Mold Removal after accidental flood
The first 48 hours after accidental flooding is critical in preventing or containing mold growth. Molds are everywhere, indoors, outdoors. At normal levels, they usually don’t cause problems. When indoor molds proliferate they become health hazards. Thorough cleaning, drying and removal of water damaged materials from accidental floods should be done in less than 48 hours to prevent or limit mold growth.
Molds need moisture to grow and multiply. They will proliferate in confined damp areas and destroy whatever it is they are growing on. As soon as molds grow, they release countless spores, microscopic seeds in protective shells. Each of these mold spores is capable of germinating and in turn producing more mold spores. In less than 24 hours, a visible mold colony could develop from a single invisible mold spore.
There are many kinds of molds in any given area. Most are benign and harmless. A few are real health hazards, producing poisonous substances called mycotoxins that contaminate the surroundings. Nonetheless, high levels of mold spores in the air, whether benign or virulent can affect health and cause respiratory problems.
An accidental flood is wetness where it is not supposed to be. Most domestic flooding come from fixtures and appliances that is connected to water, like bathtubs, toilets, washing machines, and dishwashers.
Bathtubs could overflow when being filled unattended. The overflow outlet in the tub drains excess water by gravity which is no match to the pressure of water flowing in. the water coming in is faster than what is going out and makes the tub overflow. Appliances can overflow because of faulty gaskets and seals. The toilet tank could overflow if the automatic cut off is faulty.
Toilets bowls get clogged and flow over. Too much tissue paper and infrequent flushing could clog the drains. Clogs could also come from things that are not meant to be flushed in the toilet, such as tampons, diapers, and anything plastic.
If the toilet is draining slowly, adding more water to increase the pressure might even make more water to overflow with water that had been sitting in the drains because of improper plumbing or due to movement in the building foundation.
The drainage system may have been compromised. Tree roots can intrude into the drainage pipes and cause dirty water to back up.
Pipes could burst because the plumbing system is frozen. Gasket and seals can also dry out with age, crack, and cause leaks. Leaks from gaskets and seals that are hidden out of sight could go unnoticed.
Sprinkler systems for fire protection could go off accidentally and drench property and belongings.
Steps to minimize damage
Stop the flood from spreading. Turn off the source of water to malfunctioning appliances and broken pipes. Unplug electrical appliances to prevent electrocution or electrical fires.
Protect furnishings and belongings from further damage. Remove belongings that are not yet wet and transfer them to a dry area.
Remove wet furniture, carpets and belongings. Store them outside in the open air where they cannot drip on things and cause more damage.
Drain or mop up the standing water. A pump may be needed to remove water that cannot be drained away.
Clean up dirt and sludge. Use a bleach solution as disinfectant especially if there is sewage contamination.
The health risks from sewage contamination cannot be overemphasized. Molds, bacteria, viruses are present in sewage water even if the water appears clear.
Disinfection is not a substitute for physical cleanup. Dirt should be removed. There are lesser airborne contaminants when debris is cleared away while still wet.
Dry the area and reduce humidity. Simple fans can aid the dehumidifier and speed up the drying process.
Inspect and assess the flood damage. Moisture may have seeped into porous materials like plaster. Water from the floor may have seeped into wall cavities. Wood materials may have soaked up. Sewage contamination in wood is difficult to clean up well.
Mold contamination is a special concern. Even if molds are killed by bleach, mold spores can still be present and trapped in the area, a consequence of the energy conservation drive. Energy efficient buildings hold in heat as well as moisture, the perfect environment for mold growth.
Get professional services for mold testing or mold removal. Expert mold contractors should be able to respond to your situation as soon as possible. Timeliness is paramount in mold clean up after accidental floods.