Flooding can happen in a matter of minutes and can cause massive damages to property which lead to costly losses and repairs. When this happens, it is vital to deal with the situation immediately to prevent further problems from developing, such as the presence of mold. Mold is commonly found in nature, but it can be a great nuisance indoors, exposing employees, staff and other building occupants to a variety of health problems.
In as little as 24 to 48 hours, mold can develop in the water-damaged area and spread to the other parts of your commercial property if not immediately contained. ServiceMaster of the Upstate details how to limit mold growth after a flood below.
What Items are Susceptible to Mold Growth?
It is crucial to take proactive action against mold growth as it can develop in a day or two. The materials that may be most prone to developing mold after a flooding incident include:
Carpets, drapery and rugs: There may be a need to dispose of or replace carpets, drapery and rugs after water damage, as drying them may not be enough to prevent mold growth.
- Glass, metal and plastic: With proper cleaning and disinfecting techniques, most non-porous materials can be salvaged from water damage.
Upholstered furniture and wood: Porous materials like furniture and wood easily trap mold, so there may be a need to discard these items, as well as those that have been completely submerged in water.
How to Prevent Mold Growth After a Flood
Eliminating mold spores from your building may not be possible, but there are actions you could take to minimize the growth of mold in your business after a flood.
Water removal and structural drying
- The sooner water is extracted and the facility dried out, the better, since mold spores disperse and grow quickly.
- To remove excess water and clean materials like exposed wood framing and studs, utilize a wet-dry shop vacuum.
- If outdoor humidity is low, allow fresh air to enter by keeping all doors and windows open.
Disposal of mold-infested items
- Discard items that have completely been submerged in water.
- Consult a professional to see if materials can be salvaged, such as porous items like books, paper, drapery and upholstered furniture.
- If an item has been water-damaged for less than 48 hours, mold growth may be prevented through cleaning and disinfection.
- If mold grows on a wet material, discard it immediately.
- Mold can grow in hidden areas such as behind drywall, inside wall cavities and within insulation.
- Remove all wet insulation and contaminated porous materials like ceiling tiles and drywall.
Minimizing moisture and humidity
- Moisture can be reduced by utilizing dehumidifiers and fans, provided that electricity has been declared safe to use.
- Do not use fans if mold growth has already started, as they may scatter mold spores throughout the area.
Professional mold remediation
- Calling an expert restoration and remediation company is one of the most effective ways to prevent mold growth after a flood.
- Professionals have the know-how to conduct proper remediation of any present mold problem, ensuring that your facility is safe to work in.
- Mold remediation professionals can also provide advice regarding mold prevention while making sure that your commercial business is returned to pre-damage condition as quickly as possible.
- Mold remediation providers have the right equipment, skills and cleaning solutions to handle any size of mold problem.