If part of your home has flooded, make sure these air-clearing tasks are on your list of cleanup duties.
Flooding is one of the most stressful things you can deal with as a homeowner. Not only does it damage furniture, carpet and personal belongings, it can have long-lasting effects on the foundation of your house. On top of everything, flooding can easily pollute your indoor air with bacteria, mold spores, mildew and other icky particles hiding in floodwater. If you experience flooding in your home, make sure these air-care tasks are on your cleanup list.
The most important thing to know about flooding and indoor air quality is that if there’s floodwater, there’s probably mold. Exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions and irritation, especially to people who have asthma or are immunocompromised.1 The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you wear an N95 respirator, gloves and goggles to avoid inhaling or ingesting mold while you begin cleanup.1
If you’re dealing with major flooding after a natural disaster, call a professional to get help with big stuff like removing standing water and treating walls and floors. After you make the call, start cleaning where you can. Mold and bacteria can grow in areas that haven’t technically been touched by floodwater, not to mention particles that settled during the flood, like asbestos from old insulation. Use a gallon of water mixed with one cup of bleach and wipe down all the surfaces near where the flooding occurred.1
When it comes to preventing mold growth, air circulation is your best friend. Open the windows and set up fans to blow fresh air into your home, and keep the bathroom and kitchen fans running at all times. If you have a dehumidifier, run it—the less moisture in the air, the fewer chances mold has to grow.
If the floodwater was in a room with poor ventilation or few windows, a room air purifier can help. Filtrete™ Smart Air Purifiers are available for medium and large rooms. Each device comes equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity and an air quality indicator light, so It can monitor the quality of your indoor air AND clean your air. All air purifiers come with a True HEPA filter that helps capture 99.7% of airborne particles, including mold, bacteria and viruses.*
Keep air moving after floodwater has been removed to reduce the chances of mold forming in your house. Before turning your HVAC system back on, have a professional take a look to make sure it hasn’t been damaged. Once it’s in working condition, replace your HVAC filter with a Filtrete™ Smart Air Filter. Pair it via Bluetooth® to our Filtrete™ Smart App to get notified when it’s time to change your filter. And, you can always scan the barcode of a regular Filtrete™ HVAC filter to set a timer and get notified In the app.
*As small as 0.3 microns from the air passing through the filter media. Initial efficiency value.