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HUD   >   Program Offices   >   Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control   >   HUD Information for Cleaning Up Homes Hit by Hurricanes
HUD Information for Cleaning Up Homes Hit by Hurricanes

Finding mold in your home

  • In addition to areas that were flooded, search for moisture in areas with a damp or moldy smell, especially in basements, kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Look for water stains or colored, fuzzy growth around ceilings, walls, floors, windowsills and pipes.
  • If you smell a musty odor, search behind and below carpeting, furniture or stored items.
  • Inspect kitchens, bathrooms and basements for standing water, water stains and patches of out-of-place color.

Cleaning up mold

  • Avoid touching mold or moldy items with your bare hands. Wear gloves, preferably long ones, and goggles.
  • If there is more than a little mold, wear an “N-95” or “N-100” respirator, available in hardware stores for about $12 and up.
  • Fix any water problems immediately. Clean up spills or floods.
  • If you can, take furniture that has been wet outside to dry and clean, because direct sunlight prevents mold growth.
  • Dispose of mold contaminated materials, especially porous items.
  • Use open windows, fans or dehumidifiers to dry surfaces as long as the problem remains.

Should I bring in a professional?

  • If the moldy area is less than 10 square feet, in most cases you can handle the job yourself.
  • If there is a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers more than 10 square feet, you may need to hire a professional.
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