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How to keep mold and mildew under control
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Question:A pipe in my house broke and my house is an inch under water. I pumped all the water out, removed the carpet, underneath pad and the baseboards, and I had fans blowing since then to dry the walls. What else do I have to do to avoid mildew?
Answer:I hope you did not forget to remove the soaked furniture. You have to ran fans and possibly a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will speed up drying when outside humidity levels are high. Try to rent a commercial dehumidifier instead of buying a home model because it will remove three to four times more water. Obviously you should shut windows and doors while running the dehumidifier. You most likely have to tear out the wet dry walls, and possibly even the floor in the affected rooms. Once a dry wall does get wet, the mold may grow. Mold is everywhere in the air and only needs water.
Sometimes you will get the recommendation to wash it off with bleach. I personally did that in a smaller case of water damage and it fixed the problem. You seem to have more damage though than I did. Know that bleach will take off the top of the mold only and make it appear lighter. The mold will come back because the bleach doesn't kill all of the mold. And yes, mildew is a mold. If you bleach treat one side of your dry wall only then this does not treat the paper on the back of your dry wall sheets and the mold will work its way through. That is why you really need to replace the wet walls.