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Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Flood Cleanup to Protect Indoor Air Quality

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During a flood cleanup, the indoor air quality in your home or office may appear to be the least of your problems. However, failure to remove contaminated materials and to reduce moisture and humidity can present serious long-term health risks. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria and mold. They can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions and continue to damage materials long after the flood.

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For basic information on how to clean up after a flood and how to prevent indoor air problems:
For information on ordering the following publications, visit EPA's National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP).

Flood Cleanup and the Air In Your Home: Booklet

Cover to the Flood Cleanup and the Air In Your Home document

This 28 page booklet prints in landscape as a 15 page printout. Please set your printer to landscape before printing.

The booklet is available in three languages:

English Version EPA 402-K-07-002
Vietnamese Version EPA 402-K-06-006-VIE 
Spanish Version

Flood Cleanup and the Air In Your Home: Poster

Poster about Flood Cleanup and the Air In Your Home

The poster is available in three languages:

English Version (EPA 402-H-07-001)
Vietnamese Version (EPA 402-H-06-001)
Spanish Version (EPA 402-H-06-002)

Technical Report on Flood-Related Cleaning

Cover of the technical report on flood related cleaning

This document addresses strategies for safely returning flooded buildings to habitable conditions after a hurricane or other weather event. It is is a technical summary of existing research and guidance on health hazards from floods, flood damage, and cleanup activities. EPA’s Indoor Environments Division commissioned the report; however, it does not necessarily represent EPA policy.

Technical Report on Flood-Related Cleaning

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Fact Sheets

Flood Cleanup - Protecting Indoor Air Quality

Cover to Factsheet Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems During Flood Cleanup

This fact sheet contains basic information on flood cleanup with illustrations and links to more detailed information

Fact Sheet: Flood Cleanup - Protecting Indoor Air Quality

Flood Cleanup Webinars

Flood Cleanup Webinar Presented by Dr. Gene Cole
This is a recording of the July 16, 2018, technical assistance webinar “Flood Cleanup” featuring Dr. Gene Cole and hosted by EPA’s Indoor Environments Division. Dr. Cole addressed many flood-related issues, including: specific remediation requirements for various types of water damage; use of biocides and personal protective equipment; best methods to reduce health and safety risks; and how to determine when remediation is complete.

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Replacing Your Flooring after a Flood

If you are repairing your home or building after a flood or hurricane, to prevent mold growth you should be sure your foundation is dry before you replace the flooring. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) issued a standard which describes an easy way to check if your concrete slab is dry enough to replace the flooring. The basic approach is to fasten the edges of a clear piece of plastic sheeting to a concrete slab, and wait for approximately 16 hours. If moisture is visible on the plastic sheeting, it is still too wet to replace the flooring. For more details, visit the ASTM's portal for standard, testing, learning and more

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Additional Information about Floods

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