Risks of cleaning flood damage yourself

Many people in the Paducah area are still working to get their homes back to livable condition after Tuesday’s flooding. Stanley Steemer called in employees from Marion, Illinois, because so many homes were effected.

It takes just 72 hours after flooding for mold to begin to grow, and doing the cleanup yourself is probably not that effective, local professionals say.

“You put your hand on there and you think it's dry. I'm telling you, without proper equipment that home is not dry,” said Kirk Studzinski, who owns four Stanley Steemer branches.

Studzinski says flood water is very different from flooding from a hot water heater or a busted pipe. “When you get a ground water contamination, when the water from outside has gone over the surface, you don't know what all it has picked up before its coming in your home,” he said.

Many people like James and Angela Mays cannot afford professional cleaning. They say their landlord has not yet repaired the damage to their home. Although management says repairs are coming, the Mays have already begun taking matters into their own hands.

“We just bought some Pine-Sol to try to at least get it off of the floor but, as far as the walls and stuff like that, we really don't know what to get for it,” James Mays said.

Without proper equipment, moisture will still be in the walls, and mold will still grow. Studzinski says if you must do it yourself, you have to extract the water, cut the carpet into strips, remove the carpet, run a dehumidifier and a fan for three days. Then, most of the moisture should be gone. 

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