S To Take To Prevent Mold And Further Water Damage
When you are dealing with water damage and a potential mold problem, there are a few definitive dos and donts to implement as youre waiting for help to arrive.
- Turn the water off in your home, especially if your water damage is coming from a source within your home.
- Be sure to turn off all Air Conditioning units and heating systems. You should keep your home at a moderate temperature if possible, but avoid use of the central HVAC system. Excess coolness or heat can complicate the drying process.
- Turn off any fans in the house, whether theyre ceiling fans, box fans, or free standing ones. Using your fans to dry out water can often spread any mold spores throughout the house.
- Pick up any personal items from the floor that would add to your loss.
- Try to either move furniture out of the wet area or lift it up and put something under the legs such as a block of wood that will keep it out of the water.
Leave everything the way it is and dont start throwing away ruined possessions until after someone has looked at the damage. Often professional cleaners can save possessions that otherwise might be unsalvageable. If possible, take photos to document all your damage. This will be helpful when you file an insurance claim.
Can Black Mold Spread From House To House
Yes. If you have had mold in your old house and youre moving into another space, it is possible to cross contaminate this new environment.
Because mold spores are not visible to the naked eye, it is hard to tell which surfaces are contaminated. Therefore, the mold has to be completely cleaned before you renovate or move to a new home.
Residential Mold Prevention And Control
According to the EPA, residential mold may be prevented and controlled by cleaning and repairing rain gutters, to prevent moisture seepage into the home keeping air-conditioning drip pans clean and drainage lines clear monitoring indoor humidity drying areas of moisture or condensation and removing their sources ensuring that there is adequate ventilation by installing an exhaust fan in your bathroom treating exposed structural wood or wood framing with an EPA-approved fungicidal encapsulation coating after pre-cleaning .
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How To Stop Mold Growth Once Its Started
Experts have the right equipment to dry things quickly and properly. Most regular plumbers wont have this specialty equipment. The first thing they will do is to get the water out. If a pump is necessary they will have it. If there was a lot of water, it will go everywhere it can. It can behind baseboards, under the floor tiles or carpet, and behind the walls. If the water issue happened upstairs, it can get downstairs.
Just ventilating your home probably cannot get to these areas fast enough to dry them quickly before mold starts. Experts use special dryers in all the right places to help prevent mold from having the opportunity to develop. Most homeowners insurance will cover water damage that takes places inside the home from plumbing and moisture issues. When water damage happens at your house, dont risk one of your biggest investments. Its always better to use a professional when you have doubts about your ability to deal with the situation on your own.
Tip : Cleaning Surfaces With Mold
Since some surfaces typically take a little bit longer to dry out, you should discourage mold from growing on them. And the best way to do so is to clean them with mold-killing solutions.
Spraying the surfaces with undistilled vinegar will work because vinegar kills about 80% of all mold species. Cleaning with baking soda or bleach will also work. And you can also use specialized commercial products that are specifically designed to prevent mold.
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Mold Removal From Fabric
Its easier than you might think for clothes to attract mold and mildew. A forgotten load of laundry in the washing machine, the pile of clothes at the bottom of a closet, or even the armchair in a humid room can all quickly become overrun with mold. However as long as you catch the problem early, your fabrics can still be saved.
If you can apply bleach to a fabric without worrying about discoloration, do it. Thats the fastest and most effective way of getting rid of mold. Many laundry bleaches can be used on white and colorfast fabrics, although you should always check the instructions, and never use bleach on wool or silk. Simply apply a solution of one part bleach to three parts water and let it absorb into the fabric for a few minutes before laundering as usual.
For fabrics that cant be bleached, use white vinegar instead. Either apply white vinegar to a cotton pad and place it on top of the stain for five minutes before laundering, or briefly soak in a solution of ¼ cup vinegar to one gallon water. Rinse through to remove the vinegar and launder as normal.
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Can Mold Dry Out And Die On Its Own
As a living thing, mold remains active only as long as the conditions are suitable. With no moisture and no organic material to feed on, the mold will dry out and die. But even if the colony dies, its spores remain, and may easily grow into new colonies when the environmental conditions are right again. Its also worth noting that mold can become dormant for extended periods of timelike over a cold winterwithout actually dying, only to continue growing once the weather warms up again.
