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Remove Wet Materials Quickly After a Flood
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes the following in
regard to the removal of wet materials after a flood.
It can be difficult to throw away items in a home,
particularly those with sentimental value. However, keeping certain items
that were soaked by water may be unhealthy. Some materials tend to absorb
and keep water more than others. In general, materials that are wet from
cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried within 24-48 hours should be
discarded, as they can remain a source of microbial growth.
You may be able to dry out and save certain building
materials (for example, the paper backing on fiberglass insulation and
wall-to-wall carpeting that were soaked only with clean rainwater). You may,
however, want to consider removing and replacing them to avoid indoor air
quality problems. Because they take a long time to dry, they may be a source
of microbial growth.
In addition, fiberboard, fibrous insulation, and disposable
filters should be replaced, if they are present in your heating and air
conditioning system and have contacted water during flooding. (If a filter was designed to
be cleaned with water and was in contact with clean rainwater only, ensure
that it is thoroughly cleaned before reinstalling.)
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