How to Prevent Mold after a Flood
Have you had flood or water damage in your Orange County home? Are you worried about the possibility of mold growing and contaminating the air quality in your home? Do you want to know how you can prevent this toxic substance from dwelling in your home and possibly infecting you and your family’s health? You have come to the right article.
My home has been flooded, what do I do now?
If your home has experienced water damage, or a flood, there is a very good chance that you could end up with a serious mold issue. Especially if you don’t dry the wet building materials right away! Try not to panic or stress; as this can be a very overwhelming event. There are proper steps that you can take after the flood occurs to prevent mold from growing on top of the water damage. The most important thing that you can do as soon as you’ve had a flood is to contact a professional remediation company that also specializes in water damage clean up. By doing this, you will have the peace of mind that your home will be properly taken care of, and that it’s safe for you and your family to live in.
Is there anything that I can do myself before the mold remediation company comes out to my house?
Yes, there are a few steps that you can take before the water damage specialist comes out to your home (especially if they can not come out immediately). Mold can grow at a very rapid pace; it can start to form as quickly as a day or two. Therefore, it’s very important to act as quickly as possible. Mold grows when the area is wet or moist.
Try to remove as much of the water as you can, as the black mold will grow quickly.
It is important to try to get the water out of the house quickly. More importantly, it is crucial to protect your safety and prevent further damage. If you are going to remove the water yourself, you need to do as much as you can at one time. Do not enter the home more then once. Also, remove any items in the home that did not get wet to protect them as well. You will need to use items such as mops and buckets to get the floodwater out of the area. Only perform this task if it is safe. You will need to be very cautious of any electricity (as we all know, water and electricity do not mix well). Remove any electrical items after disconnecting the power. Before you attempt to clean up after the flood, turn the power off in your home.
Mold grows when the area is wet or moist, the area needs to be dried out to prevent mold from growing.
Without the proper drying equipment such as a dehumidifier, drying out your home can be close to impossible in the time frame that you have. One thing that you can do though, if the air outside is not very humid, is to open all of your doors and windows to ventilate the home. Once the mold remediation company comes to your home, they will be able to set up the dehumidifiers and fans to dry the home as quickly as possible, since timing is key in this situation.
What about my carpet? Will that have to be removed?
Absolutely, if the carpeting in your home got wet, you will need to get rid of it. The padding on the back of your carpet takes a very lengthy time to dry out. This will lead to it smelling very bad as well as mold growth. Getting new carpeting will be easier to manage then dealing with that musty smell and toxic substance growing somewhere that you cannot see.
My drywall got flooded as well, what happens to that?
Inside the walls or drywall is one of the most common places for mold to grow (also, somewhere that it cannot be seen). Once the mold remediation company comes to your home, they have a device that can see through your walls to detect any moisture that can lead to mold (this is called an infrared thermal camera). Since drywall is a very porous material, mold cannot be properly removed from it. Therefore, if mold is growing in your drywall, it is safest to remove and replace it. Also, the mold remediation company will check to see if the insulation within your walls was contaminated. If it was, it takes a very long time to dry out and should be replaced to prevent mold from growing and contaminating the air that you and your loved ones are breathing.
Can I stay in my home during this process?
It is recommended to move your family elsewhere during this process, as your home is not going to be a safe environment during all of the remediation. If you have friends or family you can stay with during this time, which is the safest thing you can do. Your home needs to be completely dried out and mold free before moving back in. The mold removal specialist will perform a mold test before giving you the go ahead to move back in.
Is there anything that I should do after my home has been dried out and repaired?
Yes, another important step to take is to disinfect the damaged area. You will want to use antifungal and mold killing solutions, typical disinfectants will be good to use as well. You will have to disinfect every surface of your home to play it safe including shelves, floors, and walls. Any items that absorbed water and cannot be dried out within 24-48 hours should generally be disposed of. Any bedding, curtains, rugs or clothes that were flooded should be able to be washed in your washing machine. It is always better to contact a professional in this case, but those are the steps that you can take yourself before the remediation company comes to your home.