How to Clean Up Mold After Water Damage
If you’ve had a flood or water damage in any part of your home, you know how stressful cleaning up can be. Water is simultaneously one of the most important and destructive substances on the planet. We need it to live but it can also quickly destroy the places we call home. That’s why cleaning up water damage properly is so important. The best way to control mold after water damage is to prevent it in the first place. We’ll go through a few ways to prevent mold from forming and lay out a few things to do if you find it.
Mold Loves Damp
Mold is, in many ways, a fascinating living organism. It loves damp, dark, low ventilation environments, unlike many other things on earth. Unfortunately, this tendency makes it difficult to find and even more difficult to get rid of.
After a flood or water damage, the very first thing you should do is dry the area thoroughly. This may mean removing dry wall, flooring or area carpets. It’s critical to remove anything that could hold water or dampness, allowing mold to form and grow. If there is visible water remaining in the area, do anything necessary to remove it. This could mean bringing in pumping equipment or a wet dry vacuum.
After visible water is removed, bring in fans or blowers and if possible, open up your windows to bring in fresh, clean air. It’s imperative that the area gets and remains completely dry and open to light until it is.
Mold and mildew from water or flood damage are no different from a mold or mildew that may form in your shower or bathroom area. Household cleansers work well at removing small amounts of mold, but if you really have a mold problem, the best thing to do is bring in the big guns.
There are a variety of chemical mixtures on the market that can kill mold and keep it from forming again in the future. A variety of these mixtures are sprayed onto the surface or area that has mold and are left to dry, while some are intended for scrubbing. If you don’t want to use a store-bought formulation, a 10:1 bleach water solution will work amazingly well. Simply mix and spray the mixture in the area with water damage and let it dry. Mold and mildew will die and be unable to begin regrowing. Remember, when mixing chemicals for cleaning at home, never mix bleach and ammonia – this will form deadly chlorine gas that is extremely toxic.
Don’t be afraid to call in the professionals as well. If you’re dealing with a relatively large area, you may want to cut your losses and bring in a company that specializes in mold and mildew remediation – what’s your time worth?
Repair to Prevent
Once the water is cleaned up (and in fact, even before), it’s critical that you understand where the water came from and repair that area appropriately. If you’ve got a busted pipe, get it fixed. If you had water coming in from under your basement slab, it may be time to talk about sump pumps. The best way to clean up mold after water damage is to not have the water damage in the first place.
Wait to Rebuild
After you’ve fixed the source of the water, you may be tempted to begin rebuilding the space that was damaged. If you’re wondering when you’ll get your basement back after water or flood damage, it’s best to air on the side of caution. Watch and wait to ensure your water problem is completely solved. There’s nothing worse than getting walls back up and carpet back down only to have water come into your home through another avenue you didn’t know about.
Consider fixing the necessary damage, like leaking pipes or cracked basement subfloors, then waiting to truly rebuild. This will ensure you keep things nice and dry.
Consider Long-term Solutions
If you have water gushing out of your basement walls, you’re going to be looking at some long-term solutions as soon as possible. But if, like a lot of Americans, you simply have a musty smelling basement or notice a bit of water here and there from pipes around your home, consider investing in a high-quality dehumidifier. If you already have a sump pump system, these can be emptied automatically and can drastically improve the quality of the air in your home.
If you’re already fighting mold or are concerned about the prospect, know that there are trusted companies that can do this work for you. Sometimes, the best thing to do is call in the professionals. Fill our our form or give us a call to get a free quote from a mold specialist near you.