“After the flood passes and the heavy rains decrease, or the snow begins to melt after a blizzard, your problems may only be beginning.”


Returning to your home after a flood is a big part of getting your life back to normal. But you may be facing a new challenge: mold. These tips will help you in starting the clean-up process and preventing mold after a flood.


How long does mold take to grow after a flood?

The microorganisms that turn into mold colonies are always in the surroundings, so mold growth will immediately start in less than 24 to 48 hours of water exposure. Mold colonies will continue to grow as long as there is a high moisture level. In buildings, mold is most fond of wood, drywall.


So, Get Prepared to Clean Up

The only way to stop mold from growing is to dry the afflicted area as soon as possible. Take the following steps to achieve this:

  • Open up the building if it is a little less humid outside. (In general, open the building throughout the day and close it up at night.)
  • Clear away all debris and moist stuff. Disinfectants or sanitizers should be used to clean exposed surfaces.
  • Eliminate any soaking porous or absorbent material that you can (such as ceiling tiles, papers, etc.).
  • If you can’t get rid of saturated carpeting straight away, use a carpet extractor or wet/dry vacuum to remove the water.
  • Use fans to circulate air across the room and increase evaporation.
  • Dehumidifiers can be used to lower the moisture content of the air and help objects dry faster, especially in enclosures. For smaller areas, a home or office dehumidifier may work, but larger rooms and moisture-saturated areas may require the use of an industrial/commercial dehumidifier, or even a professionally designed restoration dehumidifier.


How long should you run a dehumidifier after a flood?

If feasible, run a dehumidifier till the porous surfaces in the space have dried out entirely. A flood-damaged house can take anywhere from two days to several weeks to dry out. Plaster and insulation will take longer to dry, so it may be preferable to replace them immediately. Mold can continue to induce damage to the structure until everything is completely dry.

The low relative humidity is what pulls moisture from these surfaces, and humidity levels under 50 percent will prevent mold growth. You could also use a moisture meter to get accurate results.

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