The electrical systems in modern cars are particularly prone to flood water damage. Engine control computers, vehicle sensors, infotainment systems, and other electronic devices – along with wiring harnesses and the many connectors that join them together – can be very difficult to salvage. Unless every part is thoroughly cleaned and dried, inside and out, problems caused by corrosion can crop up weeks or even months after the flooding.
Wear a respirator or a facemask rated for black mold spore protection, and cover arms, legs and hands to avoid contact with mold spores. Use soap and a sponge to remove visible mold. If the moldy area is dry, lightly spray with water, as this will reduce the incidence of airborne mold spores during cleaning. Next, use commercial black mold removal products, which can be found in most hardware or home repair stores, to disinfect the moldy areas, in addition to any adjacent areas. If you use bleach, make sure it won't discolor the material or surface. Place all sponges, equipment and other materials used in cleaning in a heavy duty garbage bag, and if possible, remove the bag through an nearby exit as opposed to the main house, to avoid distributing mold spores.
Wanna keep things really cheap? Do it yourself! In some cases, minor mold problems (less than about 10 square feet of mold) in places like a bathroom corner can easily be handled by a handy homeowner with a free weekend afternoon and a few basic supplies from the hardware store. For more information, see our previous post on the subject: Do I need a Mold Remediation Professional?
When you’re sure the mold has been eliminated, seal the wood surfaces with pigmented shellac like BIN or an oil-based primer like KILZ. Repaint cleaned wall surfaces with a regular latex paint that contains a mildewcide to help stop future mold growth. Then install new insulation and drywall and nail the trim back on. And keep in mind that if the moisture returns, mold will return.
If you’ve just experienced a water event, you might be wondering what to do next: Seeping water damage is progressive, pervasive and can mean valuable objects may become permanently damaged – especially if emergency response is delayed beyond the first 48 hours. When moisture seeps into items of value there are immediate steps that can be taken to reduce the amount of long-term damage that results.
In the United States, those individuals who are affected by widescale flooding may have the ability to apply for government and FEMA grants through the Individual Assistance program. On a larger level, businesses, cities, and communities can apply to the FEMA Public Assistance program for funds to assist after a large flood. For example, the city of Fond du Lac Wisconsin received $1.2 million FEMA grant after flooding in June 2008. The program allows the city to purchase the water damaged properties, demolish the structures, and turn the properties into public green space.