Floods are the main cause of water damage and mold, whether it is from an inside source or outside occurrence. The damage that water causes is a time consuming clean up task, and one that is also costly. Despite the monetary loss that is caused by furniture and other items being lost, damage to walls and other parts of the home, other costs such as finding temporary shelter, clean up costs, treatment costs, and replacement of much of the damage property can become a nightmare. In most flood scenarios, regular home insurance does not cover these costs. More and more coastal areas or areas near lakes or rivers are becoming flood zones and the need to buy flood insurance is growing.

Water Damage Mold

Another devastating issue associated with floods is water damage mold. Mold growth is a result of moisture in areas of the home. Mold is composed of tiny microorganisms that are a type of fungi and release spores to the air we breathe while reproducing this way. Mold digests organic material such as plants when it attaches to it, but the problem starts when mold reproduces in areas such as walls, sheet rock, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, paint, carpet, insulation, and other areas of the home. When it starts multiplying, it will become a health hazard. Mold needs a moist environment to grow and multiply. Spores can enter a home airborne and start multiplying under the right humid and moist conditions. By keeping an environment clean and dry, the growth of mold is prevented.

Molds Can Be Dangerous

Mold spores will be released in the air when mold is disturbed and they may go into the lungs when we breathe. By touching walls that have mold or moldy food, we are taking a chance of getting mold spores in our body. People who are sensitive to mold spores may get sick and experience asthma attacks, skin rash, cough, eye irritation, congestion… When levels of mold are high in an environment, they become toxic and people will get very sick and experience nausea, headaches, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and other serious effects. Medical intervention is required in this case.

How To Identify Water Damage Mold

Mold has a musty odor and it appears on a surface as small black and/or white specks. However, it can also be hiding inside the walls and other areas where it cannot be easily spotted. For mold to grow and reproduce moisture has to be present. This could be due to plumbing leaks, flooding, cold and damp areas in the home or rooms like bathrooms with poor ventilation and frequent use of water. If you smell mold, then it is obvious that a mold problem exists in the house. It is important to use protection when inspecting for moldy areas to avoid touching and inhaling the spores. The sooner mold is discovered and cleaned the better, as mold will not continue to grow.

How To Prevent Mold

There are many things a homeowner can do to prevent mold. It is important to fix any water leaks right away, clean damp areas, open windows for ventilation, increase air circulation throughout the home by position furniture accordingly, using exhaust fans in rooms where water usage is higher such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens, cleaning and vacuuming the house frequently to remove mold spores, and drying right away any furniture or materials that might be wet or exposed to water, including removing such items depending on the case.

How To Clean Up Mold

Mold clean up needs to be done by using protection in eyes, skin, and mouth/nose. Small areas can be a do it yourself job, but larger areas are best handled by a professional who knows how to spot hidden mold problems as well. It is important to work with ventilation when cleaning a mold area. In addition, it is important to bag and tie moldy items or materials. To clean up mold in small areas, clean the surface with a solution of ΒΌ bleach to a gallon of water wait twenty minutes and repeat the treatment, then wait another twenty minutes. Use a borate based cleaner for the last step, and apply it to the area without rinsing. Borate inhibits the growth of mold. This time do not rinse this solution and let the area dry thoroughly. Check frequently to see if mold has returned to the area.

Water Damage Clean Up

Water damage clean up may prove to be challenging. Depending on the source of the water – dirty or clean – the water clean up might be more or less time consuming. Black water like sewage may require the intervention of a professional and disinfecting of the area, so will large damaged areas, which required heavy clean up and thorough drying. Small occurrences, called gray water, such as flood from a washer or clean water source such as a dishwasher might be done by the homeowner. In almost all cases a white water clean up can also be done by the homeowner. White water also called clean water is the least hazardous of the three. A broken water filter is a typical source of white water.
It is important to wear protection such as gloves and turn the electricity off when cleaning water. In addition, materials and equipment such as water vacuums or submersible pumps, carpet cleaning machines, cleaners and deodorizers, disinfectants … To dry the area well a homeowner will need fans, air movers, and dehumidifiers. If the damage is extensive, a professional with the right equipment to get into walls and remove or treat baseboards and other materials might need to be hired. Depending on the extent of the damage, other equipment may be necessary.

Water Damage Repair

Water damage repair cost may depend on the area affected and the type of water damage. Water damage may be due to floods in the worst-case scenario, a leaky roof, an improperly sealed window, and many other issues. Flood damage is the most costly due to water damage in mostly every part of the home and the need to replace materials and possessions. There is also water damage that is caused by poor construction conditions and builds up over time.
In small instances of water damage repair can be done by the homeowner and save money, however the job must be done properly and with knowledge, so future damage does not occur, making the savings obsolete. Water damage repair is best left to the professionals when the job is too overwhelming and has extended to a large part of the home. Insurance companies may also present issues requiring a professional to do the job. In the end, a professional might save you money, as you might need to rent expensive equipment to do the job properly.