After the Flood, Mold
If you had flooding or water damage during the storms in San Diego earlier this month, now is the time to keep your eyes (and nose) on guard for mold. Here, we tell you about signs of mold, and what to do about them.
Mold is a part of the fungi family, and grows well when it has air, moisture, and "food" (ie building materials like drywall, flooring, fabric, grout). Mold spores occur and move naturally in the air and make their way from outside to inside our buildings. Under normal circumstances they do not establish large, destructive colonies. But with flooding, conditions are right for mold to take hold.
For more details about what mold is and what it can do, check out our informative website links:
How to Detect Mold After a Flood
Mold is not always visible to the naked eye, so if you've had water damage, you need to be aware of all the signs.
Sign 1: You can actually see the mold. (Mold species vary a lot - some are orange, others green, white, brown... Of course, you've heard of black mold, known to cause serious health issues.)
Sign 2: You smell mold. (Mold has a musty, earthy odor. If you can't see mold, but you can smell it, it means it's growing in a place you can't see, such as inside the wall.)
Sign 3: You detect "mushy" areas of flooring. (Mold can eat away at structural building materials and cause them to give way. For instance, a leak around a toilet can weaken the floor below it.)
Sign 4: You are an allergy or asthma sufferer, and are having frequent bouts that you can't attribute to other factors. Mold is a known trigger for people with allergies and asthma. Toxic molds have also been linked to headaches, dizziness, skin conditions, and other health issues.
Even if you are not noticing any of these telltale signs, you should keep this issue on your radar (especially if you have experienced recent water damage) -- mold is a frequent tailgater of floods.
What to do if you think you have a mold problem
If you have the beginning of a mold issue, depending on the size, you may be able to handle clean up on your own. The CDC has recommendations on handling mold: Get Rid of Mold
You must be very diligent about your preparation and stategy, if you decide to take care of mold on your own, both for your health and to make sure all mold is removed. (It can easily grow back, if not.)
If there is a possibility that the mold is inside of a structure (under flooring or cabinets, behind drywall, etc) you should have the building tested for mold and humidity levels. Then a plan of attack can be developed.
Flood remediation companies often specialize in mold issues as well, since the two problems are so closely linked.
This is the case with Clean Earth Restorations. We identify sources of moisture (if necessary), use thermal/infra red imaging and borescopes to detect mold in hidden places, remove contaminated materials, ensure drying and disinfection of affected areas, can repair any damage (we are a licensed general contractor), and keep records and help navigate insurance claims.
We also give free estimates. Contact us today through the link below to make an appointment or ask questions.