How to Prevent Mold After Water Damage
If you’ve had any water damage to your home after a storm or flooding, you have roughly 24 to 48 hours to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. This Mold can be extremely hazardous to you and your family’s health. It’s highly important that you start the process of drying out your water damage or you could be left with repairs to your home that are even more time consuming then they already will be.
Not to mention that mold can cause health issues like fever and difficulty breathing. Those with existing health problems such as Asthma are especially susceptible to these issues and should not be anywhere near mold.
If mold begins to grow, the process of getting your home and life back to normal must wait until all the mold is removed and your restoration company is given the OK to get started on the repairs.
Keep in mind that the process of drying out the water damage is not always straightforward and often what appears dry is not. Most moisture is often hidden in the walls and flooring, so it’s critical to identify and dry all the affected areas to prevent the growth of mold!
To help you find answers to your specific questions, we’ve put together an interactive table of contents. Click each link to be transported to different sections.
- How to Check for Mold After Water Damage
- Can you Dry the Water Damage Yourself?
- Does Water Damage Always Cause Mold?
- Can you Kill the Mold Yourself?
- How do You Prevent Mold from Water Damage?
- What to do to Prevent Mold after a Flood
- How to Prevent Mold after a Water Leak
- Professional Help to Prevent Mold Growth
How to Check for Mold After Water Damage
When identifying mold in your home after water damage, it’s important to understand that mold can be any color, and to know the main signs of it. Mold usually appears as small black or white spots. However, mold can grow in hidden areas such as behind ceiling tiles or behind wall coverings. Mold is usually accompanied with a musty smell, which means that if you can’t see it, you can usually smell it. Mold tends to grow in humid areas or areas where there is a lot of moisture. It’s best to look for signs of mold in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and basements.
Can You Dry the Water Damage Yourself?
While you might think that you can dry out your water damaged areas yourself by using fans and wet-dry vacuums, we’ve found that most homeowners never fully dry out the water damaged areas. This is simply because they don’t have the proper tools to detect hidden pockets of mold-growing wet areas.
Your best bet is to hire a professional like Jenkins Restoration to dry out your water damaged areas. These companies have specialized equipment that dries out wet areas and they both prevent and deal with mold regularly.
The cost to professionally dry your water damaged areas is almost always covered by insurance so it doesn’t cost you anything more to have a restoration company like Jenkins Restorations dry out your water damaged areas to speed up the time to getting life back to normal.
Does Water Damage Always Cause Mold?
If the home is not completely dry within approximately 24 hours, mold will begin to grow. It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, you’ll begin to get mold. It’s almost a guarantee that you will get mold in some capacity unless your water damage is extremely minimal.
Can You Kill The Mold Yourself?
While some property owners will try to dry the area or spray bleach, the truth is that these methods often only spread the mold to other areas of the home. What’s worse, AC and heating systems can spread the spores throughout the home through the air.
Avoid trying to remove the mold yourself. We understand that you can Google search “How to kill mold” and find hundreds of ways to do that, but those methods are usually for surface area mold, NOT for water damaged area mold.
Can Mold Dry Up And Die?
No. Even if there’s no moisture, the mold will stay inactive within the walls, floors, and any other area where it’s begun to grow. As soon as it gets access to any moisture, it will begin to grow again. Mold will not go away unless you deliberately have it removed.
How Do you Prevent Mold from Water Damage?
One big step that you can take to prevent mold from growing until help arrive is simply assessing and mitigating the damage as quickly as possible. Mitigating the loss is an insurance term in most policies that means you are responsible to do everything in your power to contain the damage.
Steps to Take to Prevent Mold and Further Water Damage
When you are dealing with water damage and a potential mold problem, there are a few definitive do’s and don’ts to implement as you’re waiting for help to arrive.
- Turn the water off in your home, especially if your water damage is coming from a source within your home.
- Be sure to turn off all Air Conditioning units and heating systems. You should keep your home at a moderate temperature if possible, but avoid use of the central HVAC system. Excess coolness or heat can complicate the drying process.
- Turn off any fans in the house, whether they’re ceiling fans, box fans, or free standing ones. Using your fans to dry out water can often spread any mold spores throughout the house.
- Pick up any personal items from the floor that would add to your loss.
- Try to either move furniture out of the wet area or lift it up and put something under the legs such as a block of wood that will keep it out of the water.
Leave everything the way it is and don’t start throwing away ruined possessions until after someone has looked at the damage. Often professional cleaners can save possessions that otherwise might be unsalvageable. If possible, take photos to document all your damage. This will be helpful when you file an insurance claim.
What to do to Prevent Mold After Flood
Just like any type of water damage, the best way to prevent mold after a flood is to keep your home clean and dry. Clean up any water damage immediately, and use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air and follow the same steps from above. The sooner you dry your home, the less likely mold will grow after a flood.
How to Prevent Mold After Water Leak
The first thing you need to do when you notice a leak is shut off the water supply. If you don’t know how to shut off the water supply, contact your utility company. Once the water has been turned off, you should also check your pipes for leaks by putting a bucket underneath each faucet and running the cold water. This will allow you to see if there is any leaking around the pipe. Next make sure to dry areas that were damaged by water immediately to prevent mold after a water leak in your home.
Can mold grow after leak is fixed?
Yes, mold will likely grow after a leak if no action is taken. The best way to prevent the mold growth is to stop leaks immediately. If you notice any water leaks, it needs to be stopped quickly and properly dried out.
Here’s How to Get Professional Help to Prevent Mold Growth
As a homeowner who’s ready to get back to your normal life as quickly as possible, the easiest way to do this is give us a call at 888.450.6580 and contact us at Jenkins Environmental today. Your phone call with be answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a live person on the other end of the line.
Our IICRC certified technician will bring in specialized equipment, make sure your area is clean and dried properly, and can even help you repair damages inflicted such as replacing drywall and minor or large structural repairs.
Prevent mold and further damage by getting help as soon as disaster strikes!
Frequently Asked Questions
How to prevent mold on wet drywall
If you want to prevent mold from growing on your wet drywall, you should first clean up any water spots. Then, use a damp rag to wipe down the wall. You might have to replace damaged materials.
How to test for mold after water damage
A quick test for mold can be done when you dip a swab in diluted bleach (1 part bleach, 16 parts water) and dab it on the wall. If the spot quickly lightens, it’s most likely mold.
How long does it take for mold to grow after a flood?
Mold grows quickly after a flood, usually within 24 to 48 hours.
How long after water damage does mold grow?
After water damage, you have roughly 24-48 hours before mold begins to grow.
How Fast does Mold Grow After a Water Leak?
If a water leak is not properly clean and dried, mold can begin to grow as quickly as two days after a water leak.