Mold growth isn’t uncommon after property or business owners experience water damage, but understanding how quickly it can escalate makes all the difference. It’s important to be aware of mold and learn how to identify it if you’re going to have a fighting chance at preventing its growth.
While the most common type of mold is mildew, both black mold and toxic black mold spores pose the greatest risk and are most difficult to treat. Mold spores exist in the environment at all times, but water leaks, condensation, and flooding create the perfect growing conditions in which it can thrive. Even after flood water clears, mold spores can begin to take hold in the affected area within 24 hours.
Understanding how quickly mold can take hold is the first thing homeowners should be mindful of after experiencing water damage, but what you do next makes all the difference.
Call ATI Restoration, the leaders in water damage restoration to guide you through water damage restoration.
If you discover signs of flooding or a leak around your property or business, it’s important that you take immediate steps to mitigate the damage.
Find the water source
Identify where the water’s coming from and work to mitigate the leak and stop further damage. If it’s a broken pipe, turn off the water supply. If you can prevent the water from spreading with towels, try to absorb the moisture to control where it spreads. Be sure to contact the police and fire departments if you have electrical concerns.
Document the damage
Use cameras or cell phones to photograph and record the damage. There’s no such thing as too many images, but make sure that you focus the lens and take wide-angle shots as well as closeups. If it’s safe, document inside crawl spaces and look for burst pipes.
Document the exterior damage on your property if a natural disaster triggered the leak.
Anywhere mold is already visible, take note to photograph that, as well.
If you have renters, homeowners, or commercial property insurance, it’ll be important to document the damage both for yourself and for the benefit of your landlord. Both parties will be able to file insurance claims to report the damage and repair personal property.
Start the claims process
Call your insurance company to report the damage as soon as possible. When you start the claims process, you’ll also have an opportunity to share photos and videos of the damage, so have everything you need ready to go.
A professional water damage repair company like ATI Restoration will be best able to provide a comprehensive inspection and estimate for water extraction and repairs to assist the insurance company.
While beginning the claims process and photographing water damage, you should also start the drying process and be aware of constant changes in the environment. Mold growth happens most significantly within the first 24–72 hours after water damage.
A few things you can do to help with mold remediation include:
Quick cleanup is the surest way to prevent mold, but being aware of signs of growth is also important.
Many property owners identify mold growth after water damage by smell. Even if you are not experiencing health issues, you should seek the help of mold removal experts who can help identify an infestation.
Mildew, black mold, and toxic black mold can grow readily in the perfect warm, humid conditions following water damage. It can take some time for the mold growth to be visible, but if you’re alert and know what to look for, you can get ahead of its spread.
Immune system responses
All mold can affect your immune system. It may trigger allergic reactions or cause long-term health problems. While you may be able to visibly see mold growing in the perfect conditions, oftentimes it grows out of sight, and sometimes without a musty odor. In some instances, changes in your health can be the first sign you should contact an expert to inspect for potential mold and, if necessary, estimate mold remediation.
Rust, warping, and deterioration
Though rust, warping wood, and signs of rot and deterioration are common indications where water damage once was, you should monitor for significant changes that may be happening out of sight. Fraying or rippled carpeting and warping floors or ceiling tiles are an indication that there’s still water damage affecting wooden floorboards or underlayment. Rust indicates where there was once moisture on metal and you should monitor for signs of surface mold nearby.
Time is of the essence when you’ve experienced water damage. The first step after filing a claim is to schedule an inspection with a reliable company so you can help the insurance company determine how much can be funded for repairs.
Contact our team when you need help with emergency services or if you have a mold problem. The experts at ATI Restoration are skilled and available quickly to help scope the cost of repairs, and provide the water damage restoration and cleanup services needed to get the repairs done.