Mold after water damage. Tips from a professional
Mold is a common problem for people that have experienced water damage in their homes. Mold is often caused by moisture after a leak or flood, and acting quickly can prevent mold growth. But if mold has started after water damage, there are several ways to remove it.
Mold after water damage
Generally, water damage will often lead to mold. The faster you can fix the leak and remove the water and moisture, the lower the chance mold will develop. Under ideal conditions, mold can start as quickly as 24 hours. Dry the areas soon as possible. Ventilation is key. The mold that has developed can be removed with a mold killer.
In this article, I will explain how you can prevent mold in your house. And how you can kill mold on both porous and nonporous surfaces.
- 1 What is mold?
- 2 How can I prevent mold in my house?
- 3 What to spray to prevent mold after water damage?
- 4 Can mold grow after a leak is fixed?
- 5 How long does it take for mold to grow on wet drywall?
- 6 Will bleach kill mold after a flood?
- 7 What can I spray on wet wood to prevent mold?
- 8 What Kills mold on porous surfaces?
What is mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that grows in a white layer called mildew. It can grow on any surface, be it wood, ceiling insulation, or floor carpet. Mold digests organic matter to grow and reproduce by releasing spores. Water creates a breeding environment for mold, and mold damage varies with its duration.
The digesting of organic matter to grow often causes damage to the surface where mold is growing. Humid conditions provide a perfect environment for mold growth, hence why water leaks from leaking water pipelines and roofs will often lead to the growth and spread of mold. Spores that grow into the mold can easily attach themselves to a person’s shoes, clothes, pets, old furniture, among others, and move from one house to another.
How can I prevent mold in my house?
Mold can grow on any surface, including hidden places such as inside walls around condensing or leaking pipes, the backside of drywall, and above ceilings. Mold spores spread quickly, and treating a mold problem can be difficult and costly. Mold also produces irritants and allergens that are dangerous to your health. If you are concerned about dealing with a mold problem in your home, consider using the tips below to prevent mold growth in your home:
● Dry water immediately after a water leakage or flooding
Mold will only grow when there is moisture. To prevent moisture, dry wet areas immediately. This includes also spills on your carpet, accumulation from leaking pipes, and of course, flooding in the basement after heavy rainfall. When you experience floods, remove furniture, bedding, water-filled carpets from the house until they are adequately dried. Ensure the floor is dried properly and avoid leaving wet clothes in the washing machine, quickly spreading mold.
● Proper ventilation to prevent moisture
Ventilation is key to preventing mold. Some of your daily routines can encourage mold growth in your home, like doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, taking a shower. Provide proper ventilation in your laundry room, kitchen, bedroom, and other high-moisture rooms. If living in a humid climate, use Air Conditioning Units and dehumidifiers to lower the humidity. Ensure you check them periodically and clean them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
● Monitor humidity indoors
The indoor humidity should be maintained between 30 to 60 percent. Buy a moisture meter from your local hardware store to measure your home’s humidity levels. Pay attention to potential problem areas in your home to detect any cases of high humidity. Look out for signs of excessive humidity, such as condensation of pipes, windows, and walls. Dry the surface immediately you notice condensation and rectify the problem from the source of moisture.
● Clean and repair roof gutters
Having full or damaged gutters could lead to leakages resulting in a mold problem. Clean the roof gutters and repair them when necessary. Inspecting your roof or the gutter often will help you notice any areas that may indicate a leak.
● Install Humidity Sensors
Install humidity sensors in your home to detect and alert you when you have too high or low humidity levels. The humid environment of bathrooms offers perfect thriving ground for mold. Consider adding bath fans with humidity sensors in your home that will turn on with high moisture and turn off when it drops to normal levels. A bathroom fan will help clear moisture in five to ten minutes.
● Clean all surfaces
Clean and sanitize all hard surfaces in your home to stop any mold from growing dead in its tracks. You can use a bleaching solution to sanitize all surfaces, including walls and baseboards. Ensure you put on protective gear, preferably rubber gloves and a face mask, while using a bleaching solution for your safety.
What to spray to prevent mold after water damage?
