Natural disasters are a harsh reality. Scientists predict we will see more floods in the near future if we keep warming the planet with greenhouse gases at the same rate. With rising sea levels, coastal flooding will continue to worsen. Melting glaciers and ice sheets contribute to the ocean's increased volume, and warmer water expands, adding to the problem. Flash flooding is also expected to increase as extreme precipitation events become more frequent. In addition, researchers expect that with global warming, flash floods will become more dynamic, occurring with briefer intervals and more significant impact. As a result, they will become more hazardous and destructive.
When water damage affects your property, prompt and effective clean-up becomes imperative to restore it promptly. In many cases, flood water is heavily contaminated with sewage and other pollutants which can lead to sickness and infections. To ensure your health and prevent further property damage, seeking professional cleaning services is a must.
Flood/Water damage after-care extends beyond cleaning dirt and debris, rinsing and ventilating affected areas, and disinfecting floor drains. Mold can start growing on moist surfaces in as little as two days, potentially causing serious problems if not handled properly.
Safeguarding Properties: Preventing and Handling Mold Infestations
In comparison to the challenges posed by fire or water, mold is often seen as less alarming. Interestingly, molds find utility in various industries, such as food production, where they are employed to produce essential elements like enzymes. Nevertheless, it begs the question: how can mold still pose a serious risk?
Molds are a part of the natural environment. In outdoor settings, it plays a constructive role in decomposing organic matter. Within indoor spaces, however, it's crucial to avoid mold growth. Mold reproduces through tiny spores that remain undetectable to the naked eye. Then they disperse through both indoor and outdoor air. If these spores land on wet surfaces, mold growth may begin.
Moldy properties are a major problem, as it affects a substantial portion of buildings in both Canada and the US. Mold boasts its exceptional ability to multiply quickly: It only takes 24-48 hours to grow in indoor spaces with moisture. Left neglected, mold can rapidly expand to different parts of a property, posing health concerns and requiring costly repairs.
The Sight of Mold is Displeasing
The sight of mold is far from appealing. They may look like furry growth, black stains, or specks of black, brown, white, green, and, even sometimes, orange. Once established, mold stains can be extremely challenging or even impossible to eliminate, persisting even after a thorough cleaning.
Black mold, usually referred to as 'toxic mold', is a type of mold species with a black or dark green appearance. One such type is Stachybotrys chartarum. It can grow on material with a high cellulose content, such as cotton, fiberboard, gypsum board, and paper.
Health Hazards Caused by Mold
Mold can cause detrimental effects on human health, especially for children or people with pre-existing health conditions. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and potentially toxic substances called mycotoxins. Inhaling or coming into contact with mold or mold spores can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, resulting in symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Molds can also induce asthma attacks in individuals with mold allergies who have asthma. Additionally, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic individuals.
Mold's Potential to Infest HVAC Systems
When mold infiltrates heating and air conditioning systems, its infestations can quickly worsen. HVAC ducts provide an ideal breeding ground for mold due to the humid air circulating within. To make it worse, mold feeds on the moisture found in dust accumulated within the system. Then its spores can disperse through the air, contaminating other areas of your property.
Mold Can Destroy Your Property
Did you know that mold can deteriorate your property's structure? When mold is left to flourish, it can spread rapidly and colonize various surfaces. It can effectively eat away at foundation materials like wood and drywall. As a result, the structural integrity of a building can be significantly compromised, leading to permanent damage. The value of your property will also decrease accordingly.
Mold Remediation with Specialists
Due to its rapid growth rate, a prompt response is key to effective mold remediation. First, you need to conduct a thorough investigation. For affected areas, go through every inch of this area with a fine-toothed comb to detect any instances of a mold outbreak. Nipping the problem in the bud can save you a lot of stress and heartache in the future.
There are many Do-It-Yourself methods and products you can find on the internet. For substantial water damage and large areas, however, we highly recommend consulting a professional mold inspection and remediation expert. If mold issues, including those hardly visible to the naked eye or hidden in unreachable areas, are not professionally dealt with, it will cause much greater issues. Reliable mold specialists can provide the following services:
Use industrial-strength anti-fungal and antimicrobial cleaners for mold removal
Contain the mold to prevent it from spreading to other areas
Purify the air to remove airborne mold spores
Remove mold stains
Correct indoor humidity levels
Use sealers to bolster the treated areas' ability to withstand future water damage
Mold Prevention and Control Tips
Here are some tips to prevent and control mold on your property:
Act promptly when indoor water leaks or spills happen. By drying wet or damp materials within 24-48 hours after the incident, mold growth can be prevented in most cases.
Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
Ensure that the ground around the building foundation slopes away from it, preventing water from entering or pooling near the foundation.
Regularly clean air conditioning drip pans and ensure unobstructed and proper flow in drain lines.
Keep indoor humidity low, ideally between 30 and 50 percent.
Whenever possible, ensure that appliances such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters, which produce moisture, are vented to the outside.
Increase ventilation and air circulation by opening doors and/or windows when feasible. Utilize fans as necessary.
Use insulation to cover cold surfaces like cold water pipes, avoiding condensation and potential damage.