If water ever seeps into your house (whether it be from a flood or a toilet malfunction), aside from the physical damage to your property, you also have to keep an eye out for mold. Mold and mildew will start growing on virtually anything that’s wet for a prolonged period of time. This is why basements and some bathrooms have that old musty smell. Although mold is relatively harmless, it, if enough of it is present, can irritate the lungs and eyes, induce allergies, cause vomiting, make you tired, and induce vomiting. Needless to say, having a musty smell around your home is not going to impress any of your guests. Mold can hide beneath floor tiles, on drywall, and under the carpet.
How do you know if you have safe levels of mold? Search for “damage restoration” at Yellowpages.com. They’ll be able to tell you if you have safe levels of mold growth. In nearly all cases, however, you can use common sense and figure out whether or not you have too much mold from water damage. If you have a flood somewhere in your house, here are some sure-fire tips to prevent mold growth before it starts…
Make sure to keep your doors and windows open so that the air circulates around your home.
Buy a dehumidifier. You can get one on Amazon for about $200.
Dry anything you can now. If, for example, a small bathroom carpet got wet, leave it out to dry ASAP.
Crank up the AC or heat. You want your house to be as dry as possible.
If you spot mold growth, be safe and wear protective clothing, goggles, a mask, and gloves. Unless the water damage occurred recently, you do not know what stage of growth the mold is in. It may very well be toxic black mold, which has much more severe health consequences than typical mold. When ever you clean mold, all you need is soap and water, despite other’s telling you that you should use bleach.
If your drywall gets wet, the best thing to do would be to cut off the wet drywall, and replace it with a new one. Before you replace it, make sure that everything behind the original drywall is dry and mold-free.
If your carpet gets wet, you can clean up the carpet using a carpet steam cleaner, which you can rent from the Home Depot for about $20 an hour. If the water damage is extensive, the best thing to do is to replace your carpet all together, clean up the mold with a soap solution, paint the floor with paint, and put on a new carpet. If the rug/carpet is small enough, the best thing to do is to eliminate it. This is why carpets/rugs in bathrooms do not mix very well! If your carpet ever gets wet, take care of it immediately. It is only a matter of time before your water damage mold problem grows to something much bigger.
Use your own intuition in deciding whether or not to completely replace something or call in a water damage specialist. The mold may be too deep or cover way too much area. It may also be toxic black mold, which you’d rather not handle. If, however, you’d rather clean up toxic black mold by yourself, make sure to put on a mask, protective clothing, a mask, and goggles. A mold specialist may come in handy if your house is big, the mold is too deep or extensive, or the mold has been growing as a result of water leakage for many years.