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Other Common Questions: Can Mold Grow In The Wintertime If I Cant See Mold Does It Still Grow
Mold can grow safely in our refrigerator at temperatures below 4 deg. C, weve all witnessed this before. So the assumption that mold doesnt grow in the winter time is certainly untrue. It is agreed in the wider scientific community that common household mold will not grow outdoors at -15 deg. C though temperatures rarely drop below 5 deg. C in the home, even in the coldest and darkest of basements.
How Does Mold Grow On Drywall
Mold can grow on a variety of surfaces depending on their porosity. Porous surfaces tend to attract moisture, which creates a perfect environment for mold to grow. Mold can also grow on non-porous surfaces that have accumulated a lot of dirt and grime that makes it damp when exposed to moisture. Walls made of drywall or sheetrock are very porous which makes them susceptible to mold as long as there is a constant level of humidity and moisture in the air.
The wood particles on drywall provide a source of food for mold and traps moisture, which speeds up its growth. It is considered a perfect area for unimpeded mold growth because of its porous nature. Water can move in any direction on the drywall as it wicks easily through the softwood particles. Water leaks are another cause of mold on drywall and can make it difficult to address the problem if it is not repaired in time.
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How Quickly Does Black Mold Grow After Water Damage
Since water is one of the key components required for mold growth, black mold tends to start developing very quickly after your home has some water damage. Stachybotrys chartarum can germinate in as little as 24 hours after the fact, and the mold will continue to spread and worsen the longer it goes untreated. If the damage occurred in a particularly warm area, the mold can germinate and colonize very quickly, so its important to start mitigating the damage right away.
How Fast Can Mold Grow
Under ideal conditions , it takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to germinate and grow. Typically, the spores begin to colonize in 3 to 12 days and become visible in about 18-21 days. Of course, the time varies for different types of mold and depends on the actual conditions in the home the type of surfaces and household materials in the affected area, the amount of moisture, the ambient temperature, etc. Nevertheless, the more time passes, the greater the chance for mold to develop and spread to other areas of the home.
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Tip : Use Wet/dry Vacuums Or Carpet Extractors
Valuable carpeting that has been exposed to excessive moisture is a mold growth magnet. The problem is that sometimes, it is impossible to get it out of the basement.
In such a case, you need to hire a carpet extractor and use it to dry it out. A wet/dry vacuum also works wonders and can thus be used to speed up the drying process.
Can You Dry The Water Damage Yourself
While you might think that you can dry out your water damaged areas yourself by using fans and wet-dry vacuums, weve found that most homeowners never fully dry out the water damaged areas. This is simply because they dont have the proper tools to detect hidden pockets of mold-growing wet areas.
Your best bet is to hire a professional like Jenkins Restoration to dry out your water damaged areas. These companies have specialized equipment that dries out wet areas and they both prevent and deal with mold regularly.
The cost to professionally dry your water damaged areas is almost always covered by insurance so it doesnt cost you anything more to have a restoration company like Jenkins Restorations dry out your water damaged areas to speed up the time to getting life back to normal.
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Common Causes Of Mold
Mold flourishes in damp conditions, so most causes of mold growth involve unwanted water getting into the house. Some of the most common situations include:
- Leaky pipes or air-conditioning ducts
- Wet clothes
- Heavy rain or flooding
- Excess condensation on cold metallic, glass, or concrete surfaces.
Water can also pool up around sinks, bathtubs, dishwashers, or washing machines, so be wary and clean any water up right away. Some problems to look out for outdoors include a yard that slopes toward the foundation of the house, leaky shingles on the roof, and improper caulking on windows.
Whats The Difference Between Mold And Mildew
People often use the word mildew as a generic term to describe any sort of home fungal growth. But mildew and mold are not the same thing. Mildew and mold may look similar, and mildew also produces a musky, mold-like smell. However, unlike mold, mildew tends to remain only on the surface without penetrating any deeper. This makes it easier to remove than mold. Mildew is also less dangerous than many kinds of molds, and is less likely to cause damage to home or health. However, prolonged mildew infestations can still cause cosmetic property damage or even lead to coughing and other respiratory issues, and should never be ignored.
