Water Damage Mold
As the weather turns cooler, one of the “fast and furious” water leaks that homeowners encounter occurs when a pipe freezes and bursts. Whether you have had a small leak in one of your pipes or a full out flood, water damage mold is nothing to be taken lightly. Mold can be very persistent and hard to get rid of and it can also be hazardous to your health. Not only that but if left unchecked, mold will ruin any surface it grows on.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a fungi whose job it is to decompose things. We often think of it as decomposing vegetables, bread and other foods that have been left around but when it gets into your home, mold can decompose your carpets, your drywall, your clothing, your books and any other organic surface in your home.
Mold loves more sure which is why water damage mold is so common in flooded areas. Since mold spores are always present outside, it doesn’t take too much for them to get inside. All they need is a moist area, some organic material and the temperature of between two and 40°C. Needless to say, you don’t have to experience a major flood to get mold in your home.
What To Do
If you have mold in your home whether it’s from a flooded basement, heavy melting ice, or maybe a burst pipe, you want to assess the extent of the damage. Get into the area and see how bad the mold is. If it is excessive, you probably want to check your insurance policy to see if mold damage is covered and then call the insurance company. In many cases, hiring a mold remediation company is necessary to remove the mold safely.
If you just have a minor leak at a pipe that has caused a little area of mold that you may be able to remove yourself. The first thing is to be sure of where the mold this. Remember, it can grow on wood, drywall, carpeting, fabrics and books so you want to check to make sure if any of these items around that they do not have mold on them.
When removing the moldy items, you want to be sure that you seal them in a bag so that the mold spores do not become airborne and find another place to grow in your house. If it is a big job, you want to section off the entire area and be sure to have ventilation to the outside. Also, wear protective clothing when cleaning or removing mold as water damage mold can be very hazardous to your health.
One of the worst outcomes of a leak or natural disaster is water damage mold. That’s because mold can be persistent, is hazardous to your health and is often difficult and costly to get rid of. It only takes mold 24 to 48 hours to grow in the right moisture conditions. Chances are, if you can’t see the mold and have a musty smell, that you have “hidden” mold. Hidden mold tends to be located in the air ducts, on the back side of dry wall, paneling or wallpaper, on the underside of carpets and pads, behind furniture, just to name a few locations. A Water Damage Restoration Expert can help you locate the water source, do the necessary testing and help you remove the mold from your home before it has an opportunity to do any further damage.
Mold loves moisture and it needs an organic surface to live on. That means that any flooding or leaky pipes which deposit water on your carpet, drywall, wood, fabrics or books is a potential mold hazard.
In order to treat water damage mold quickly, you need to address that as soon as it happens. In the case of flooding, this may be easier said than done but if you have experienced burst pipes or a minor flood you need to get to the area right away and mop up the water. You also want to contact your insurance company, especially if the mold growth has gotten out of hand. Mold grows very quickly and it may be that you need a mold remediation company in which case your insurance adjuster can help. Stop reading and call a professional immediately.
If there is only a minimal amount of mold, you might try removing it yourself but safety should be a priority. You need to be sure anyone removing the mold wears protective gear and that you seal off that part of the house. This is because as you are removing the mold, the spores can become airborne and find another place to live in your home.
You need to be sure that you get all or the mold removed from your house or business. If it is on the carpeting, the entire carpeting and pad must be removed. For drywall, a section much larger than the mold should be cut away to insure proper removal. Inspect the entire area with both your eyes and your nose to see if you can visually see or smell mold. It’s critical that you get rid of all the mold or it will just come back.
When cleaning and removing water damage mold, you want to be sure to use fragrance free detergent or something natural like tea tree oil or vinegar. Many people recommend bleach, however, DO NOT use bleach. See page bleach and mold for more information. When removing the items that are affected with mold, be sure that you seal them in plastic bags before you take them out of the affected area, thus ensuring they do not transferable to other parts of your home.
Don’t try to do this yourself. Save yourself time and money by hiring a qualified Minnesota Water Damage Restoration Expert.