5 Reasons to Do a Professional Mold Inspection After Water Damage
Water damage is a huge problem for homeowners and there are many ways water can enter a home and cause damage. It may be the result of a leaking roof or a broken window. It can be caused by damaged plumbing or overflowing sinks. Or it could be due to flooding from a natural disaster.
The trouble with water damage is how hard it is to detect. Water can be secretly damaging the walls, floors, and ceilings in a home long before it is discovered. When the problem is eventually found, the process of fixing it can be extensive, expensive, and time-consuming.
A water damaged home needs massive work to rid it of water. The contents of the home must be dried out. Depending on how much water has entered the home and how long it was there, walls and floors may need to be replaced. If your home has sustained serious water damage, a professional water damage restoration provider can help dry and restore your home. But even after this is done, it is not always the end of the problem.
Homeowners whose homes have suffered water damage often think that once the home is dried out, the problem is now solved. But as Onsite Property Services points out, drying the home is just one part of solving the problem. Water damage also exposes the home to another type of problem that is not always visible.
It creates an environment for mold to grow in the home.
Why mold is likely after water damage
Water damaged homes, even after they are dried out, may retain characteristics that make them a favorable place for mold growth. Factors that make a home attractive to mold are:
- Warmth: Mold needs an optimal temperature of around 77 to 86 °F (25 to 30 °C) to flourish.
- High humidity: Mold cannot survive in a place unless there is lots of moisture in the atmosphere.
- Poor ventilation: Poor ventilation encourages mold growth. It helps those parts of the home that do not have a lot of airflow remain warm and humid.
- Little to no sunlight exposure: Mold also likes places that are dark; areas with zero or irregular sunlight exposure.
- Food sources: Mold needs food to survive. The materials it grows on is what it feeds on, wood, drywall, fabric, paper, concrete, roof shingles, etc.
A home that has experienced water damage may become conducive to mold growth due to the high moisture content of its internal atmosphere. In those areas of the home where high relative humidity couples with the other factors for mold growth, mold may take hold.
After water damage, some of the areas likely to harbor mold are:
- Behind drywalls: Spaces behind drywall are dark, poorly ventilated, rich in nutrients, and the drywall may also trap water.
- In attics, basements, and crawlspaces: These places are typically dark and poorly aerated. Coupled with recent water-damage, this makes them great for mold growth
- Beneath carpets, tiles, and floors: Mold will grow under carpets because carpet traps water that evaporates from the floors. The spaces below flooring materials or wall, ceiling, and floor tiles make a great place for mold to grow.
- Other areas: Mold may also grow in closets, below the sink, and in any place where the factors for mold growth happen to converge.
How to prevent mold invasion after water damage
Mold can be incredibly hard to spot, due to the areas of the home where the fungus likes to hide. Mold may be proliferating in a home without the homeowner ever knowing it. But this does not prevent the mold from creating a poor environment for everyone living in the home.
Mold invasion of the home will:
- Predispose the people who live in it to illness
- It will decay the structures, systems, and contents of the home and increase its wear and tear.
- It will diminish the physical appearance of the home.
- And it will damage the market value of the property.
The way to stop this is to eliminate all chances of mold hiding in your home. After water damage, you should have the entire building inspected for mold. And the best way to do this is to hire a professional mold inspector to look over the whole house.
Homeowners may not know what to look for and where to look for it when inspecting their own home for mold. On the other hand, hiring a professional mold inspector guarantees the best results because:
1. Water is highly mobile
There is no telling where water may go after it is released. The result is that mold can grow in the unlikeliest areas of the home. These are places homeowners would not check, which professional mold inspectors, due to their experience, will know to inspect.
2. Mold can lurk in the HVAC system
Mold in the HVAC system is a tricky situation to deal with and one that is highly plausible after water damage. If there is mold in the HVAC system, getting rid of mold in the rest of the home will not work because the air from the HVAC will simply recirculate the mold spores around the home.
3. They can identify mold before it becomes visible
As a homeowner inspecting your home for mold, you are limited to spotting mold only when it becomes visible. But mold can be in your home without any signs of visible growth at first. Professional mold inspectors can detect mold even when it is not clearly apparent.
4. Mold is a health hazard
There are many health conditions that are tied to the presence of mold in a home. Even insignificant amounts of mold will predispose small children and elderly people to respiratory problems and allergic attacks. This problem is only solved by eliminating the mold.
5. They will identify additional sources of moisture
A professional mold inspector will do more than look for mold. They will also look for the root causes of the problem beyond the ones a homeowner may be familiar with. For instance, they may help you find sources of moisture that are making your home more vulnerable to invasion by mold.
Mold and water damage go hand-in-hand; mold is the natural outcome of water damage. If you have not made sure there is no mold in your home, you have not finished dealing with the water problem. Without a professional mold inspection, the water incident may just continue to do insidious damage to your home.
While a professional mold inspector can find all instances of mold growth in your home, they are often not trained or equipped to remove the mold growth. If mold is found, you need to call a mold remediation specialist immediately to have the mold removed.