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Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems Associated With Exposure To Mold
People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
Where Does Mold Grow Best
The kitchen and bathroom are often places in your home that mold likes to take root and grow. The humidity from baths, showers, cooking, and washing dishes is often higher in these rooms. Kitchens and bathrooms usually have more plumbing than other areas of your home which could develop leaks within the walls. Basements are also prone to higher humidity, as well as water damage from flooding. If you have a roof leak, the attic could be harboring mold. It is important to check for leaks in these areas, monitor the humidity, and dry up any condensation that develops. Be sure to also check for mold in air conditioning and heating ducts, washing machines, dishwashers, and in the shower and bathtub.
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Observations From Mold Jobs
Being a mold remediator/educator, I have gathered similarly confusing, often conflicting input, from numerous jobs.
We observed that mold grew on some surfaces, but not others. We learned that the type of mold contamination found in homes is almost always what is called saprophytic mold. Saprophytic mold lives by decaying dead organic material, meaning the major ingredient we build with in North America wood and wood-related products like paper on drywall.
Additionally, research has shown that different types of saprophytic molds prefer different types of organic material , and different temperatures. They also prefer different amounts of wetness, usually called moisture content, but is correctly referred to as water activity.
So does mold really begin to germinate and grow in 24 to 48 hours?
In doing major mold remediations, the usual process is to work in conjunction with an industrial hygienist or other mold professionals, such as a certified industrial hygienist or indoor environmental professional .
Their job is to help identify what the contamination issues are, quantify the problem/issues and prepare a working plan, or protocol, for remediation.
In some situations, the IH will take samples from a suspect surface with a sterile swab. Sometimes the IH will collect air samples directly onto petri dishes containing an agar food source favorable to most molds.
Can Black Mold Cause Gastroenteritis
Digestive problems related to mold exposure are not as common as some other mold sickness symptoms, like allergic reactions and respiratory problems, but exposure to household mold can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding in the intestinal tract, intestinal cramping, and the
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What Should You Do If You Have Mold
If you find mold in your home, the best thing you can do is call a mold remediation expert. There are a few DIY steps you can take to begin getting the mold infestation under control, though. The very first thing youll need to do is identify the source of the moisture issue that led to the mold growth. If the problem hasnt been corrected yet, youll then need to find and address any leaks or flooding, get rid of standing water, and completely dry out the affected area .
Once the moisture problem is taken care of, then you can address the mold. If the mold-impacted area is less than 10 square feet, and its only on a hard surface , you may be able to remove the mold growth using a DIY approach. However, it is worth noting any DIY mold removal still poses a considerable risk. Intense scrubbing of certain surfaces or disturbing mold-infested materials releases more spores into the air, providing more opportunities for the mold to spread to a larger area, which can lead to more damage down the road. Plus, wherever there is visible mold, theres a good chance that theres more mold hiding in the areas you cant see.
If you have mold in your home or property, dont wait until it becomes a hazard. Contact 1-800 WATER DAMAGE today, and stop mold once and for all.
How To Get Rid Of Mold After A Flood
The best way to get rid of mold after a flood is to first fix the source of the flooding. Thereafter, getting rid of any materials with mold should follow. This should include any flooring or wall materials that have been severely damaged.
And after you are done, you have to then dry out the area by using a combination of vacuums, fans, dehumidifiers and improving overall air circulation in the area.
You should then follow this up by cleaning surfaces with mold killing solutions like bleach, vinegar, or borax. Thereafter, wipe the surfaces dry.
And if you donât want to do it on your own, you can always call a mold remediation expert.
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Too Much Water Is The Culprit
Water damage comes in many shapes and forms, from flooding to leaks in pipes to too much humidity in the air.
It doesnt take large amounts of moisture to cause water damage accumulation of condensation on windows or an undetected drip from an under counter pipe is all thats necessary. The perfect environment for mold growth has been created.
Diy Or Call A Professional
If you have a lot of water in the house, hiring a water damage restoration company may be your best bet to get your home back in order as fast and as cost-efficiently as possible. Restoration companies have the right equipment thats needed to dry out your place quickly.
A restoration professional is even more critical for saving your home if it was flooded with more contaminated water like sewage. This type of water is extremely hazardous and best handled by trained and certified water damage cleanup professionals.
Furthermore, if mold has started growing in your home following a flood, its likely that theres even more mold hiding in unseen areas, such as inside walls. Mold removal experts have the necessary tools to detect hidden mold in areas where the eyes cant see.
For professional mold removal services and water damage restoration, contact your local PuroClean office.
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