Mold and mildew can be a major issue after water damage occurs. These fungi thrive in damp, dark places and are especially prevalent during floods.
If water damage has affected your home or business, there are steps you can take to prevent mold growth. However, it’s recommended that you contact a water damage restoration or mold removal professional for any mold remediation needs.
Remove Wet Materials Like Furniture and Rugs
Following a water damage event, it is imperative to remove all wet materials from the area as quickly as possible. Allowing these substances to sit allows mold to grow and spread throughout your house.
Wet items such as rugs, carpeting, furniture and insulation are particularly vulnerable to mold growth since they provide moisture, oxygen and a food source for the spores that cause it. It is therefore essential to thoroughly remove these wet items from your home and replace them with more resilient materials that resist mold growth.
Once the affected materials have been taken away, disinfect them using a solution of bleach or another cleaning product. Allow these surfaces to air-dry for at least 24 hours.
It is beneficial to use an air conditioning unit or dehumidifier for moisture removal from the environment. Furthermore, open the doors and windows in the area to allow some fresh air into the room during this process.
Once the air in a room has been conditioned, it’s wise to use fans and vents for circulation of air and to eliminate excess humidity. Once humidity levels have returned to near normal levels, it is safe to move furniture and other items back into your home.
If it has been more than 48 hours since your water damage, calling a water damage professional for cleaning and disinfecting is recommended. Doing this prevents mold growth or other potential health hazards caused by airborne contaminants in your home.
Additionally, you should contact your insurance company to report the damage and begin the claims process. They can provide recommendations for certified water damage restoration professionals to help restore your home as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Though the steps may seem tedious at first glance, they are essential for avoiding mold growth. By following these guidelines, your chances for successful water damage repair will be greatly enhanced.
Dry the Area that Has Water Damage
After a leaky pipe, flooding, or other water intrusion that causes damage to your home, it’s essential to dry the area quickly. Doing this helps prevent mold, mildew and other fungi from growing.
Once the area has dried, you can begin cleaning and disinfecting it. Doing so will keep your family safe in the area while decreasing the chance of further harm or illness.
Once the area is clean, you can use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity in the air and accelerate drying time. Additionally, open windows and doors for more air circulation.
If you have access to a professional, ask them for help with this step. They can use moisture meters, infrared imaging devices and dehumidifiers to guarantee that walls are dry before beginning repair work.
Unattended drying in an enclosed space can lead to mold growth, leading to serious health risks. Furthermore, it’s likely you won’t be able to save all your possessions if the area cannot be fully dry.
If you can’t dry items, dispose of them right away. Doing this helps protect them from developing mold and other contaminants weeks after removal.
It’s essential to remove wet insulation if it can’t be completely dried out, since this may provide food sources for mold. When replacing drywall, select a board that is mold-resistant in order to prevent future growth of this harmful organism.
Finally, don’t forget to inspect for signs of mold, such as a musty smell or red spots on drywall or carpeting. These could indicate moisture is still present and it could be time for you to contact a water damage or mold removal expert.
When drying out water damage, look for a dark spot without rings on the surface that feels firm or soft to touch. This indicates that there hasn’t been enough time for water damage to weaken drywall and lead to mold growth.
If there are several dry rings surrounding a spot where there has been water damage for more than a few days, it can be determined that it is either new or old damage.
Disinfect the Water Damage Area
Once water damage occurs, it’s essential to disinfect the area immediately in order to eliminate bacteria and other fungi that could have caused it. Doing this helps prevent mold growth.
Start by thoroughly cleansing the area with a mixture of soap and water. Scrub and wipe every hard surface in the affected area, such as walls, floors, furniture, and appliances. Additionally, you can use a bleach solution to disinfect it.
Once you’ve finished cleaning the area, it’s important to dry it as much as possible. Mop up any water with towels or a shop-vac style water vacuum and ventilate the space to expedite drying time.
If the area has been heavily rained on, you may need to rent industrial strength fans to circulate air and accelerate evaporation of moisture in the atmosphere. Additionally, keep an eye out for musty odors as these could be signs of potential mold growth.
It’s not unusual for mold to begin growing within 24 hours after water has been removed from an area. Not only is mold unsightly, but it can be highly hazardous to your health as well.
Mold can have serious health repercussions, such as respiratory problems, fevers and more. If you are allergic to mold, avoid being in any room that shows any signs of it.
Additionally, discard any items that have been wet for more than two days, such as carpeting or stuffed animals. Not only will this protect your health but it can save time in the long run.
Another important thing to remember is that mold spores can spread to other surfaces if water damage was not properly cleaned up and dried. Therefore, it’s essential that all your belongings – from furniture to electronics – remain free from mold damage.
Preventing mold after water damage is essential for keeping your home healthy and your wallet happy. Mold may not be a pleasant issue to deal with, but it’s one that can be avoided through careful planning and effort.
Clean the Air
When your home experiences water damage due to a leak, rain or flood it’s essential that you take steps to prevent mold from growing. Not only can this have serious implications for the health of your family but also cause significant property damage.
Mold can grow on virtually any surface that receives water and moisture, such as wood, drywall, ceiling insulation, paper products and carpeting. It spreads rapidly and easily and creates an unsanitary breeding ground for respiratory issues and serious illnesses.
After water has been removed, it is wise to hire a professional for cleaning and disinfection of the affected area. Usually, they will use biocide – an environmentally friendly chemical approved by EPA – which effectively kills mold.
After cleaning and disinfecting, it’s wise to thoroughly dry the surface. You can do this by running fans or using a dehumidifier, eliminating any remaining moisture.
For areas that are harder to clean, such as drywall, you may require the services of a professional cleaner. They will use an effective bleach solution to eliminate any mold or mildew that is present.
A bleach solution will destroy any mold spores present in the air, which can pose serious health risks to those who breathe it in. This is especially important for those with asthma or other respiratory disorders.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you can sanitize all nonporous items like metal and ceramics with a bleach solution. Be sure to rinse everything well and allow it to air-dry completely before using it again.
If your house has been severely damaged by flooding or other extreme weather events, it is imperative to clear away any debris which could have been contaminated with bacteria. This includes trash, food items and anything that has come into contact with sewage or mud.
As you remove and dispose of debris, be sure to wear rubber gloves and a face mask for your safety. The mask will shield your skin from chemicals used in cleaning and disinfecting as well as abrasives.