What causes mold? Many things can cause mold in your home. It can be from previous water damage, weather, a leaking pipe, storm damage, a roof leak, overflowing toilet or several other things in your home. mold can also develop due to high humidity where elevated levels of moisture are present. When relative humidity is 70% or higher, it becomes a flourishing environment for mold to grow
Mold growth can harm humans in several ways. Mold can release a toxic gas called mVOC's (Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds) that can be hazardous to any person breathing it in. It is typically associated with an earthy, musty odor. Mold also releases spores into the air, which acts like their seeds. They settle on surfaces and organic material, dry wall, furniture, paint, fabrics. With the condition whereas excessive levels of moisture are present in the home, the spores can start to develop and grow at a rapid rate.
Importance Of Drying After Water Damage
It is important to immediately dry any wet materials in your home. According to IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration Certification S520 Mold Remediation standard and guidelines) mold growth starts to develop within 72 hours of a material being wet. Whether it be water damage due to a flooded basement or a wet carpet. One important thing in structural drying is to assure that no absestos or lead based paint are present before drying, these can cause further complications for your health and home.
How To Remove Water and Remove Mold
Materials and Equipment Needed: Rubber gloves, Goggles, Tyvek suit, 3-4mil contractor garbage bags, 4mil poly sheeting, blue painters tape, duck tape, N95 facemask or more effective P100, vaccum cleaner with hepa filtration, flashlight, Hammer, 12inch prybar, spatula, Drill, utility knife.
1. Remove any unwanted water from your home with a commercial wet vac.
2. Remove and discard any non-salvageable materials from your home, i.e., completely damaged materials, wet cardboard, moist sheetrock, etc.
3. Focus must be placed on all wet materials that have been in contact with the water.
4. Once dry, clean all affected areas with an anti-microbial solution i.e., Simple Green, Microban.
5. Carpets should be professionally steam cleaned.
6. Unaffected materials should have focus placed on them as well because of wicking from wet materials to structural building components.
7. At this stage in the project you must inspect if any mold is present.
8. After entire basement has been cleaned drying equipment should be set up.
9. Dehumidifers must be used in conjuction with air movers/fans. Air movers should be directed at affected materials.
10. Make sure basement is completely dry. This usually takes about 3-5 days to dry affected materials if air movement, dehumidification, and ventiliation are present.
When completed, dispose of contaminated Tyvek suit and air filter cartridges. Take a shower immediately to ensure you have not accumulated any residual mold or toxins. The last thing you want to do is breath it in or get it in your eyes.
For help with mold remediation or if you would just like some professional advice before beginning to remove and treat it yourself, I suggest consulting with a mold remediation specialist. You can schedule a free in-home estimate with a professional that knows how to clean mold. You can get some free expert advice and then determine whether or not it's a job you're prepared to tackle yourself. If you are in the Fairfield County, CT area, I recommend giving Hightower Restoration LLC. a call first.