FLOODING RESOURCES: Take precautions against mold, electrical hazards when reentering your home
Last Updated: 88 days ago
If your home is one of the many that sustained flood damage, precautions should be taken to maintain your safety as you return.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provides the following information on how to reenter flooded homes and protect yourself from mold and other hazards.
For homes with standing water, the main power should be turned off from a dry location. The assistance of an electrician may be necessary because of electrical hazards.
For homes that have been closed up for several days, assume mold has contaminated the contents and air out the house for at least 30 minutes before staying for any length of time.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, people with asthma, allergies and breathing conditions may be more sensitive to mold and people with immune suppression are more susceptible to mold infections.
Fans and dehumidifiers can help remove excess moisture as you dry out your home.
The heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system should be checked to make sure it is free of mold.
As you clean the home, wear protective boots, gloves and eyewear and keep children and pets away from the area. Discard items that cannot be cleaned, like furniture, carpeting and toys, and clean all hard surfaces thoroughly.
Flooding can also lead to sewage contamination. Contact with raw sewage can lead to bacterial, viral and parasitic infections such as E. coli, Salmonella, Giardia and hepatitis. Have a waste-water professional inspect your sewage system if you suspect damage.
All food that is not hermetically sealed in cans should be thrown away if it has come in contact with non-potable water. This includes screw-top bottled water.
Refrigerated and frozen foods that have reached 41 degrees Fahrenheit for more than four hours should be discarded.
Visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for more flood resources (http://bit.ly/167599a).
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