If you have experienced water in your home after the recent floods, you will want to be sure that the moisture content of the wood in your home is less than 15% before new drywall; paneling or other coverings are installed. Our office has a moisture meter you can check out to use to determine what the moisture level is in your home. Contact us at 402-821-2151 to check out the meter.
What follows are some general guidelines from the University of Missouri Extension on preventing mold growth after flooding in your home. This same Extension publication has lots of valuable information about all topics for those who were affected by the flooding. You can access this publication at: http://extension.missouri.edu/explorepdf/miscpubs/mp0904.pdf
Preventing Mold Growth after Flooding
• Remove wet carpeting right away. It is best to discard it. If the carpet is salvaged, clean, disinfect and dry it quickly. Never reuse flooded padding.
• Cut away wet wallboard and remove all damp insulation right away — even if wallboard appears to be dry. Wet insulation will stay wet far too long, leading to the growth of hidden unhealthy mold and decay fungi inside the walls.
• Clean with non-phosphate detergents (any phosphate residue is mold food). If you
disinfect, follow directions carefully and never mix bleach with ammonia or acids (vinegar). Disinfectants can kill molds, but they do not prevent regrowth.
• Do all you can to speed the drying of subfloors, slabs and wall framing before
replacing insulation, wallboard and flooring. Use air conditioning, heaters, fans or better yet, a dehumidifier. Water damage restoration contractors with special equipment (dehumidifying blowers) can provide the fastest drying.
• If possible, test the moisture content of studs and sheathing (using a moisture detector) before replacing insulation. Wood should drop below 20 percent (UNL recommends 15 percent) moisture content by weight before you close the wall.
• DO NOT use vinyl wallpaper. It will prevent further drying on the inside.
Source: University of Missouri Extension http://extension.missouri.edu/explorepdf/miscpubs/mp0904.pdf