Written By: Robert E. Sheriff, MS, CIH, CSP President
July 7, 2016
Whether it is a leaky roof, a broken pipe, or a flood there are steps you can take to prevent—or minimize—the mold growth.
- The first step is to determine if the water came from a sewer or flood involving sewage—this means bacteria, as well as mold may be involved.
- Regardless of the source—sanitary (just mold) or unsanitary (mold and bacteria), the first thing is to eliminate the source and clean-up the water and debris as fast as possible—within 24 to 48 hours. This will reduce the possibility and event of any microbial growth.
- Reduce the humidity using dehumidifiers—remember air conditioners are also dehumidifiers and by also reducing the temperature, you are reducing the onset and rate of mold growth. The ideal is to reduce the humidity to below 60% and keep it there.
- Remove water damaged building materials as floors and walls—and also water damaged furnishings. For walls, it is best to remove at least 18 inches above the visible water damage—(wicking of water up walls is not always visible).
- Dry out structural materials as wall studs and floor joists using dehumidifiers—while these materials are exposed.
- If there is concern about whether the demolition and dehumidification is adequate, contact an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Mold Consultant to inspect, and test for moisture and mold. This may involve the use of a moisture meter, infrared cameras, surface sampling for mold and air sampling for molds, as well as a visual inspection.
- Replace the water damaged surfaces. Always consider the use of mold resistant materials (like mold resistant sheetrock or mold resistant paints).
- If concerned about the completeness of the work and ability to re-occupy the space, again get the assistance of a consulting/testing company to visually inspect, test surfaces for mold and sample the air (making sure an outdoor reference sample is taken as well).
Atlantic Environmental has provided mold consulting, testing, remediation plans, final clearance inspections/testing and expert witness in insurance related flood claims since our founding in 1978.
Our primary service areas for Mold Remediation Services are: NJ, NY, NYC, PA, CT, DE, MA, RI, Wash DC, WI, MD, MI, IL, VA, IN, GA, AL, NC, SC, TN, TX, OK, DC, AR, we can service most other areas of the U.S. but with some added travel charges.