After a flood, when you’ve have removed the contents from the home and open up the walls, you’ll see areas of mold, typically. There’ll be other contaminants from the flood waters. You want to use water initially to get off as much of that. Just physically remove it with water. Then, after that, you can use a water detergent solution. You want to read the label on that product to make sure you have the right amount of that. Those products, the detergent products, will be more effective if you do the initial washing with the water and then come back later with a detergent-type solution.
Use a two-bucket type system. You can use any number of different brushes. We have the solution in one bucket, a clean solution, and then a rinse bucket in the other. That is a more efficient way of cleaning. You can use pressure washing during the process, but using a high-pressure washing system sometimes can cause more damage than good. So, you want to be aware of using not too high of a pressure of water.
Then, lastly, you could consider using a bleach-type solution to sanitize, but in most cases, removing the mold is the important aspect of it. It’s not just enough to kill the mold. You have to physically removed the mold, and that’s your main focus when you’re trying to get into this cleaning process.
When you use different cleaners or detergents, make sure you take a look at the product and read the label. It’ll give you an idea what the different concentrations are and how it can be used. That’s an important aspect when you get into the clean-out phase, trying to remove some of the mold and other water contaminants that came from the flood waters.
If you sanitize with a bleach solution, you can use a common spray bottle to do that, but it’s important to keep the surface wet for about five minutes or more. You can use systems like this to remove more efficient at doing that. Sometimes it helps to get into cracks and crevices better as well, and so those can be important tools to use in the sanitizing process.
The other note to make on sanitizing is that the bleach-type solutions tend to be more effective on nonporous surfaces like bathtubs, for example. Because of the porous nature of the wood, it’s a semi-porous material, it tends to be less effective at killing microorganisms, so keep that in mind as you go through and sanitize in your home. Always read the label on that to get the appropriate concentration and use the product in a way that’s going to be effective.
House Floods and Furnace Damage
The Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania, advises that all heating and cooling systems, including furnaces, be replaced after a flooding. “Corrosion begins inside the valves and controls, and damage may not be readily visible, even if the outside of the device is clean and dry,” they say, and warn that, at best, damage can lead to reduced efficiency. In a worst-case scenario, it can cause an explosion. These risks are not worth taking a chance.
Investing in a costlier new furnace may be an expense initially, but in the long run saves more than just money. Yet, how will you know if it’s time for a replacement? Here are a few pointers.
When Repairs and Maintenance Become Expensive
Properly maintaining a furnace, such as replacing parts per manufacturer instruction, is necessary to keep it in good condition. Many furnace filters also ensure good quality air in your house, so regularly replacing them is of paramount importance to your health.
However, when the annual costs of maintenance or repair become equal to or exceeds the price of a new one, it might be time for a new one.
When Your Furnace is Getting Old
Check the furnace label or consult with the manufacturer to determine when the furnace was manufactured and be sure to have your unit’s model number at hand. Furnaces usually have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. So, if your furnace is over two thirds of its expected life span and requires multiple repairs, it may be time to purchase a new one.
When Energy/Fuel Bills Are Increasing Over Time
Like all things, many older furnaces might be working harder to heat up your home or becoming less efficient than a new one, even if it’s not malfunctioning. Check and compare your bills from time to time when your furnace hits its 15th birthday. If they steadily increase, it might be wise to consider buying a new furnace. Higher efficiency will mean spending less on fuel over time.
When a Furnace’s AFUE Rating Is Low
AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency and usually a unit’s AFUE rating number is supplied with the product information. The math is simple – the higher a furnace’s AFUE rating, the less you can expect to spend on fuel.
When Your Furnace Is Spewing Dirt or Soot
If soot or other dirt can be seen around the furnace or around its registers, it’s time to seriously consider a new one. This problem means that your furnace has or may be using too much oxygen, which can dry out the air and release irritants. This can have serious health implications for everyone in the house.