If you have had some form of water damage in your house due to a pipe breaking, a leaking roof or a heavy rainstorm, you surely hope that your insurance will cover the damage. You also should hope that mold does not begin to grow in the moist areas because it is extremely damaging.

Molds are micro-organisms that are also called fungi. Most of us are very familiar with mold that grows on spoiled fruit and bread. Mold is Mother Nature’s way of decomposing food naturally and that is all good and well, but it is not a good thing to have mold growing on surfaces in your home. Mold needs a food supply in order to grow. This ‘food’ can be your books, carpets, wood, drywall and other organic material that is normally found in your home. Mold also requires a source of moisture and this is where the water damage comes into play. Following some form of water damage in a home, mold can begin to develop in under 48 hours and if allowed to grow, it can damage your possessions and can cause some rather serious health problems. Mold can trigger allergic reactions in vulnerable people and can cause headaches and lung and breathing infections in healthy individuals.

If your home has suffered water damage the first thing you should do is contact your insurance agent to report the damage. Once the damage has been reported to your insurer, you need to quickly hire a contractor to clean up the water and make any necessary repairs. The cleanup must be very thorough and fast in order to avoid the growth of mold. If you hesitate and wait a few days, you could be setting yourself up to more problems in the future.

Be sure that the contractor you hire is experienced in mold remediation. The source of the moisture must be stopped promptly, items must be removed from the affected area and the drying should be done within two days to minimize the chance of mold growing. The area must be completely dried. This means that in addition to the floors, walls and ceilings, even the inside of the walls must be dried as well as crawl spaces and areas around plumbing. These are especially attractive areas for mold to start developing so be sure that the contractor removes and replaces damaged drywall and baseboards in the area.

Updated: February 23, 2010 — 5:13 pm
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