Water damage associated with a severe weather event presents one of the most challenging types of issues home and business owners ever face. One aspect of water damage associated with a weather disaster or severe weather event is the potential for mold growth. A home or business swamped with water because of a storm provides a fertile landscape for mold. If a water impacted home or business is not immediately addressed, mold can end up causing further devastation to a property. There are some specific tactics you need to employ to fight mold after a weather disaster or severe weather event.
Understanding Mold Growth
You must understand the manner in which mold grows and spreads in order to appreciate the vital necessity of taking affirmative, proactive action to prevent and fight mold growth after a water disaster. At the heart of mold growth is the fact that mold spores are found virtually everywhere. They are in the air around us. They are on the ground. They are to be found throughout buildings, on the fur of animals, on our clothing, in our hair.
Mold spores require very little to germinate. Only a terribly small amount of water is necessary to allow mold spores to burst into life. Once mold begins to grow, it will spread madly if even a minimal water source is available. More spores will also be created, advancing the spread of the fungus even further and farther.
Dry Out Water Exposed Areas and Objects Quickly
The single most important step that you must take to fight mold growth after a weather disaster is to thoroughly dry out water exposed areas and objects quickly. The optimal objective is to dry out water exposed areas and objects after a storm within 24 to 48 hours.
Of course, recognizing the realities of significant weather events like torrential or monsoon rains, tornadoes, and hurricanes, a goal of comprehensive, thorough drying in a couple of days may be highly challenging and even impossible. Understanding this reality doesn’t mean that you should shrug your shoulders and move on addressing water exposed areas and objects in a leisurely manner. If preventing a mold outbreak proves impossible because of an inability to completely dry a storm-damaged property in a couple of days, you can significantly minimize mold growth by conducting drying operations apace.
One of the key reasons why calling in a water damage mitigation specialist is wise is because this type of professional has the experience, tools, equipment, and other resources necessary to effectively, efficiently take on the aftermath of a storm. A water damage restoration specialist provides you the surest course to avoid the added major problem of mold growth following a weather disaster.
Drying out water exposed areas and objects is best accomplished by taking a multifaceted approach to the problem:
- Expose water impacted areas and objects to fresh moving air.
- Enhance air movement in water exposed areas and objects. The use of fans and other air-movers is a must.
- Use dehumidifiers to lower the moisture level in a water exposed structure.
- Use water extractors and sump pumps to eliminate water rapidly.
- Remove mud, dirt, and debris. In addition to moisture, mold needs biological material to grow.
Eliminate Objects That Cannot Effectively Be Restored
In the aftermath of a weather event that causes significant water damage, a home or business owner faces the tough task of throwing out some items that cannot readily be dried. For example, there may be some objects in a flood-damaged property that have been so soaked by water, that they simply cannot be remediated properly.
For example, you may have upholstered furniture that has been saturated by flood water. That flood water itself is unwholesome and contains dangerous pathogens. In addition, the fact that these types of objects have been so thoroughly soaked, they cannot be readily dried. In other words, some items of this nature in your home or business are beyond repair.
As part of fighting mold growth following a severe weather event, you need to make the decision to promptly eliminate items like some upholstered furnishings from your property that cannot be suitably dried and cleaned. You must do this sooner rather than later. By delaying this disposal process, you provide mold spores a prime location to germinate. You provide mold a fertile foundation to grow and spread, ultimately laying the groundwork for massive mold spread throughout the premises.
In the final analysis, and as was mentioned, a proactive, aggressive approach is necessary to fight and mitigate mold growth following a major weather event. Only by taking this course are you able to protect your home or business from a severe mold issue following a major weather event that included flooding.