Buchanan County, Iowa

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Environmental Health

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Mold & Flood Cleanup

Mold is a natural part of the outdoor environment,  Mold is present in outdoor air at some level throughout the year.  In order for mold to grow indoors, there must be a significant source of water, moisture, or humidity.  If you see or smell mold in your home, you probably have some mold growth.  Mold growth problems are always caused by a moisture or water problem.  It does no good to clean the mold if you haven't solved the water issue first.  Buchanan County Environmental Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health do not recommend testing for mold for several reasons:
  • Mold is present at some level in outdoor air throughout the year so test results may be unreliable
  • It is very difficult, even for professional, to get meaningful test results for mold
  • Mold testing is very costly
  • There are no regulatory levels or guidelines for comparing test results
Please see the following information regarding mold and how to properly abate mold problems.

A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home - EPA
FAQ: Mold - IDPH
FAQ: Mold (Spanish) - IDPH
Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings - EPA


Cleanup After a Flood

It is crucial to properly cleanup after a flood, especially if sewage backed up into your home.  The following materials contain information on how to properly cleanup after a flood and disinfect surfaces to reduce the potential for mold growth.

General Cleanup Safety
Being Safe After a Flood: Activity Book for Kids - CDC
Keeping Pets Safe and Healthy After a Flood - IDPH
Personal Hygiene During and After a Flood - IDPH
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning - IDPH
Staying Healthy During Flood Response - IDPH

Flood Cleanup
After a Flood: Cleaning Playground Equipment - IDPH
After a Flood: What to Do About Personal Items - IDPH
Cleaning and Disinfecting After a Flood - IDPH
Cleaning Clothing and Linens Contaminated by Flood Water - IDPH
Fact Sheet: Flood Cleanup: Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems - EPA
Flood Cleanup and the Air in Your Home - EPA
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Flooded basements - IDPH
Hiring a Mold Remediation Contractor - LSU AgCenter
Mold Removal Guidelines for Your Flooded Home - LSU AgCenter
Reentering Your Flooded Home - IDPH
Reentering Your Flooded Home (Spanish) - IDPH
Repairing Your Flooded Home - FEMA & American Red Cross
Sandbag Disposal - IDPH
Storm Recovery Guide - LSU AgCenter
Storm Recovery Guide Updates - LSU AgCenter

Food Establishments
After the Flood: Cleaning & Re-opening Requirements for Food Establishments - IDIA
Re-opening Requirements for Food Establishments after Water Service Disruption or Contamination - IDIA