Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
The community is advised to take the necessary steps to prevent the growth of mold inside of buildings, especially residential premises, following the heavy rains and flooding caused by Tropical Storm Phillipe.
Deputy Chief Environmental Health Officer, Ms. Henrietta Alexander said after the infiltration of water, persons should act quickly to remove water so that they are able to assess the damage and begin to dry out wet or moisture-damaged surfaces and objects. Dealing with this issue quickly will minimize the chances of mold growth and subsequent proliferation in the area.
Persons are also encouraged to remove damp carpet or flooring. If flooring, carpets or rugs have sustained water damage, they should be removed immediately. Persons may use towels to dry wet floors and furniture.
“Water can be easily removed by down towels which may absorb the majority of water from your floors and furniture. Once this has been done, you can determine the next best course of action,” Ms. Alexander said.
According to the Deputy Chief Environmental Health Officer, ventilating your home is also important, as adequate ventilation will aid the drying out process as well as remove excess moisture from the air, thus reducing the likelihood of mold formation. Persons should ensure that as many doors and windows are open to allow air to flow through their home.
Other tips include using a dehumidifier to minimize moisture, adequately disinfecting walls, floors and other surfaces, as well as replacing water-damaged items.
“The community must remember that mold thrives in dark, moist and poorly ventilated environments, so it is imperative to remove as much water as possible and ensure adequate ventilation,” Ms. Alexander stated.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the environment with the potential to negatively impact the health of the population are managed efficiently to enable all persons in the BVI to attain and maintain optimal health and well-being.