Molds are organisms that bask in wet and moist environments. Post-flood scenarios are the perfect breeding ground for molds. Usually, when homeowners experience flooding, they immediately want to remove the floodwater inundating their homes and get on with their lives. What these homeowners do not know though is that clean up does not end in flood water extraction. All types of moisture have to be dried up, even those that occur in unseen areas. These unseen areas include the interior walls, which can absorb floodwaters during the height of the inundation.
When moisture is not fully-eliminated, mold can grow in a matter of 48 hours. Once it grows, it needs to be removed immediately and permanently to avoid health hazards.
Where it usually grows
There are times that molds grow in visible areas. There are instances as well when it grows in areas that are not too visible. The common denominator of these areas is that these are warm, damp, and humid. Regardless of where it grows, it leaves homeowners a clue that it is present in their home.
Here are some of the areas where mold commonly grows inside the home:
- Cabinets under the sink. Leaks usually happen under the sink, and when these go unchecked, molds can grow. The environment is just perfect for molds to propagate since the area is dark and damp. This goes true for both the kitchen and the bathroom under sink cabinets.
- Corners of the ceiling. When there are roof leaks, the ceiling gets damp even after the water has leaked through it already. When this moisture has not been entirely removed, mold can grow in this area. Check for discolorations and warping, as these are the significant signs of a mold problem.
- Shower or Tub area. The shower and the bathtub area are two of the most common places where mold grows. It usually starts as mildew, but when it grows unchecked, molds will proliferate. Molds must be removed at the first sign of growth.
- The pantry and cupboards. These areas may hold food spillage that may have been forgotten by the homeowner. Hence molds started to grow in the area. Since cabinets and pantries are not as ventilated as other parts of the kitchen, it becomes a perfect breeding ground for molds to grow.
- The refrigerator. People refrigerate food to prolong its shelf life. But once it is forgotten, or have been pushed back in the fridge, it can harbor molds. Mold growth within food containers and jars are all too common in refrigerators that are not regularly cleaned out. Periodic cleaning up and decluttering of the fridge is the best way to avoid having molds in the refrigerator.
- The oven and the microwave. Food splatters and spills are all too common in the microwave and conventional ovens. When these cooking appliances are not cleaned and not used regularly, molds can propagate. Make it a habit to clean up the spills and the splatters at least once a week to keep mold growth in check.
- HVAC Vents. The vents of a home’s heating and air conditioning systems can harbor mold growth. The condensation from both the air conditioning and the heating systems create a damp environment that is perfect in terms of growing mold spores. Keep the HVAC vents regularly cleaned and well-maintained to avoid mold issues.
The trouble with molds growing in AC and heating vents is that it directly affects the indoor air quality inside the home. The air blown by the HVAC gets compromised as it is already tainted with mold spores.
- Under the carpet. Molds love moist environments, and when spills do not get dried out, molds can grow in as fast as two days. Flooding does this too when the carpets have not been thoroughly cleaned and dried out after a flooding occurrence. When a flood damage restoration contractor says that the flooded carpet can still; be salvaged, make sure to take it to a professional cleaner who can dry out the carpet and prevent mold growth.
- The chimney and the fireplace can sustain mold growth too. If there is a fireplace or a chimney at home, it is best to check it periodically for mold growth. The porous material that is usually used in building these areas can be a perfect place for molds to multiply after flooding. Make sure that the moisture in these areas is eliminated during the flood cleanup process. Ensure as well that it gets professionally cleaned periodically.
- Molds in the insulation. The insulation can invite mold growth when condensation or humidity is present. Make sure to check these areas, especially when a musty odor permeates the area near the insulation.
- Molds in the basement. The basement is yet another area where mold commonly grows. Since for most homes, it houses the sump pump, the water heater, and the furnace, leaks from these fixtures enable mold growth. Check the surrounding areas of these fixtures regularly to rule out mold growth at home.
- The window sill. If there is a window in the house that has condensation, immediately inspect the window beams and the surrounding area for possible mold growth. Molds love the damp and humid environment, and so they can reproduce in these portions of the home.
- Mattresses and upholstery. If floodwaters have reached beds inside the home and these have not been adequately dried, then molds can grow in these areas. Same goes for couch and other upholstered furniture. Even curtains and drapes can be a breeding ground for molds when not dried out correctly.
Mold grows in areas where water damage or flooding may have occurred. Homeowners must be aware that immediate cleanup and professional repair is necessary to prevent mold issues. Molds are not just a hazard to health; it can also be very destructive to the whole property’s structure. It can even pull down the market value of a real estate property.