How to Avoid Mold Hazards from Water Damage

When you were in grade school, it may have been fascinating to watch a bizarre-looking mold sample growing in a dish, but there’s nothing fun about walls covered in black, fuzzy spots or basements filled with noxious air. If you’ve recently experienced water damage in your home from a flood, fire or plumbing problem, the damp indoor conditions are highly favorable for mold growth. Mold doesn’t just smell bad and look gross. Mold exposure may have serious health implications for members of your family. Fortunately, if you act quickly, you can prevent mold from taking over. Here are a few tips to help you lower the risk of mold growth and protect yourself from exposure after water damage occurs.

Tips for Preventing Mold Growth Following Water Damage

Remove all wet carpet and carpet padding from flooded rooms. If possible, don’t try to salvage the carpet. Never reuse water-damaged padding.

Remove all wet insulation. Because it takes a long time to dry, wet insulation will almost always get moldy if left in place.

Clean and disinfect all affected surfaces thoroughly using only phosphate-free detergents. Mold feeds on residual phosphates. Follow product instructions carefully, and don’t mix chemicals.

Before replacing insulation, carpets and other materials, do everything you can to quickly dry subfloors, slabs, flooring and wall boards. Air conditioners, open ventilation, heaters, fans, and dehumidifiers can help. For serious water damage, obtain help from a restoration contractor. Professionals will have high-powered equipment that can dry your home faster.

Get a moisture detector, and use it to check the moisture content of wood in damaged structures. The moisture content of studs and sheathing should be less than 20 percent before you restore and close a wall.

Tips for Protecting Yourself from Mold Exposure

You can be exposed to mold through direct skin contact or from breathing in mold spores. Staying away from contaminated areas is the only sure way to avoid exposure. If you must be present in a moldy area, wear protective gloves, goggles and an N-95 respirator.

Seal off contaminated areas from the rest of your home to prevent the spread of mold and protect vulnerable household members from exposure.

Remove all moldy materials that can’t be disinfected; these include carpet padding, ceiling tiles and wood and paper products. Bag items in plastic to contain mold spores before you discard them.

Before working in dusty areas, mist them with water to prevent mold spores and fragments from becoming airborne.

For Reliable, Comprehensive Restoration After Water Damage, Call Paul Davis

At Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling, we respond to tens of thousands of water damage emergencies each year. We understand the importance of thorough water extraction and careful management of areas prone to mold growth. Your health and the integrity of your home are paramount, so our restoration services include comprehensive mold removal, sanitation and air purification using the most advanced technologies in the industry. If you have recently experienced water damage in your home, contact us today to learn how we can help you get your life back to normal.