A flooded home can be the result of internal issues, such as plumbing failures or external events like weather-related flooding. Regardless of the source of the water, it’s crucial to take action to protect your loved ones, prevent health hazards, and save your home from further damage. Below are some tips on how to prevent mold growth after a flood.
What to Do If My House Floods?
When it comes to water damage, even minor issues should be addressed. Mold, which grows where there is moisture, can have a significant impact on indoor air quality and can cause serious health problems. Visible mold growth can be seen in as little as 24 hours. It’s critical to be proactive and work on drying out your home within the first 48 hours after water damage first occurs.
Immediately following a flooding event, take these actions first.
- Stop the Flow of Water – If the flooding is internal, then you want to stop it as soon as possible. The quickest way to do this is to locate and turn off the main water valve.
- Turn Off the Electricity – Once the water flow has been stopped, evaluate the situation, and if there is standing water at the level that may reach any electrical systems or appliances, turn off the electricity in your home. If you can’t reach the circuit breaker without going through water, call for help. But, do not walk through the water as it may conduct electricity.
- Evacuate When Necessary – If the problem is more severe like a pipe burst you are unable to stop, or a sewage leak, leave the home for a safe spot. Make sure your loved ones are accounted for and unharmed. Once everyone is relocated, you can begin the recovery process.
Before re-entering your property:
- Stop the water source. If the source of the water cannot be stopped, call in the professionals before taking any other steps.
- Make sure it’s safe with no structural, electrical, or other hazards.
- Contact your insurance company and take pictures of the property and your belongings.
- Use caution if the building materials or furniture has been affected by the flooding. If any material has been wet for more than 24 hours, treat it as if mold is starting to grow.
- If you see any mold growth, or if you’re unsure, contact a certified mold inspector.
A common mistake property owners make is to begin the process of removing wet material only to find visible mold growth. Rather than stopping at that point, they continue to remove the material. While this may seem a logical action, it can, in fact, make the situation worse. Once mold growth is exposed, the mold spores are easily dispersed. If those spores end up on other wet material, the scope of the mold growth will increase – as will the scope of any required remediation to remove the mold.
Focus should be on drying the material as quickly as possible with as little disturbance as possible. If mold growth is observed or suspected, the best course of action is to have a mold inspection along with appropriate samples completed. This way, the scale of mold contamination, if any, is known.
In addition, people with weak immune systems or breathing problems and children should stay away from the suspected area and should not take part in any cleanup work.
Mold Inspection & Remediation
It is best to hire different companies to inspect your property for mold and to remediate any mold that is found. This is because mold inspectors should be impartial, and mold remediators may have a conflict of interest if they are also the ones who inspected your property.
No matter what, it is important to have your property inspected for mold after a flood. If mold is found, it is important to fix the moisture problem and clean and remove any mold growth to protect your health and your property.
After a disaster like flooding strikes, be prepared to act. As mentioned above, mold can begin growing after the first 24 hours of water exposure. It’s important to get rid of standing water and moisture as soon as possible. Confronting the damage head-on can help you prevent a mold issue keeping your property, yourself, and your loved ones healthy and safe.
Call Bio Pro for a unbiased, independent whole home mold inspection!