As a state along the Gulf of Mexico, Texas’s rainfalls often bring about flooding. As if that’s not enough, Austin’s location in the heart of the “flash flood alley” makes property owners more vulnerable to flooding than other regions in the U.S.
Even an inch of floodwater inside your building can cause extensive and costly water damage. Specifically, it can bring about structural damage and trigger microbial growth. In the long run, the latter can cause allergic reactions, asthma, lung irritation, and other health issues.
As a homeowner in Austin, Texas, mold remediation is crucial in protecting your property and life from molds. Before we look at the steps for mold cleanup, it helps first to understand what causes microbial contamination in the first place.
Causes of Mold and Microbial Growth
Mold spores are naturally occurring cells found everywhere, including in your home. They are typically harmless in small amounts. However, when they reach surfaces with excessive moisture inside your house, they can grow and reproduce within the next 24 to 48 hours.
Mold needs a food source (any organic material such as wood, paper, and paint) and a damp, moist environment to germinate and multiply. Once these conditions are met, mold can quickly take hold of your house.
It’s best to seek professional mold removal in Austin if you have recently experienced a flood to ensure your property will be thoroughly cleaned and dried. With that, you can play your part in preventing microbial growth by taking these steps:
Clean and Dry Flooded Areas Immediately
If you wish to avoid costly repairs and restore as much as you can after a flood, always remember that time is of the essence. The longer you allow water to sit on your property, the harder it will be to repair.
Hiring professional water removal and mold cleanup services should be among the first things on your to-do list. While you’re waiting for the experts to arrive, it’s a good idea to start removing the excess water if it is safe to do so.
If you’ve experienced minimal flooding, a wet vac can be enough to soak up the water from your carpeting. However, sump pumps or buckets are your best bet if the water level is several inches high.
Monitor the Indoor Humidity Level
As mentioned earlier, mold spores thrive in wet, dark environments — something that can be easily found in any property after a flood. This is why it’s crucial that you not only remove the excess water but also ensure your house is dry from the inside out.
Here are some practical tips for addressing indoor moisture after a widespread flooding event:
- Open all windows in your home if the weather permits.
- Run powerful fans or dehumidifiers to keep the air dry and cool.
- Manually clean and dry the insides of your cupboards.
Using a hygrometer or humidity gauge to ensure your indoor humidity level stays between 30% and 50% is also recommended in the next couple of days.
Discard What Cannot Be Cleaned and Dried
Unfortunately, some materials cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried in time to prevent microbial growth. Organic materials such as your drywall, clothes, books, and carpeting are excellent food sources for mold, so they automatically become breeding grounds for mold the moment they retain moisture. To be safe, it’s best to discard these items if they have been soaked for over 48 hours.
With this, see to it that all materials you throw away are accounted for in your insurance claim. Putting together complete documentation of all the damages you incurred is key to getting your claim approved.
Watch Out for Signs of Mold
Prompt mold removal in Austin requires mindfulness on your part. It takes time for mold to start growing and multiplying inside your property after a water damage event, so you’ll need to pay extra attention to every nook and cranny in your home.
One of the most obvious signs of microbial contamination is the appearance of black, brown, or dark green stains along your walls or ceilings. You may also notice a musty, earthy odor in the flood-affected areas.
You or your loved ones may develop symptoms too, especially those with weaker immune systems. If you are experiencing sudden coughing, watery eyes, or runny nose only when you’re indoors, it may be a sign to enlist Austin, Texas, mold remediation as soon as possible.
Final Reminders for an Effective Mold Removal in Austin
While we listed steps that you can take to help prevent mold in your home, it pays to remember that mold cleanup is not a do-it-yourself project. And contrary to popular belief, using bleach to “clean” mold is also not advisable, as it only removes mold stains but can’t address the root of the problem.
When mold has taken hold of your home after a flood, it’s best to call the experts for professional mold removal in Austin, like Restoration 1. Our IICRC-certified crew uses containment methods, approved chemicals, and modern tools to get your property back to normal. Contact us today and say goodbye to long-term mold concerns!