Using what we know at the Gulf Coast

I imagine there is a lot of funk to kill in the flooded homes along the Gulf Coast. I heard there was a lack of bleach. Use chlorinating tablets (trichloro-s-triazinetrione) instead. They are 90% stabilized chlorine, about $2/lb. at Wal-Mart or whatever, and have cyanuric acid to boot. Acid is good because it's hypochlorous acid one is really after. In pool maintenance for instance, 2 ppm free chlorine in a swimming pool with a pH of 7.2  is far more effective than 5ppm at 8.2.

Bleach is good for amateurs: at 5-6% sodium hypochlorite it is less likely to do something stupid. Pool supply stores sell "liquid chlorine" with is about twice as potent. But compared to tablets, the stuff is inefficient to truck into a disaster area and weak. Please be sure to were PPE when working with chemicals like this though: we use 3M masks with VOC cartridges. Here is a link for the facemask; here is a link for the cartidges. You can also get them at Sherwin Williams, maybe Home Depot or Lowes. The full-face masks are best because chlorinated water in the eye sucks, and many gaseous chemicals are absorbed through eyes.

For our crunchy friends, or applications that should not be bleached or treated with strong oxidizing agents, Borax (sodium tetraborate) is great. It is alkaline, ostensibly safe, and has no harmful fumes to mitigate with masks or whatever. You can find it in bulk for $0.60-$0.48/lb. and should be cut 16:1 with water to fight mold. That sounds like a better tack than schlepping bottles of bleach to the coast for sure.

Hope this helps. We have been hacking the chemistry of what's around us for over a decade to create floors from lowly foundation slabs. We commit a % of our gross profits to serving those in our community who can't help themselves, and we are excited to have a well-planned mission for this coming week. If you want to join us, but can't really afford a week without working for pay we have you covered. Call our office at 830-798-2717 or email for more information.