Stay healthy while cleaning up wet, moldy houses

People across St. Joseph County continue to clear out their flooded basements and homes, but cleaning has it's dangers. There are specific steps that are recommended in order to stay safe and healthy.

Levels of contamination in flood water increase because of raw sewage and other toxic substances, causing illnesses, allergies and diseases. 

The first step is keeping children and pets away from the water. Before starting the cleaning process, wearing protective gear is strongly encouraged. Covering cuts or scrapes and trying not to inhale product fumes is also important. 

A mixture of one cup of bleach and five gallons of water is recommended for household objects.

If there’s mold scrub with one cup of bleach and one gallon of water.  But remember; never mix bleach with any other cleaners.

Wet or moist furniture can cause serious health concerns over time. If furniture is largely affected, it's better to dispose it. 

Although it might be hard to throw away items with sentimental value it’s better to do it within 24-48 hours, as they can become the base of bacterial growth.

Air quality is also at stake. If standing water isn’t removed dust mites and microorganisms can rapidly grow.

Next is food.

Only food that’s in a protective container should be salvaged. Anything other than that must be thrown away.

Additional information can be found on the CDC or FEMA website.  

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