To prevent mold after water damage, you can spray the surface with a cleaning solution. Mix 1.5 cups of fresh chlorine bleach with one gallon of water. Spray this on the surfaces you want to treat against mold. You can also purchase a mold-preventing spray. It is advisable to wear protective gear like a face mask and rubber gloves while spraying the solution.
Can mold grow after a leak is fixed?
Most leakage in your home will result in mold growth if no action is taken. However, stopping leaks quickly can prevent mold growth. After ensuring the leak is fixed, remove the water as quickly as possible. Mold may still grow after fixing the water leakage if you fail to remove all damp items from your house.
Mold can start as quickly as 24 hours under perfect conditions. But it takes several days before you will notice it. Damp items from any water leak can stay moist and harbor mold. Search for all things that may have gotten wet from the water leakage, such as furniture, rugs, carpet, and wallpaper, and properly dry them.
To dry your home ensure proper ventilation. Open windows and doors, and use a fan to improve the airflow. To speed up the drying process, use a dehumidifier for a few days after the leak is fixed. I recommend a professional dehumidifier. They can remove much more water per hour compared with a residential one.
How long does it take for mold to grow on wet drywall?
Mold on wet drywall may start in 24 to 48 hours depending on the situation. A massive water leak may lead to water soaking into the porous building materials. Excess moisture and humidity in the hair prevent water from evaporating completely, and the wet drywall has enough organic compound to encourage mold growth.
Will bleach kill mold after a flood?
Bleach can be used to remove mold in your home after water leakage. However, the bleach solution will only work against mold on nonporous surfaces like sinks and tiles. A bleach solution is not ideal to use on porous surfaces such as drywall and wood. The mold will continue to grow beneath the porous surfaces, where the bleach solution can not reach. And it will return to already cleaned quickly because the porous surfaces encourage mold to spread its roots deep inside them.
What can I spray on wet wood to prevent mold?
Prevent mold on wet wood by applying concrobium mold control. You can purchase this in a spray bottle. It can be used on wood rafters, flooring, walls, and other surfaces. Concrobium eliminates mold and dries on wood surfaces.
You may also opt to use vinegar which is an effective mold killer. Using a spray bottle, spray the mold on wood surfaces and allow it to sit for an hour. Proceed to wipe down the wood with a clean damp towel for the best results.
What Kills mold on porous surfaces?
Porous surfaces quickly absorb moisture and retain it, presenting a perfect environment for mold growth. The wideWidespread of mold in such surfaces will lead to discoloration and further spread to other areas of your home. There are several methods how to kill mold on porous surfaces:
● Kill mold on porous surfaces: Hydrogen peroxide
To kill mold on a porous surface such as clothing, furniture, bathroom items, and others using hydrogen peroxide. This natural bleaching agent is environmentally friendly. It also helps remove mold stains that are retained on surfaces after mold growth has been removed.
Apply 3% of hydrogen peroxide on porous surfaces and leave it for 15 minutes to do the magic. Using a stiff brush, scrub the area, then wipe it dry. Ensure you do not rinse the item, as that will promote mold regrowth.
● Kill mold on porous surfaces: Borax
The natural cleaning agent Borax can be used to kill mold. This product is readily available in supermarkets and is a good solution for porous surfaces.
● Kill mold on porous surfaces: Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oil can be used to eliminate mold from porous surfaces. This oil kills virtually all mold species and has no health risks to your home’s inhabitants. The tea tree oil is an anti-fungal product and ranked among the most efficient natural mold killers.
● Kill mold on porous surfaces: Baling Soda
Baking soda is also an excellent option for anyone who does not want to use harsh chemicals in mold elimination. It poses little environmental or health risk to the user. This natural deodorizer will also remove all unpleasant smells from your house that may have been caused by mold growth. Baking soda will not only kill mold but also prevent future mold infestation in your home by soaking up moisture from the porous surfaces.
● Kill mold on porous surfaces: Lemon juice
Lemon juice is another excellent option for anyone concerned about mold and musty mold smells. This is a natural mold-killer that replaces the mildew-like smell of the destroyed mold with a pleasant smell.