Fish and visitors stink after three days
— attributed to Ben Franklin. So will your house, if you let mold start to grow. Don’t let Irene leave her smell behind.

We are not expected to see rain for the rest of the week, so you have a good opportunity to get your house dry before mold gets a chance to grow.

The EPA says:

When water leaks or spills occur indoors – ACT QUICKLY. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow.

Mopping-up standing water is just the first step. You need to get all the wood, plaster or wall-board in your house completely dry. You need to throw away or completely dry any porous material that got wet (this includes paper, fabric, cardboard… anything that is not metal, plastic or glass.) If the surface of non-porous material is dry, you can leave it.

Do not just “air dry” areas that got wet in the hurricane. Open the windows. Run fans. Run dehumidifiers when the windows are closed. Don’t stop until it is dry all the way through, not just on the surface.

If you are still bailing out from major flooding, I am sorry for your misfortune. When you get the water out, don’t neglect this final step. The sooner the better. A fully dry house is your best defense against mold.

If you are still without power at home, open the windows and take wet items (like curtains and suitcases) outside to dry. Begin the drying-out as best you can.

Good luck everyone. Don’t let the mold win!