Basement floods do happen. And while this is a nightmare, wait until you are faced with an even greatest challenge, that of mold growth. You may have called a water damage restoration company to take care of the basement flood right away. And this may not even be a major flood either. But the possibility of mold growth is high and what you need to do is to take – once more, quick action. The sooner mold cleanup is done, the better.
Why mold is the greatest fear after a basement flood?
Mold grows and thrives in wet, humid environments. If it’s hot in there, even better. Mold spreads even faster. So, where mold spores are found? How do they land in your home? Well, mold is found everywhere in nature and may find their way in the home through all entry points. But they stay, grow, spread and become our enemy when they find a warm and humid environment.
Now, when the basement is flooded, mold finds the wet environment is looking for. It also finds matter to feed on, like drywall, wood, paper, etc. It finds humidity and warmth. It spreads in no time.
Basements flood for all sorts of reasons – due to leaks, foundation cracks, toilet backup, overflowing rivers or lakes, heavy rainfall. And so, the water is likely dirty – all the better for mold that’s looking for organic matter to thrive, all the worse for your health.
How quickly mold builds up in the wet basement?
Mold grows fast. Give it 24 to 48 hours and it will be all around your basement. As long as the conditions are right (humidity, warmth, organic matter), mold grows and spreads before you know it. So, it’s likely that you may need mold remediation after the waters of the flood are extracted.
Basement flood: what your reaction should be
Due to the fast growth of mold, you need to act fast. There’s no time to lose. There’s an urgent need for water extraction, drying, dehumidifying, and mold inspection. The first step is to make sure the water is removed entirely from the basement. But when this is done, there’s still no time to waste. You see, while your things are drying, mold may have already started its little journey. That’s why drying and dehumidifying the basement quickly and adequately is imperative. And even if that is done right away and properly, you still cannot relax.
You see, mold may be behind drywall or between the floor and subfloor. And so, such places must be checked too. So, you wonder! ‘Do I have to remove the drywall and the floor?’ You might have to. If such structural elements were soaked, chances are high the parts behind or under them are also wet. Then, basements are hardly aired. And so, the odor will be intense for sometime and will insist if some parts are not treated. It’s best to have the floor and drywall removed today than letting mold spreading under your nose, making you sick.
How to avoid such things from happening
Nobody does something on purpose to cause basement flooding. But you can prevent (as much as you can) that from happening by making sure the whole structure (roof, foundation, windows, etc.) is intact, in excellent condition, while the drainage system works flawlessly.
Then again, you need to remember that mold may grow even if there’s no basement flood but just high humidity. So, the best thing you can do is take action to keep the levels of humidity in the basement low. And in the event of a flood or mold growth, you need to get professional help. Having a pro team take over the mold removal is better than struggling with bleach that may also cause some respiratory problems, especially if the basement is not aired.