5 Ways to Prevent Mold After Water Damage
Whether it’s because of storm season, flooding, or a leaking pipe, water damage can be extremely dangerous, especially when left unchecked. Not only can it affect the structural integrity of your home, but it can also lead to consequences such as mold formation. Mold can start forming as soon as 24-48 hours after water damage and can affect both your property and cause health-related issues such as allergy-like symptoms. In severe cases, toxic mold can cause bleeding, lung irritation, infections, and even cancer.
When water damage occurs, water can sink into porous building materials and create an ideal environment for mold and mildew to thrive in. It has organic compounds that can feed mold and encourage growth. Therefore, without swift and appropriate action, you will see mold formation. Moisture can be hidden in flooring and walls and can often be difficult to detect and dry out, which is why thorough dry-up is so important. The following are five preventive measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of mold formation after water damage.
1. Turn Off Water, Heating, and AC
One of the most important steps in preventing mold problems and further water damage is to turn off the water, especially if the leak is from inside your home. You should also turn off the air conditioning and heating to keep the property at a moderate temperature and avoid excess coolness or heat. Both can complicate drying out the property.
It is also recommended that you check the property’s exterior to see whether there are any pools of water near the foundation of the building. These can not only lead to mold but can also cause cracks and result in other damage.
2. Remove Water
Whether it’s through specialized water vacuums or by using a bucket, all water has to be removed from the affected area. It’s important to note that while you can handle water from leakages and burst pipes without special equipment, it’s not safe to do so when dealing with contaminated water. Therefore, if there’s a sewer backup or water damage involving contaminated water, you shouldn’t approach it without protective equipment. The best course of action, in this case, would be to call in professional water damage restoration services like 911 Restoration Central Missouri.
3. Remove All Porous Items
Items like damp rugs and carpets should be removed immediately and steam cleaned or dried in the sunlight. Because damp rugs and carpets take so long to dry, they must be removed from the area. If this isn’t done and they remain wet, mold can grow under them and spread throughout the area. You should also remove furniture, especially upholstered furniture that is likely completely soaked. The same can apply to wood furniture. While a professional can tell you whether or not it can be saved, look out for it being warped or otherwise deformed. Items that have been wet for less than 48 hours may be able to be salvaged but should be professionally cleaned and examined.
4. Dry Out and Dehumidify the Area
Moisture prevention is the key to avoiding mold formation. All wet surfaces should be dried, and humidity should remain under 50% to prevent mold development. In addition to using industrial-sized fans, you can also open windows to air out the area and use dehumidifiers to ensure complete dryness. Moisture in the air causes mold. Getting the property dry as soon as possible is key to preventing this. If it’s sunny outside, take advantage of this and ensure that all windows and doors are open, and the sunlight is let in.
5. Sanitize and Disinfect Surfaces
When all the excess moisture is taken care of, you should prioritize sanitizing and disinfecting areas with strong cleaning solutions or bleach. When disinfecting surfaces, let the solution stay on surfaces for approximately ten minutes before rinsing and drying them. It’s also important to note that ammonia and bleach should never be used together since the fumes from combining the two can be toxic.
Tackle Mold Removal with 911 Restoration
While there are steps you can take post-water damage to discourage mold growth, preventive measures aren’t always enough to mitigate the problem. Mold formation can still occur, and professional mold damage restoration services like 911 Restoration are required to rid your home of this problem.
Unfortunately, most people don’t successfully dry out their properties. This can be because they don’t have the proper tools to take care of the job or the expertise to know the areas they need to target. Therefore, it should be noted that drying out a house after extensive water damage isn’t always possible without hiring professionals. This is more efficient and effective since they already have the right tools and equipment for the job and are experienced in water damage restoration.
If you’re in the Central Missouri area and require home restoration services, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re available 24/7 and can help with everything from sewage cleanup and water damage restoration to mold remediation and disaster restoration.