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How Quickly Does Mold Grow After Flood Damage?

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Anyone who lives in an area where it rains constantly, or that is highly susceptible to flooding, understands how inconvenient it can be. Flooding can put you out of your home while the damage is being fixed, it’s often an expensive financial burden, and your home can suffer from structural damage. As if that’s not enough to be worried about, you also need to be concerned about mold growth as a result of excess standing water in an indoor area – and you may end up requiring the services of a mold removal or mold remediation company. Continue reading for more information on how to handle a post-flood mold breakout in your home.

Flood Damage

Here are some of the most common issues that homeowners experience after they’ve been hit by a flood:

  • Damage to the home, both structural and surface-level (exterior drywall, top-level flooring, etc.)
  • Damage to personal belongings such as clothing or electronics
  • Damage to appliances such as dishwasher, washer/dryer units, or refrigerator
  • Ruined furniture, carpeting, and other interior decorations
  • Mold breakout or infestation
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Even the smallest amount of water can lead to mold growth

Post-Flood Mold Growth

Mold grows where there is moisture and dampness, making an area affected by a flood a prime location for mold growth. Even the smallest amount of sitting water (only a few inches) can lead to extensive mold growth in an area of your home affected by a flood. That’s why removing any and all moisture and excess water from the area of damage is absolutely crucial to preventing a mold infestation.

Timeline for Mold Growth

When the correct conditions are met, mold can grow at a rapid pace. When the temperature in the area of damage is 70 degrees or higher and there is a high level of humidity, there is a high chance for rapid mold growth. Typically, under those conditions, it takes 24-48 hours for mold to begin the early stages of formation, including germination and growth. That’s not a lot of time at all, so it’s imperative that homeowners remove the standing flood water as quickly as possible.

Timeline for Mold Spread

Once the mold has started to grow, it does not take long thereafter for it to spread. In fact, once the mold has grown, it begins to spread almost immediately. How rapidly it spreads depends on the kinds of materials your home is made up of. As a general guideline, homeowners should have their homes cleared of any standing water and dried out within 48 hours of the initial water entry.

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The most important part of preventing mold growth is dry out

Mold Growth Prevention

Once the flood water has made its way into your home, you have 48 hours to take action. Failure to do so within that time frame will result in some serious mold growth. Here are the steps to take within that time frame to prevent a mold infestation:

  • Remove any standing water – This is the first step in preventing mold growth. It should be noted that simply opening a door or window will not be enough to completely dry out the area. It should also be noted that you need to be extremely thorough when removing the water from the area of damage. Oftentimes, pesky moisture will build up in areas of the home that you cannot see – within wall cavities, behind baseboards, or below carpet padding. Getting to these moisture buildup areas is difficult and, to ensure it’s done correctly, should be handled by a professional mold removal or mold remediation company.
  • Completely dry out the area of damage – This is the most important part of properly preventing mold growth after a flood. Mold thrives on moisture and will not be completely eliminated until all of the moisture and sources of moisture are completely eliminated. Like water removal, the drying process can be difficult. Without the proper drying equipment, it can be almost impossible. That’s why it’s always best to use a mold removal or mold remediation company – they will have the equipment to properly dry out the area of damage.

Should I Do it Myself?

The simple answer here is ‘no’. Flood water removal and the accompanying drying processes are difficult to perform and require technical know-how and sophisticated equipment. If you want it done properly, you need to use the services of a professional company – it’s the only way to ensure that your home will be restored back to pre-flood condition.

If you live in the Phoenix area and your home, business, or property has undergone a flood, your property may be subject to mold growth and mold infestation if you do not act quickly. Put your mind at ease by calling ServiceMaster All Care Restoration, the premier mold removal and mold remediation company in the Phoenix, AZ area. Give us a call at (623) 486-0700 today to schedule a consultation. Let us help make your life easier!