The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes offers a great guide to disaster recovery called Rebuild Healthy Homes.
Published in May 2015, the guide sets out the following Top 10 Tips for Rebuilding Healthy Homes:
- Remind yourself often to put people before property! Make safety your top priority.
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including protective clothing and a NIOSH-approved respirator, every time you set foot in a damaged or moldy building.
- Assess structural stability and hidden hazards before you enter. A professional inspection may be needed.
- Prepare a plan (supplies and methods), make a map (disposal and clean-up site layout), and review insurance policies and disaster assistance resources.
- Go slow when pumping out water, then act fast to dry out and remove mold. Copy and share the DIY Mold Removal Guidelines sheet with workers.
- Always remove wet insulation and foam padding, even if the surface looks dry and clean.
- Assume lead-based paint and asbestos are in homes built before 1978 (unless verified not present). Be mindful that disturbing such materials increases the hazard.
- Control dust, capture debris and contain contaminants – with wet methods, drop cloths, debris bags, HEPA vacuums and workers trained in safe work practices.
- Check credentials and hire only licensed and insured contractors, Lead-Safe Certified Renovators, certified Asbestos professionals, Mold Remediation Contractors, Fire and Water Damage Restorers, and other professionals, depending on types of work needed.
- Restore for More than Before! Install hazard-resistant materials, connectors and building systems. Include energy-saving and healthy home improvements.
Click on the image below for a full-size version of the Top 10 Tips.