There are many ways that water can damage the home. From a flood, sewage backup, plumbing issues, damp or humid crawlspaces, overflows from bathtubs, or dishwashers, water damage is a common issue in many households.
Where there is water, mold is also an inevitable issue. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can prevent mold from growing in your home after it has been exposed to water damage.
Typically, mold will begin to grow within 24-48 hours after exposure so it is important to act quickly.
A musty smell is usually the first sign of mold growth before ever seeing it, however, it is better to catch it before you even begin to smell it because that means that mildew has already begun growing.
If mildew is not taken care of it turns into mold. Mold in your home can begin to deteriorate and digest materials like wood, cardboard, wallpaper, drywall, insulation, and other materials in the home, eventually destroying your beautiful living space.
Mold can also begin to cause health problems like respiratory issues, nasal and sinus congestion, eye irritation, nose or throat irritation, skin irritations, and other health issues, if it is not taken care of.
It is important to act quickly and safely once you notice the first exposure of water. Here are a few steps to take immediately after water damage occurs to prevent mold growth.
Dry Out the Area
Mold grows in wet, damp, and humid areas. Therefore, drying out the area that became wet is the first step. Using fans directly on the affected area, as well as opening the house up to get airflow is important. However, if you live in a humid area, opening the house to the elements will not be beneficial since humidity won’t allow the area to dry.
While you may feel the area is dry, you can only see what’s on the surface and what you can feel with your skin. In reality, the water damage has most likely sunk into the materials of your home. This means that it will take more than just a quick drying to actually dry the room and materials in your home (more on this below).
In the situation of water damage and wet materials, a dehumidification procedure is entirely necessary. Humidity levels must be significantly lowered in wet areas, otherwise, it’s a breeding ground for mold growth. If materials are wet, the humidity is surely high; you can count on it.
Remove Wet Items
If your carpet, rugs, bedding, or other furniture got wet it is important to remove those items from the drenched space. Depending on the amount of water and type (i.e. sewage water) that seeped into those items, you may need to replace them. The affected carpet may feel dry on the surface, however, the padding beneath it may still be wet and begin to grow mold without you knowing it.
Even deeper than your carpet, baseboards and drywall may be damaged and need to be removed as well. It is important to look beneath the surface of the water damaged area to make sure the structure of your home isn’t also damaged.
Keep the Room Dry
Drying the area may take hours, however once when you feel the area is dry it is important to keep it dry. The humidity level in the home should remain below 50% in order to prevent mildew and mold growth. If you live in a humid climate this may be more difficult, however, there are in-home and single-room dehumidifiers that can reduce the water molecules in the air. Maintain the dryness in the affected area for a few days after it was exposed.
Contact a Local Restoration Company
Depending on the amount of water that has affected your home, you may or may not be able to mitigate/prevent the mold on your own.
Call your local restoration company as soon as you notice any major water damage or mold in your home. In most cases, the issues go deeper, below the surface and it is important to get the problem solved at the source!
At Restoration 1 of Central Denver, we bring dehumidifiers to lower the humidity in the home and use equipment designed to detect, locate, and help us mitigate the water damage problem(s). We will move the current, humid air out and dry the room with a dehumidifier during the entire project so as to keep the mold from growing.
Restoration 1 of Central Denver is the team of experts in water damage restoration you need and can give you the peace of mind, knowing that your home is safe and restored to its original condition. Contact us today if your home has been damaged by water or mold growth.