Cleanup After A Flood: Preventing Black Mold From Infesting Your Home

Cleaning up after a flood involves so much more than just mopping up. Flood damage has the potential to leave harmful aftereffects which can linger long after the flood waters have receded. Failure to comprehensively dry out a space after flooding increases the possibility of dreaded black mold.

Mold Spores

The spores released by all forms of mold have the ability to cause some respiratory irritation. In many cases, this is asymptomatic and has no ongoing adverse effects. Some people may experience more evident (and far more dangerous) respiratory distress, which can be more pronounced with black mold. What are these health risks?

Potential Risks

Mold can release Cladosporium and Alternaria spores, which may trigger serious asthma attacks in those already affected by the condition. Black mold itself (Stachybotrys chartarum) has been connected to what is commonly known as sick building syndrome. The growth and subsequent inhalation of mold spores are thought to cause a myriad of potentially life-threatening ailments. A link has not been conclusively proven, but black mold is suspected to be the cause of many reported instances of bleeding in the lungs reported in infants. 

Black Mold

Black mold favors two things—cellulose (plant fiber used to make wood pulp, which can be used in construction) and moisture. If cellulose becomes wet after a flood, black mold may grow, even if the space appears dry. Professional cleaning is the only way to exhaustively remove moisture from the site—both visible and invisible moisture.

Flood Damage

Professional cleaning after a flood may make use of an industrial dehumidifier. This will be put in place after all groundwater has been removed—either mopped up or pumped out (or both). Cursory cleaning will also have been performed. The industrial dehumidifier is then operated at a level and for a duration that reflects the level of flooding your home has experienced. It extracts moisture from the air itself, as well as from surrounding structures. Once it has been judged that any potentially problematic moisture has been removed, the dehumidifier is removed, and final cleaning is performed. A mold inspection may be performed at a later stage for extra surety.

The best way to stop black mold from harming your health is to prevent it from growing in the first place. Since the aftermath of a flood offers ideal conditions for this noxious growth, you must be sure that your cleanup efforts are enough to stop black mold from developing.

Reach out to flood damage restoration contractors to learn more.