Summer Nor’easter Leads to Serious Mold Concerns

flood mold

Last weekend, the DC metro area saw heavy rainfall from the unseasonal “Nor’easter” that led to flooding in many areas. In some locations, or entire neighborhoods, power outages were common and rising water levels closed access to main roads. Many residents were away on vacation or caught unaware of basement flooding until days later. Homeowners and property management are now left dealing with the aftermath of the torrential rains.

sump pump overflow
Sump pump failure led to basement flooding in this Prince Georges Co home

ServiceMaster NCR (SMNCR), headquartered in Alexandria, VA, has been busy responding to area-wide water damage caused by flooding from ground water seepage, leaking, window & drain overflow and sump pump failures. Now that the rains are past, new problems may be becoming evident. Mold and bacteria may have begun to grow on areas that were not dried properly.

Is bleach the best way to clean mold?

Mold spores are airborne and invisible to the human eye. They can rapidly multiply even after your best efforts to clean. Often bleach is the suggested method for cleaning. ServiceMaster NCR has a list of reasons that using bleach isn’t advised:

  • Bleach leaves residual moisture, which is one of the conditions mold needs to grow.
  • If you used bleach on porous surfaces, such as unfinished wood and drywall, you may have removed mold on the surface, but may have left roots/hyphae intact where it can continue to grow.
  • If you use bleach or other cleansers you may cause the mold to become aerosolized and spread to other areas.
  • Bleach, when mixed with other cleaning products (containing ammonia) creates potentially deadly chlorine gas.
  • Bleach is heavily corrosive and can irritate or even damage, the eyes, skin and respiratory tract.
Flooded Basement
Flooded Basement in Fairfax Co

Alternate cleaning methods are strongly advised. The EPA suggests scrubbing with detergent and water and then drying completely.  Guidelines also recommend making certain the source of water is fixed, reducing humidity and wearing protective clothing.

For professional mold removal services in Alexandria VA and Washington DC area, call the mold remediation experts of ServiceMaster NCR at (855) 957-6627!

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