The Recent Heavy Rains left many Long Island homeowners with water damaged basements. It’s important to understand the risks of performing your own mitigation and how it pertains to mold growth in your home.
Cleaning up flooding yourself can lead to mold growth for several reasons:
INCOMPLETE WATER REMOVAL: When you attempt to clean up flooding on your own, you may not have access to the necessary equipment or expertise to thoroughly remove all the water from affected areas.
Even a small amount of residual moisture can create an environment conducive to mold growth.
Delayed Cleanup: Mold begins to grow in as little as 24-48 hours after water exposure. If you are not able to start the cleanup process immediately or if you are not thorough in your efforts, you may leave behind wet materials that become a breeding ground for mold.
INADEQUATE DRYING: Proper drying is crucial to preventing mold growth. DIY efforts may not include the use of industrial-grade dehumidifiers and high-speed fans needed to completely dry out affected spaces, especially in hidden or hard-to-reach areas like wall cavities or subfloors.
Contaminated Materials: Floodwaters can carry contaminants such as bacteria, sewage, and other harmful substances. If you don’t properly clean and disinfect affected materials, these contaminants can provide nutrients for mold to thrive.
Poor Ventilation: Inadequate ventilation during the cleanup process can trap moisture in the affected areas, creating conditions favorable for mold. DIY efforts may not include proper ventilation measures.
HIDDEN MOLD: Mold can grow in hidden or inaccessible areas that may be overlooked during a DIY cleanup. Without the proper tools and expertise, you may not detect or address these mold sources.
Lack of Protective Gear: Mold spores are harmful when inhaled or when they come into contact with skin or eyes.
DIY CLEANUP EFFORTS may not include the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), increasing the risk of exposure to mold spores.
Improper Disposal: If you dispose of flood-damaged materials improperly, such as in regular household trash, you can inadvertently spread mold spores to other areas of your home or to the environment.
To minimize the risk of mold growth after a flood, it’s often best to consult with professionals who specialize in water damage restoration. They have the necessary equipment, training, and experience to ensure thorough and safe cleanup, reducing the likelihood of mold problems down the line.