A lot of residents in western Iowa are still cleaning up after the heavy rains last weekend. Dr. Mark Rupp, Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, says one of the first things you need to focus on is getting rid of mold.
Within about 48 hours after getting wet, the mold can really start to flourish, he says, so if you can dry things out within that period of time, you’re within that safety zone — but it’ll get harder to prevent it after that. Dr. Rupp says mold can be a health hazard. People who are allergic or prone to asthmatic attacks can have a flareup of their symptoms, he says, and even people without known allergies can have "a hyper-sensitivity type of reaction."
Rupp says if an item smells musty or you can see brown, black or gray spots, mold is growing and the item should just be thrown away. To clean and prevent its growth, he says household products will work fine.
Use regular old household bleach. Rupp says a cup of bleach to a gallon of water makes a very effective germicidal preparation that will kill mold, wiped onto solid surfaces, floors, countertops, walls and other surfaces. He warns that mold can also lurk where you cannot see it, in areas like crawl-spaces, carpet backing, behind drywall and in stacks of paper.