Natural disasters are not easy situations, and often involve many kinds of damage. Mold growth is typically a side effect of different natural disasters, such as flooding or torrential rains. Find out how to prevent mold after these unfortunate situations.
How to Prevent Mold After a Flood and Water Damage
According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the average flood insurance claim was over $35,000. This includes damaged personal items due to the growth of mold spores. In Canada, flood loss over the last 10 years amounts to just over $12.5 million in expenses and is the largest weather peril. To prevent mold growth from further damaging items, there are five steps that should be taken:
- Check it out – For insurance purposes, it’s extremely important to take initiative and inspect the flooded area. After the health and safety hazards have been cleared, you may enter the home or building and throw away certain items. Anything below the waterline should be trashed.
- Get it out – To remove standing water, use a special pump or water vacuum. If there’s sand or other debris remaining, use a shovel to disperse. Next, remove any plaster, drywall, carpet or other flooring from the space. Make sure to keep a record or what’s damaged and what’s thrown out.
- Clean it up – Another round of vacuuming is often necessary, along with a pressure washing to remove any built-up stains. Wipe any surfaces with a cleaning solution to sanitize. Typically a gallon of water with ¼ cup of bleach will work well. Let to sit for 20 minutes and wipe to dry.
- Dry it out – Mold spores are constantly on the rise, especially when moisture is involved. To prevent any possibilities of mold arising, make sure to dry out the affected area within 24 to 48 hours of the flood. For further assistance, contact a Rainbow International professional.
- Keep it dry – If possible, keep the indoor humidity below 50 percent with a dehumidifier or air conditioning. If you’re concerned about future flooding or leaks, consider installing a battery-operated water sensing alarm. These are best kept near a hot water heater, washing machine, or in the basement.
Mold Growth on Wet Drywall
Water stains always show on drywall when exposed to moisture. If the drywall isn’t quickly treated, it can be completely destroyed as the core loses its structure. Drywall damage can be short-term or long-term, but truly depends on whether it begins as water damage or mold growth. It’s important to take care or wet drywall from the beginning to prevent mold growth all together. Mold can begin to grow on drywall in just 24 to 48 hours. This proves in times of a flood or leak it’s crucial to act quickly on the issue.