas City – May 14, 2007 - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is providing recommendations for controlling mold. After storms and flooding, it is important for property owners to clean up in a way that eliminates mold growth as much as possible.

Exposure to mold can lead to allergic reactions, asthma and other problems with breathing. Mold can also damage wood and other parts of a building if left untreated.

After flooding, flooded structures should be dried thoroughly and quickly. Mold spores are almost everywhere and will grow on sheetrock, carpets, furniture and other materials in the presence of moisture. Here are some things to know when cleaning up after flooding:

  • Wipe off any visible mold and clean floors and other hard surfaces with a mild soapy solution.
  • Rinse and thoroughly dry the area using fans and dehumidifiers.
  • Wash clothing and other fabric items with laundry soap and thoroughly dry them.
  • Just spraying with bleach or other mold retardant, or simply painting over the mold, only masks the problem and does not stop growth.
  • The longer ceiling tiles, wallboard, carpet, upholstered furniture and other porous materials remain wet, the greater the mold growth. Eventually, the growth cannot be adequately removed, and the items will need to be discarded.
  • If mold covers a small area, you might be able to eliminate it yourself. However, if mold growth is over a large area, or if it has grown into surfaces such as walls or floors, you might need to contact a professional who specializes in mold removal.