When it comes to flooding, your property’s basement is especially vulnerable to being affected. Whether there is a pipe that bursts in the basement or a severe storm that causes precipitation to seep into your home, a flooded basement must be addressed in a prompt manner. When immediate action is not taken, the flooding can result in extensive property damage and even lead to mold growth.
Mold growth in a home causes its own set of damage. So, when mold growth occurs in the aftermath of flooding, there will be damage from both the water and the mold to worry about. But if you act quickly enough, then basement mold will not be an issue to fret over.
Continue reading to learn more about how to protect your basement from mold after flooding.
Basement Mold Formation
Mold spores are naturally present in the air, so there is always a risk for mold growth in your basement and elsewhere on your property. All the mold spores need to grow and develop colonies is a food source and a moisture source. When your basement has flooded, mold spores readily have both available to them with the floodwater and building materials that contain cellulose, a common food source for mold.
Basement Mold Prevention
The key to preventing basement mold and mold growth anywhere in a property is moisture control. This is because eliminating the moisture gets rid of a crucial element that mold spores need to develop into colonies.
Whether you are currently dealing with basement flooding or just want to prevent mold growth in general, do what you can to limit moisture buildup and maintain control of the moisture level in your property.
1. Remove the Water and Dry the Property
In regard to a flooded basement, preventing mold means eliminating the excess water and moisture as quickly as possible. The water must be addressed within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold from growing. Because there is such a large volume of water involved, there is also a greater risk for mold growth throughout the basement.
Knowing this, remove the excess water and dry the basement promptly. First, make sure the power is shut off. Then, use mops, buckets, a water pump, and/or wet/dry vacuums to get the water out from the property.
Clean the affected walls and floors with warm soapy water to eliminate any dirt and debris. From there, open any doors and windows you can to help speed up the drying process and be sure to utilize fans and dehumidifiers as well.
2. Address and Clean Damaged Items
If there are porous items that have been affected by the floodwater for more than 48 hours, then they are past the point of being cleaned and dried in an effective manner. Furthermore, they are even more prone to becoming the site of mold growth. So carpeting, drywall, wood products, and other porous items need to be discarded. If they remain in the area, mold is bound to grow.
Other wet items should be moved elsewhere to a place where they can thoroughly dry. Consider bringing them out to your open garage or somewhere outdoors where there’s open space to encourage quicker drying.
In regard to hard, nonporous surfaces, use water and detergent to clean them and prevent mold growth.
3. Basement Mold Cleanup and Removal
If you do come across basement mold, it — like water and flood damage — needs to be addressed as soon as possible to prevent the problem from worsening.
If mold has grown on carpeting or furniture, then it’s best to discard these items and replace them. The same can be said for any areas and materials that have been contaminated by mold, but this is especially the case for furnishings and other similar items.
To clean mold, first prioritize your safety. Wear rubber gloves, clothing that covers your limbs, a face mask, goggles, and other protective gear that will limit direct contact and interaction with the fungus. Then, use either a commercial mold cleaner or a solution of 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water to scrub down the moldy surfaces.
Get Professional Help
When your basement has flooded, immediate action is imperative to prevent further damage and potential mold growth. The best way to approach this is to turn to qualified professionals for immediate help. Even if you can do the work to clean your basement and prevent mold yourself, you can feel at ease knowing that the job will be done in an efficient, effective manner with trained professionals.
ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors has professional water damage restoration services available for properties in need in Fort Wayne and the northeastern Indiana area. Within these services, we can handle the water extraction and drying required when a basement has flooded.
Additionally, our professional water damage restoration technicians are trained to provide mold remediation work. If mold has already started growing, you want to address it with help from the professionals like us. We can effectively restore your basement of any water damage and handle mold removal, making it easier on you.
Call us at (260) 420-1502 for our 24/7 professional water damage restoration services.