Red Cross alerting residents of potential mold issues - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Red Cross alerting residents of potential mold issues

Source: Red Cross website Source: Red Cross website

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The South Carolina Red Cross is urging residents to be aware of potential mold dangers when they return to their flood damaged homes. 

Red Cross Health Services Volunteer Pam Deichmann, a retired public health nurse from Des Moines, Iowa said, “Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.”

Mold can be recognized from its black color and from a pungent or musty odor. It can develop almost anywhere in the interior and exterior of any structure.

“When we talk to those affected, we want them to know that if things are wet – insulation, sheet rock, furniture – and have been wet for 48 hours or more, then they do have to be removed,” Deichmann said.

The Red Cross offers the following cleaning tips for the removal of mold in areas after items that cannot be cleaned easily, such as furniture, wood, carpet and leather, have been permanently removed: 

  • Use bleach to clean mold off hard surfaces (floors, stoves, sinks, certain toys, countertops, flatware, plates, tools)
  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners
  • Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, goggles and N-95 mask
  • Open windows and doors to get fresh air when using bleach
  • Mix no more than one cup of bleach in one gallon of water
  • Wash an item with the bleach and water mixture. If the surface of the item is rough, scrub the surface with a stiff brush. Rinse the item with clean water.

Deichmann says respiratory issues and burning sensations in the sinus area can be among the first signs you may sensitive to mold. 

“There can be a variety of symptoms,” she said. “Generally, you can just not feel well because your body is trying to react to something it doesn’t quite know what it is. It can decrease your immune system so you can also catch other things."

For additional information about available Red Cross flood related services and resources, please call (855) 773-3175. For more tips on preparing for, responding to and recovering from floods, please visit www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/flood.

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