Water damage in the home can come from storms, leaky pipes, or even the aftermath of firefighters. It results in mold and mildew, which is hazardous to your health and that of your family and your property. Thus, ensuring you take steps to prevent mold is crucial in the first 24-48 hours after the water damage.
How to Prevent Mold
Mold thrives in environments that have moisture, starch, favorable temperatures, and oxygen. Follow these tips to prevent mold in your home.
Dry the water immediately
Use a domestic vacuum cleaner for small scale pools of water. Ensuring you get all puddles and collections in every corner is crucial. However, for large-scale flooding, especially in the basement, a simple vacuum may not be sufficient to dry the area thoroughly. In this case, get help from professionals under your insurance cover who possess heavy-duty wet-dry vacuums to do the drying.
Getting rid of water-logged objects
Extracting standing water alone is not enough; you must remove all the objects that have gathered water like carpets, rugs, furniture, and packaging carton boxes. Then, sort this into items that can be cleaned and dried & items that cannot be salvaged. The latter is what you discard.
Clean your carpets and rugs, and ensure you dry them out entirely because any leftover moisture is breeding ground. You will need to replace waterlogged carpet pads. Until your insurance claim is processed, store damaged items outside or in the garage.
Use Dehumidifiers to prevent mold
Water damage saturates the air in your home with moisture. Even after getting rid of the flooded water, the air’s high moisture content is enough to encourage mold growth. Using dehumidifiers enables you to remove the excess moisture in the air and speed up the drying process to prevent mold. All areas in the home, including closed cabinets, should undergo the dehumidification process to ensure there are no pockets of moist areas left.
Cleaning and disinfecting to prevent mold
You can speed up the drying process by cleaning the wet surfaces and disinfecting any areas that experience the damage. This includes floors, tiling, walls, baseboards, and furniture. Disinfection is meant to kill any bacteria and spores that may have started thriving. This process can be done using over-the-counter cleaning solutions with bactericidal constituents or even a bleach and water solution.
Maintain excellent airflow to prevent mold
If the weather outside is favorable (not wet), you can open your windows and fans and let air in and out speed up the evaporation process. Keeping your fans going for 24 hours should help control the moisture in your air. But be careful not to turn on your fans when you have not entirely dried standing water.
You can also keep your senses high for any foul or weird smells in the home after the water damage. This could be a sign that some areas are still damp and need to be dried.
Taking care of the damage in your home to prevent this growth is a time-sensitive process that should happen 24-48 hours after the onset of flooding. Hire professionals if the damage is extensive and take note of every loss for your insurance to cover.
Contact us to help you get the most from your insurance claim.