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The monsoon season lowers Tucson’s hot summer temperatures, brings much needed water, and nourishes our plants. However, the monsoon season also can cause damage to roofs and home foundations. Flood damage is one of the greatest sources of property damage in the United States.
In the process of cleaning up flood water, there is always a potent and hidden danger. That danger is mold. Mold will become a factor in any structure where there is an overabundance of water. Here are some tips to prevent that mold from invading your home or business.
Common Causes of Water Damage:
- monsoon flooding
- sewage back-up
- plumbing leaks
- roof leaks
- bathtub and/or sink overflows
- washing machine water supply line leak
- condensation from your AC
- water heater malfunction
How to recognize mold damage
A broken pipe or flooding rains during the monsoon season can bring water into your home, garage or even your office. Mold can literally establish itself to the point of noticeable odor and visibility within hours of the flood water receding or being pumped out. Slow leaks can be equally as damaging as a major water event. Because they go unnoticed, a garbage disposal that drips periodically can ruin a cabinet and leak to the floor beneath it. A dripping drainpipe from a bathtub or shower can do the same. You may not see the evidence until the structure around it becomes so compromised, they fail. Even though the damage was from a slow leak, it still follows the same cleanup and restoration process as flood damage.
Even if you can’t see it, mold could be in your home. If any of the following conditions exist, you may have mold.
- Recent water damage where materials were wet for longer than 2 days.
- You smell musty odors in the home.
- You have excessive humidity in your home.
- You have condensation around windows or on exterior walls.
- You are having allergy-like symptoms in your home, that gets better when you are away.
Mold Inspections & Testing
If you suspect mold growth or see growing mold in your home, it is best to let a professional perform a mold inspection and to deal with your mold removal. If not taken care of correctly, mold spores can spread throughout your home. There can be as many as 1-12 million mold spores per square inch. When disturbed, these spores will become airborne and can travel to other areas. Mold will not go away by itself. It can quickly grow into a much larger problem if you wait.
Nearly 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis, and according to the Mayo Clinic, most of these conditions are caused by mold. Of course, sinusitis is just one of many dangers if you have black mold in your home. Untreated mold will only continue to grow, as will health problems that may include, but are not limited to asthma, body aches and pains, bronchitis, dizziness, chronic fatigue, headaches, eye, nose and throat irritation and difficulty concentrating.
Combating mold growth
In more serious cases of flooding or rook leaks, you’ll want to call a water damage restoration professional right away and begin the drying process as soon as possible. A professional restoration company will have powerful drying equipment like air movers and blowers.
Here are some tips to help you out:
- Open the windows to allow airflow
- Clean up water condensation as soon as you see it
- Wipe down your furniture using a dry towel or cloth
- Call a professional restoration company that has 24/7 Emergency Services
Once you take measures for eliminating moisture, the next step is mold containment. Here’s how you can do that.
Mold containment of the affected area
Mold containment is the most important step in the mold remediation process. The infected area has to be isolated from the rest of the house. Containment ensures that mold in the area being remediated does not spread into other areas of the home when it becomes airborne. It WILL become airborne.
Mold Containment Step 1
Install physical barriers around the affected area. You will need heavy-duty plastic (yard trash bags can work) and duct tape. The main goal of the barrier is to completely contain affected area from any non-affected areas of the home.
Mold Containment Step 2
ALL openings inside the barrier need to be taped or covered in plastic. This may include:
- Hallway entrances
- Air vents
- Electrical outlets
- Light fixtures
- Exhaust fans
While Commercial Cleaning and Restoration does not recommend DIY mold removal, we know that there are a lot of people out there who do NOT properly contain the affected area. Many DIYers have found that they didn’t have the right safety equipment or they found a larger issue than they expected.
Mold Removal Step 1
The containment area needs to have enough space to work INSIDE including bagged materials you are removing and a HEPA air filter. Don’t make the area too big but you also don’t want the space too small to work. Install tape on each side of the plastic for entrance/exit so you can enter and exit the containment barrier easily.
Mold Removal Step 2
If the moldy materials are unable to be discarded through a window or door to the outside, a controlled and contained path needs to be created, all the way from the containment area to outside.
Mold Removal Step 3
Install a HEPA filtered negative air machine in the contained area. This fan will pull air from the affected area and via flexible tubing will expel the contaminated air outside. If the containment is working when you turn on the negative air machine, the plastic sheeting should billow inwards. If it flutters outward, containment has been lost, and you should find and correct the problem.
Mold Removal Step 4
Before you remove the moldy materials, outfit yourself with personal protective equipment. You will need gloves, goggles, a respirator, and disposable clothing.
What to do if you might have mold
If you suspect mold is growing in your home, Commercial Cleaning & Restoration can perform a mold inspection, take air or surface samples for testing and test moisture levels in your home to determine the possibility of hidden mold. We will help put your mind at ease and make sure your home or office space is safe.
If mold containment and remediation are necessary, we offer full-service mold remediation with 24/7 Emergency Services.
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At Commercial Cleaning & Restoration, we want the best for you and your carpet and we will work to prove it to you.
We also clean area rugs and upholstery.
If you are interested in having your flooring and upholstery professionally cleaned, schedule an appointment at (520) 297-4736 for your home today!