Storms, floods, leaking pipes, ice dams, and other potential water damage sources can be particularly dangerous for your property. Even if repaired, there are chances that mold spores may have germinated and are ready to contaminate your drywall, wood framing, and personal belongings.
With the right conditions, it takes as little as 24-48 hours for mold spores to germinate. So in case of water damage, you should ask a home restoration service to do a thorough investigation of the house (or commercial property). You can also take steps to mitigate the need for mold damage restoration in the first place, though. In this article, we will share five ways to help you prevent mold in your home or office after water damage.
After experiencing water damage, the goal is to return the building's structure and all contents to their normal moisture content. In the case of minor damage, you may be able to accomplish this without the help of a restoration company. Your home air conditioning system could be an aid in this process by reducing the relative humidity to as low as the system will allow. Many systems also have a 'drying' option, which can help to further reduce the humidity level inside your home. Also, consider using a filter with a MERV rating of 8 or higher in the system. Another option is to install a UV germicidal light in your system to help kill germs and bacteria.
Home restoration companies use specialized water extraction devices – high-powered vacuums, but you can also use a shop-vac to remove any standing water in your home until you can get help from a water damage company. Find any source(s) of leaking water in your property, like a leaky pipe from the HVAC system, leaking water heater, leaking supply line to a sink or toilet, etc., and dry it out ASAP. Don't forget to check your crawl space if you have one.
Porous items include damp rugs, carpets, wooden items, and other objects that can retain water. Dry them out and keep them in an area with very low humidity for at least 72 hours. If the weather is conducive to placing them outside, the sun and outdoor air will help them dry.
If you have a dehumidifier, now is the time to use it. According to the EPA, mold can begin to grow at 60% relative humidity, so ideally, you should try to keep it below that. 30% to 50% is the best humidity level to prevent mold. Purchase an inexpensive hygrometer (many can be found for under $20) to monitor the relative humidity in the affected areas. If your dehumidifier is unable to drop the humidity below 60%, you should consider renting commercial equipment or contacting a restoration company.
Disinfect the affected area with an EPA-registered antimicrobial that cleans, disinfects, and deodorizes. This will help prevent additional growth; however, the mold spores will still be present and could have a negative health effect on some people. If you are concerned, the prudent thing to do is check with your physician and contact a reputable mold remediation company for help.
If you aren't sure about what to do or have questions, call your local water damage restoration company.
There's a lot of expertise that goes into restoring a home after water damage and we're happy to talk with you about your particular situation any time. If you are still concerned about mold or water in your home, Mammoth Restoration is at your service, 24/7, 365 days a year, ready to help you keep your home in the best possible condition at all times. So, give us a call, and we'll set up a time to meet with you at your convenience!