How to properly decontaminate after renovation or water damage in your home

Published May 10, 2017

When someone says “decontamination,” what often comes to mind is rat infestations, swarms of fleas and roaches, and perhaps the ghastly scent left behind by a startled skunk. However, even a simple renovation can release clouds of harmful toxins, mold spores and microscopic dust into the air. Water damage, such as a burst pipe or a flooded basement, also creates a fertile breeding ground for mold and microbes. Therefore, these scenarios also require a thorough decontamination. In most cases, you can take the necessary steps yourself.
After a renovation, it is absolutely necessary to get rid of all the construction dust accumulated during the process. To do so, you will need to sweep and vacuum all surfaces, preferably starting with the walls and the ceiling and working your way down towards the floor. You could also use a damp cloth to wipe off the dust. While cleaning the ceiling, take care as well of your light fixtures and your ceiling fans. Of course, you also need to clean your windows, doors, and furniture, both on the outside and the inside, without forgetting even the inside of your closets. Unnecessary precautions? Hardly: construction dust can cause real damage to your lungs, up to and including lung cancer.
Mold can also damage your lungs and worsen asthma symptoms – and when the conditions are good, it grows extremely quickly, like most fungi. Therefore, after a plumbing disaster it is important to get rid of all the humidity as quickly as possible. Before you start the procedures, don’t forget to cut the power in your home, as water conducts electricity and therefore presents a potential shock hazard. After removing any soaked carpets and furniture, clean the floor with mops and towels, then ventilate the house with dry, fresh air if possible. A dehumidifier can help dry the area quickly and prevent the formation of mold and other harmful microorganisms. After the area is dry, you may want to use a disinfecting product as well.
In the most severe cases, for instance in the event of a sewer backup into your basement, it is highly recommended to call a specialized decontamination company to carry out the decontamination procedures. Because sewer-borne water has a high probability of carrying pathogens, proper equipment and experience are necessary to take on this kind of task. Elite Decontamination, your local expert in Montreal for thorough decontamination and sterilization, can use specialized tools and chemicals to remove mold and any other contaminants from your home. Whether you’re faced with something bigger than you can handle or just want to save yourself time and effort, you can count on us to make your home safe and free of contaminating agents.