This article was adapted from an earlier article we published after Super Storm Sandy, but the information is very relevant to Colorado flood victims.
The recipe for exponential mold growth is for moisture to reach above 50% in an environment that is out of direct sunlight and that has mold is already present. This is exactly what happens in the aftermath of a freak weather event such as floods in Colorado.
Storms such as these can force water into your home in many ways. Broken windows and damaged roofs are the most common. But it can also come in through hydrostatic pressure on your foundation walls, or through septic systems that back up your plumbing. This is especially true with homes that have sump pump wells.
If you have had water intrusion into your home, you are highly likely to have a mold problem develop. Mold growth is mainly a hazard for people with mold allergies and sensitivities, which is about 16% of the population. But, it can also be a big problem for the general population if there are toxic mold varieties in your home. These are commonly referred to as black or toxic mold and produce a poisonous substance call mycotoxins. Both should be taken seriously.
Mold grows exponentially under the right conditions and can overwhelm your immune system quickly. If you have a water problem there are some important steps to take quickly:
1. Start using a dehumidifier – reducing moisture under 50% inhibits mold growth.
2. Remove all water soaked sheetrock, carpet, paper, clothing from your home or office.
4. Start right away. The longer you wait the greater the problem will become.
Being proactive will reduce the amount of work and cost necessary to clean up in the wake of a storm. Of course major damage may require you to hire a mold remediation and repair specialist. But you can clean your environment effectively with DIY tools that are available if you are thorough.
Here are a couple more things to remember:
1. You should wear an N-95 face mask to prohibit breathing in the mold while working in the space
2. Be sure to test the environment after you are done cleaning using mold screening plates. Test again a month later to make sure you have control over the mold.
3. Make sure you do not wear the clothing you have been working in inside a clean environment, because you don’t want to re-contaminate it.
If you would like to read more about our Environmental Protocol you can read more about it HERE.