Mold Removal after a Fire
At least some amount of water is used in quenching flames that threaten to consume a house or property. Water seeps through holes or cracks in the roof or gets through broken windows. Drywall and other porous building materials retain water. After the fire, the wet materials become the perfect place for mold growth. Molds grow and become visible in about two days. When this happens, mold removal and mold growth prevention should be at the top of the list during the restoration of the house.
The following are the things a homeowner must keep in mind in removing mold and preventing its growth after a fire:
Determine sensitivity to chemicals or mold
- It is important to let the contractor and others, who are involved in the restoration of your home, know if any members of the household are sensitive to mold and chemicals. For the purposes of letting your insurance company and contractors know this information, you may ask your physician to write a letter stating the health concerns.
- Prepare to pay extra if you need special products or chemicals because of any sensitivity to ordinary chemicals or mold. Insurance companies usually just cover expenses for materials and procedures of normal standards.
Dry the house
- The first step in drying a wet house is to remove the liquid water. Some areas can collect pools of water and these have to be dried out.
- The next is to lower humidity levels to allow the complete drying of materials through evaporation. The dehumidifiers commonly found in households cannot dry high humidity air in time before mold starts to grow. Contractors have more powerful equipment that can dry the air more quickly. It is key to dry the house in less than two days to ensure zero or minimal mold growth.
Dry the contents of the house
- Aside from drying the house, its contents have to be dried, too. Certain things like humidity, moisture content of house materials in the area, location, season and climate are considered in the drying process. The contractors have to make sure that the materials are dried so their surface humidity is at the same level as other homes in your area.
- An expert in restoration ensures that the drying does not cause any materials in your house to dry too much and too quickly that they warp, peel or crack.
Prevent mold growth
- Molds thrive on damp and warm areas, which is why homes damaged by fire are favorite spots for mold growth.
- Get the house to dry as soon as possible to prevent mold growth. Mold removal experts can check whether the humidity has gone below 65 percent at the surface of the materials in the house. Humidity below this percentage prevents mold growth.
- If the house is not dried within 2 days or the house has a history of mold growth, mold removal experts have to be hired to clean up the mold. The same contractors who cleaned up the water may perform the mold removal if they are also certified mold inspectors and remediators.
- If it took longer than 2 days to dry the house, mold experts will have to thoroughly inspect the drywall for mold. It will be part of assessing the damage mold has caused and will help them determine the materials that can be cleaned from those that need to be replaced.
- Mold inspectors can help determine whether the mold existed before the fire or not. Removal of molds that grew after the fire is most likely covered by the insurance company.
To safeguard the health of the homeowners, mold inspection and mold removal is necessary after a fire before the house can be restored. Hidden mold can cause health issues, even to the seemingly healthy individual. The mold spores, whether dormant or dead can trigger allergic reactions to persons with weak immune systems. Constant exposure to mold can also cause allergies to develop over time.
Hire contractors that are experts in both water and mold removal. Hiring experts in both would ensure that water and mold removal are done correctly, thus, you rest assured you are restoring a healthy home.