Has flooding or recurrent raining left you with water damages? Did the situation become worse with mold growth? Has the neglect of an unknown leakage brought about a severe amount of water pooling in your crawl space, basement, or other spheres in the house?
We are well aware of how challenging it can be to clean up after water damage because water seeps into the cracks and crevices of the building materials and stays there for an extended period if not dried up. If you don’t have the required preventive measures to stop this above incident from happening and causing grave damage to your property, chances are, you will have your own tough time dealing with mold infestation. However, once the damage has been done, all you can do is think of ways to fix it.
Here in this article, we are about to cover all the possible solutions; there are probably to kill moldy water damage.
Mold & Mildew
Mold and mildew are simple microscopic bions that fall under the fungi category. Mold growth is possible anywhere where there is moisture and even better where there is moisture along with the darkness. Although molds play a very integral part in the environment and in attaining certain aspects of soil formation as they provide for the breakdown of fallen leaves. It is like molds to organic breakdown components. It is for this same reason that molds are not suitable for you, your family and your house.
They can grow on most household components like wood products, concrete, tiles, drywall, paper, carpets, fabrics, plants, food, organic materials, and many other places.
It takes between 24-48 hours for mold growth to occur on a damp surface. It is in their characteristics to digest organic material, thus destroying the places they breed on and move on towards the adjacent one. They can cause some severe damage once they start to grow in your house and cause health hazards for you and your family.
Water damage that can lead to mold growth
There are high chances that your house will suffer from a mold problem if you have water damage from the below-mentioned sources:
- Sink overflow or bathtub overflow
- Damped basement or water pooling in the crawl space
- Damaged plumbing or leaky roofs
- Humid atmosphere: steam cooking, dryer vents, and humidifiers.
- Sewage backup from flooding
There are high possibilities that if the conditions mentioned above are left unnoticed and untreated with proper steps for 24-48 hours, mildew and mold growth will occur.
Immediate actions that you can take
There are certain definitive do’s and don’ts to rely on immediately after you notice the moldy water damage. You can do a lot depending on the severity of the condition after detecting the problem. Following mentioned are the first steps-
- Immediately after detecting the problem, you will have to find the source and stop it from spreading further so that it won’t cause any more damage. To achieve so, you must try to isolate the flooded area and remove any water supply pipes passing through the area.
- Switch off the air conditioning units and heating systems, as you don’t know how far the damage has reached. All that meets the eye might not be how it is. Extreme coolness or heat can amplify the situation and complicate the problem at hand.
- Do not use fans in the area straight ahead unless you are sure where the molds are. It might seem at first that the fans and blowers are helping in drying out the wet surfaces, but in reality, they might as very well spread the spores further.
- Clear the floor of any valuable personal items that may add to your loss.
- If possible, move out the furniture like tables and desks in the area to avoid further damage or lift them to a higher place by placing wood that you won’t use further under the legs.
What destroys mold: bleach, or vinegar?
Although conventional wisdom says bleach kills mold growth, it is more of a myth than a fact. Bleach does kill mold, but only on the surface, it doesn’t penetrate porous materials because it is not programmed to do so. It fails to kill the underlying mold and thus fails to reach out to the membrane. You need to reach out to the underlying membrane and destroy it to remove any mold and reduce any possible chances of mold growth. Moreover, bleach can help the mold return faster and more reliable. The mold components recognize bleach as a threat and react accordingly. It will use bleach as a food source once it has been exposed and return faster and more reliable in the future. Even the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) votes against the usage of bleach for mold control.
However, the household item called vinegar, which is available in almost every typical household, is highly useful to kill mold. It has that penetrating ability that attacks the root of the mold problem, removing them from the core and eliminating any chances of further growth. Distilled vinegar can kill about 80% of all known mold species.
There are several steps that you can resort to kill mold. It is for the best of interest that you hire a mold control specialist for the job as they will have the perfect tools and knowledge for the job and will get it done very fast and effectively.
Essential tools, equipment, and chemicals required for the job
However, conditions may arise when you have to get your hands dirty to get rid of the mold. In that case, knowing the steps and precautions to be taken will be very useful. Get your tools set for the work. You will need latex or rubber gloves, respirator masks, brushes for scrubbing, wet-dry vacuum, sponges, rags, brooms, mops, buckets, and commercial cleaners, or, for the least, detergents. Disinfectant chlorine bleach will also be needed.
Do your best to dry up any remaining moisture and sanitize them till help arrives
- Clean the more significant areas first
It is this step where you begin to dry up and clean the bigger surface to the best of your capabilities. It is imperative that, in most cases, property owners will try to get the job done on their own because it is quite a blow to the pocket to repair water moldy water damage. However, no matter how much you try, there are high chances that you will miss out on several areas where the mold has spread already, but will not know because you are not equipped with proper tools, knowledge, experience, and expertise to detect them. It is best if you get professional help.
So does that mean all you can do is just fold your arms and wait? No! Get going.
It is your property at risk, after all. Begin with cleaning and sanitizing the bigger surfaces, like interior walls, ceiling, and floor. Get your respirator masks on, put on some gloves, implement proper ventilation or dehumidification, and begin.
- Clean the hard surfaces
Clean all hard surfaces like the floor, ceiling, walls, metal furniture, glass, wood, plastic, and any non-porous surface using a mixture of a non-ammonia detergent and warm water. Use a stiff brush and get scrubbing the mold off. It helps to kill mold instantly. After you are done cleaning those areas, sanitize those surfaces using a 10% chlorine bleach solution, rest for at least 10-15minutes before you rewash it with normal clean water, or just let it dry its own accord. Go through the label instructions of the product for getting an idea of the amount you mix.
- Sanitization of wood surfaces
However, when dealing with wood surfaces, using denatured alcohol to wipe them off with a rag will get them sanitized for good, worried about spoiling the furniture’s finish. Test the solution over an inconspicuous area before using it over the wood. After the alcohol dries up, spray the area with a disinfectant.
- Porous and soft materials
You can now move on to the porous materials. You have to be very careful while dealing with porous materials like rugs and carpets any other fabricated and upholstered items. They will collect the most amount of mold spores. Too much work on them will make the mold spores spread into the air, which is very hazardous.
It is advisable to wash all the washable fabric items in the hottest possible water that the items allow without getting damaged. Put the upholstered items out in the sun and scrub with a soft brush. Don’t overwork it! Leave them in the sun the whole day to kill mold. Follow up with a disinfectant spray and bring them in. Just to be safe, use a vacuum over the items. If a visible amount of mold is still present, the whole procedure has to be repeated.
Contact our professionals today!
Finally, do call a professional for help or review. Their expertise will be at your disposal for your benefit. So adhere to it.
You will never be able to do sufficient to get rid of the entire mold, so always remember, prevention is better than cure. However, if you are unfortunate enough to face severe moldy water damage, remember the steps- Stop the water, de-moisturize, clean, sanitize, disinfect, and keep it dry.
For more detailed information and professional guidance, do not hesitate to contact us.