If you have a flooded basement or broken pipe to deal with, one of the top lists on your to-do list should be learning how to prevent mold after water damage. Mold can cause further damage to your house and it’s can lead to health issues.
And, when it comes to flooding and wet surfaces, it’s important to act quickly or to prevent mold from developing. So, here are some tips on how to handle the mold problem or prevent mold growth after a water damage event.
Stop Any Leaks
The first step to your mold remediation process is to locate the source of the water damage. If you’ve got yourself a case of a broken pipe, gallons of water could flow from your walls or floors quickly. You need to stop the stream of the water first.
Shut off the main water valve. If you’ve recently moved to a new building and can’t find it, check the realty inspection report. They usually mark the shutoff valve clearly on the document, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it.
When you’ve shut down the main water valve, there still may be some water left in pipes above the leak. So, turn on the lowest faucet in your home or apartment building and let water drain out of the faucet instead of the pipe.
Start With Water Extraction
The next thing you should do is remove all the water from the flooded area. If you take all the pictures and the water damage couldn’t have been prevented, it’s likely that your insurance would cover the cost of a water restoration company.
If you decide to go DIY, you can rent a specialized water vacuum to remove the water or go with a bucket and a mop. Both are OK, just make sure you put on protective equipment before heading to the affected area.
This is especially important if the cause of the water damage is a natural disaster or a sewer backup. Such water is contaminated and coming into contact with it without proper protection can lead to health problems.
Remove Wet Rugs and Carpets
Ideally, you will remove your rugs and carpets within the first 24 hours of a flood or other water damage. Even carpets that have been exposed to standing water for less than 24 hours can be saved. Take them for professional cleaning or do the cleaning yourself and leave them out in the sun until they’re fully dry.
If you were able to pull them out of the wet surface and steam clean them properly, you will be able to prevent mold growth and mildew from appearing. If you haven’t finished with the water extraction process, you will need to throw the carpet padding away and replace it.
If you don’t, mold and mildew will grow underneath them and spread to other surfaces and materials they come in contact with. And you may not even notice it’s there until you start experiencing health problems because of it.
Begin the Drying Process
When you’ve removed the flood water, it’s time to begin dealing with the drying process. It’s highly important that you make sure all your wet items and damaged materials are completely dried before you can continue.
You can take the wet items out it the sun for them to completely dry and rid of excess moisture. The space affected by flooding needs drying, too. If the weather is nice, open the doors and windows so air can aid the drying process.
Get On to Cleaning and Sanitizing
The next on your to-do list for mold remediation or efforts to discourage mold growth is to clean each room in the building that’s been affected by the flood. And also clean each space and surface in the room because mold spores are not always visible.
When it comes to cleaning materials, you can get over-the-counter cleaning chemicals that remove both bacteria and prevent mildew and mold growth. You can easily find them at your local hardware store.
If you’ve got excess moisture and visible mold infestations in any space affected by the water, you can clean it with bleach. Pour one cup of bleach in a gallon of water, apply to the surface, and don’t rinse. You can also use a 50/50 solution of ammonia and water. Spray it and then rinse.
Use Paint With Mildewcide
If your walls, drywall, or other building materials have been damaged significantly and you need to paint them again after they’ve dried properly, get the right kind of paint this time. Paint with mildewcide in it is great for preventing mold develop, especially in wet surfaces like bathrooms.
The good news is that many paints already have mildewcide inside. Still, make sure you confirm the one you’re taking for your walls or drywall contains it. Ask the dealer or check the ingredients. It won’t let mold and mildew develop and it will remove any infestations you haven’t noticed.
The Most Common Questions About Mold
Now let’s take a look at some of the most common questions on how to prevent mold growth after water damage and answers to them. Maybe what you’re wondering is among them and you’ll get the answer to your questions!
What Does Mold From Water Damage Look Like?
At first, you won’t even be able to see the mold. That’s why it’s important to spur into mold remediation after water damage, even if there’s no sign of mold to the bare eye.
When it does develop it may look like black stains, a combination of black, white, and green, or a furry growth. If you have a more serious case of mold, it can even affect the areas it’s on and it can compromise their integrity.
How Long After Water Damage Does Mold Grow?
It will take 24-48 hours for mold to develop and appear, under the right circumstances. The right circumstances are wet or moist dark areas. If you don’t take any steps against it and don’t eliminate the moisture, it will spread even further.
Does Water Damage Always Cause Mold?
Water damage is the best possible environment for mold to grow. However, water damage doesn’t always cause mold. Whether or not mold will develop depends on several factors like how severe the water damage is, how quickly it was cleaned, and the type and extent of surfaces affected.
How Likely Is Mold After Water Damage?
As we said, whether or not mold will develop depends on the aforementioned factors. If you remove the water quickly and air out the moisture properly until it’s dried properly, you probably won’t get mold. Still, better safe than sorry, and any mold prevention activities won’t hurt you.
What Can I Spray on Wet Wood to Prevent Mold?
Concrobium Mold is best for preventing mold growth on wood. You can find it in most supermarkets. It comes in a spray bottle and you should apply a thin, even layer of it. Let it dry out. It will eliminate mold growth as the moisture dries on the air and there’s no need to rinse or clean it afterward.
Can Mold From Water Damage Make You Sick?
Yes, it can. That’s why it’s so important to wear protective clothing and equipment if you are dealing with water damage, moisture, and especially mold. In less severe cases, it can make you feel sick as you would from the flu or cold. You can experience headaches, coughing, dizziness, and tiredness.
In more severe cases, it can lead to serious issues. People who have been exposed to severe amounts of mold for prolonged periods of time can experience nose bleeds, skin rashes, memory loss, and even asthma and other breathing conditions.
Now You Know How to Prevent Mold After Water Damage
And that’s a wrap for this article. We’ve shared useful tips on how to prevent mold after water damage so you can handle it like a pro. The biggest takeaway should be not to underestimate water damage, moisture, and mold and the issues they can bring to your property and health.
So, if you are unsure you can handle the situation on your own, contact a professional water restoration expert. The costs are usually covered by the insurance company. Good luck with your efforts and feel free to ask us any question you may have below!