Removing drywall from the basement of a flooded home means protecting you and your family from a host of respiratory problems associated with the development of mold. Congested sinuses and nasal passages, irritated eyes, a sore throat, and even asthma can be attributed to the presence of living or dead mold.
Sensitivity to mold varies from one person to the next, but to be on the safe side, it is best to eliminate mold as soon as it is detected or even suspected.
Lightweight and very small, mold spores travel easily through the air. They range in color and can be brown, black, orange, green, or white. Sometimes salts or mineral deposits can be mistaken for mold. However, if the affected area is salt, it will disappear. Mold does not.
Mold develops in a flooded home quickly. It takes no more than 24 hours for mold to grow in basement drywall or any other part of a flooded home. Other places to look for mold include beneath cabinets, on the wall-side of baseboards, carpet, rugs, and in carpet padding. Anything organic that has been subjected to water holds the potential for growing mold.
Porous materials such as drywall cannot be adequately cleaned and must be removed and replaced. Because mold spores are so tiny, removing affected drywall necessitates the use of a face mask.
Particulate respirator masks are specially made to filter out mold spores and need to be used along with rubber gloves. Any clothing worn during the removal of mold-infected basement drywall should be immediately washed afterward.
When tearing out the water-damaged drywall, make sure you remove all of it that may harbor mold. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends removing wet drywall 12 inches above the high-water mark, but other experts advise removing up to two feet from where the drywall indicates water damage. The idea is to make sure all mold and mold spores are taken out and disposed of properly.
If your basement has been flooded, there is no time to waste. Get rid of the damaged basement drywall and any mold that may be present. It is important. Removing mold-infected drywall can make the difference between illness and health.