Hurricane Cleanup in Central Florida
Hurricane Ian has passed but the aftereffects of the storm still linger. In areas along the western coast of Florida, there is true devastation, but the interior of the state wasn’t spared. Throughout Central Florida, power outages and extensive debris litter most lawns. Roofs are covered in leaves and branches, gutters are full, driveways are covered, and windows are filthy. The pounding driving rains and wind of a hurricane can test any property to its very limits. With luck, you and your family made it through the storm safely, with minimal damage to your property. The place that many homeowners find themselves now is asking themselves, “What now?” The answer is multifaceted. A return to normalcy would be great. But how to achieve it? You need to start taking projects off your list!
Exterior Home Cleanup
In the aftermath of hurricanes, the need for home maintenance is greater than ever. There is of course the immediate and obvious issue of debris. Much of this you can safely remove from your lawn; indeed most lawn services offer their pricing for this service and are undoubtedly busy right now. The debris that accumulates on your roof, in your gutters, and on top of pool screens is another matter entirely. There is no simple solution for most homeowners: they need to get on their roof and clean it. Aside from the obvious risks associated with climbing on a roof, most homeowners do not own the type of specialized equipment that is needed to properly do this job; a ladder and a broom won’t get the job done. As for cleaning off the pool screen, a hose or a leaf blower will achieve very little. This type of work requires a trained professional who knows how to navigate these areas safely, has the right equipment to efficiently move debris, and is insured. You don’t need that risk yourself! As for the windows, most of us just don’t have that kind of time. Second-story exterior windows? Never!
This is only the beginning of the issues following a hurricane. Once the storm has passed, the state needs weeks for the atmosphere to fully return to normal, for normal weather cycles to resume, and for the water to recede. This leads to a MASSIVE uptick in the growth of bacteria, mold, fungus, algae, and lichens. Mosquito populations grow out of control as a multitude of new breeding pools form. Whether it is insects, or just a nasty green hue growing on your walls, the problem is out of control after a hurricane. The unique combination of heat, water, debris, and organic matter is the ideal environment for these things to grow. Each of these issues is exponential in its extent; the longer you wait, the more damage there is and the faster it grows. 70% of homes have mold on them, and nearly all have bacteria.
Mold Removal and Prevention
Controlling the growth of bacteria, mold, and fungus is especially necessary for health reasons. It’s well documented that being without air conditioning will cause air to become stale and promotes the growth of dangerous bacteria and mold within the home. The exterior of the home does not get equal attention, but it’s of great importance. Aside from the obvious aesthetic value of having a clean home, and the financial benefit that provides when selling a home, there is an added health benefit to a clean exterior. It makes the growth of mold on the interior of the home next to impossible, as you have removed the majority of infestation points around the home. This is similar to preventing infections by washing your hands. Keeping the outside clean keeps the inside healthy. Mold is a huge issue. Most people are not aware of how big an issue this is. Black mold, also known as toxic mold due to its mycotoxins, can be of particular concern; this mold can kill a healthy adult. It’s not alone though. Scientists in Canada identified 270 different species of mold living IN HOMES. Florida is more prone to mold than Canada due to temperature and humidity.
Of the 21.8 million people reported to have asthma in the U.S., approximately 4.6 million cases are estimated to be attributable to dampness and mold exposure in the home. (EPA and Berkeley National Laboratory, 2007) 7,000,000 deaths each year are linked to indoor and outdoor air pollution. This is especially concerning when you consider just how widespread mold issues are. 45,000,000 buildings in the U.S. have unhealthy mold levels. A staggering 93%!!!! All chronic sinus infections have been attributed to mold according to the Mayo Clinic, as applied to allergies. Many people who become sick with “allergies” each year are just suffering from mold infections they acquired at home or work. This is particularly dangerous for infants; infants exposed to mold in their living environment have a nearly 3x greater risk of becoming asthmatic than those who did not have extensive mold exposure in their first year of life.
Mold Grows Faster Than You Think
Mold is the enemy. Each year, Mold destroys more wood than all the fires and termites in the world, Combined!!! So mold is devastating, both medically and to your physical property. But how fast can mold grow? It may be dangerous, but doesn’t it take a lot of time to grow? You might be surprised. Any kind of water damage, like a burst pipe or the aftermath of a hurricane, can facilitate the growth of mold as soon as 24-48 hours. That means that if you see debris, the mold is already there!!! It’s already growing, even if you can’t see it. And because it is growing, it will continue to grow until it is killed or it runs out of food. Your home IS the food, so it will not run out. When you consider that 25% of the population has a genetic predisposition that makes them more susceptible to mold illness, this is not something to be taken lightly. Let’s not forget that dirty moldy sideways are dangerous to walk on; you don’t need a broken neck AND a lung infection.
Soft Washing Your Property
Maintaining your property is a lot of work but the benefits are huge; your health and your happiness depend on it. While house cleaning may not have the similar urgency in our minds of a growing lawn that needs mowing, maintaining your lawn doesn’t have a direct impact on your ability to breathe; cleaning your home does. We aren’t all doom and gloom, however. There is a genuine bliss to be found in a newly cleaned home. There is almost smug confidence to be found in making this decision before your neighbors do and the envy it inspires. This is where Soft Washing comes in. We SANITIZE the surface, not just clean it. When we are through the infestation is gone, and the property looks better than any traditional cleaning would provide. The unique blend of chemicals in our Soft Wash solution, specifically tailored to each different surface, provides a clean that lasts longer, looks better, and doesn’t risk damage to your home. You just had your house blasted by a hurricane; you don’t need any more high-velocity water hitting your home. Pressure washing has its uses, but it is grossly inadequate for Hurricane Cleanup.
Post Hurricane Soft Washing
Following a hurricane, it’s easy to see the effects of something so large and powerful. Homes destroyed; lives altered; the effects visible everywhere. The aftereffects that we cannot immediately see with the naked eye, like the spread of mold and bacteria, have the greatest potential for widespread harm. Indeed, in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, the greatest loss of life came in the year that followed. Many were without power for so long that mold grew unchecked and many people became ill. The size and scope of Hurricane Ian, along with an understanding of history, tells us that we should expect the same if not worse. This is the time to get ahead on this. Don’t wait until you get other things taken care of; this needs to be done before it becomes a problem for you as it will for everyone in Florida. The debris on your roof is full of organisms that want to eat your home. Immaculate SoftWash’s unique equipment, training, and products are your solution.