HURRICANE IRMA: Mitigate Mold Immediately, Can Begin To Develop Within 24 To 48 Hours of Intrusion
By Gina Liberto, Syle & Fashion Editor // September 17, 2017
'STYLING THE SPACE COAST' SPECIAL EDITION
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Due to Hurricane Irma damage from wind, rain and storm surge, many people are experiencing water in their homes or businesses, and the first course of action is to eliminate any standing water and dry the area.
The plan of action from this point recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency is best determined by a professional.
The EPA warns mold can begin to develop as quickly as 24 to 48 hours after water damage occurs. It is imperative to begin water cleanup as soon as possible to prevent mold growth, damage and health risks.
Under normal circumstances mold can be detected by smell and signs of water damage on walls or ceiling, and can grow in places to the invisible eye.
A musty odor is a sign that mold may be present.
BEST PRACTICES TO PREVENT MOLD
• The first crucial step is removing any standing water. A wet/dry vac may work or for larger spaces a pump or professional equipment may be required.
• Removing the water is not enough in preventing mold growth. Mold growth is promoted by moisture including that found in the air. Dehumidification, the removal of moisture in the air, and ventilation are needed. Opening windows, running fans and dehumidifiers will begin the drying process.
• During the drying process, remove any wet items, such as furniture, flooring and carpeting or drywall. Keep in mind many of these items may need to be replaced. Some items may be sanitized such as books, documents, artwork and other personal items.
• For smaller areas, you can clean nonporous surfaces with commercial cleaning products, soap and water or a solution of a cup of bleach to each gallon of water.
• Make sure to follow the instructions and take safety precautions for the cleaning product used and always wear appropriate safety gear.
• Porous surfaces such as drywall need to be replaced. Consult the EPA’s Website for a brief guide to clean up mold, moisture, and your home.
If you’d like to check for mold and allergens yourself, consider purchasing a test kit. First, test areas of concern and send the samples to be analyzed. The findings can be normal, slightly elevated or elevated and need to be immediately addressed.
Several molds, such as Stachybotrys, commonly known as black mold, can be hazardous.
Regardless of the level of damage, the best course of action is to be active in the prevention of mold to prevent further damage and health hazards. Contact a professional as soon as possible.
For more information go to EPA.gov
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Space Coast Daily Fashion and Beauty Editor Gina Liberto has spent years helping women from all walks of life look good and feel great about themselves. She believes in helping ladies discover and develop their beauty on the inside and out and feels both are the foundation for building and staying confident in one’s self and succeeding with the struggles of everyday modern life as a wife, parent and businesswoman.
A graduate of the University of Maryland and originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Gina is the oldest of two siblings. After living and working in the Washington DC area after graduating college, she relocated to Melbourne, Florida in 1995 to be closer to her parents.
Having worked in advertising and the media in Brevard County for several years, Gina was lured to the family’s furniture business where she stayed for five years. After giving birth to two beautiful daughters and becoming a single mom, she needed to spend more time at home, and in 2003, started a direct sales business with Premier Designs High Fashion Jewelry.
Over the years, the business has grown and expanded into styling, training and consulting on everything from helping women find the right piece of jewelry, to building a wardrobe for a new look.
Gina married Alan Zlotorzynski in 2009 and is now the proud mom of three girls – Isabella, Sarah and Lauren – and a boy, Marco. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, as well as training and speaking on fashion and style.
She has a unique perspective on style and its relationship to the everyday woman. These days, as her Premier business continues to grow and as the Fashion and Beauty Editor of Space Coast Daily, Gina helps women on Florida’s Space Coast develop their personal style while balancing their busy lives.
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