How to Prevent Mold After Water Damage
Emergency Remediation, Cleanup, Restoration
A water leak or burst pipe is bad enough…
…but mold is the real enemy of commercial building owners.
It can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
And make your property unsafe for tenants.
Causing you even more in income losses.
Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to mitigate mold issues.
Emergency water mitigation can dry out the problem.
Making it less likely you’ll have to tear out drywall, flooring or more.
While your insurance likely pays for some.
It might not cover everything.
That’s why urgent action is needed.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do to prevent mold after water damage.
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What Causes Mold to Form in Buildings?
How does mold get into your building?
There are actually numerous reasons and causes for mold.
But they all start with one thing…
…water where it isn’t supposed to be.
And humidity trapped in areas that warm up due to outside air or interior heating.
The more the moisture, the faster mold is going to grow.
Mold From Bursting Pipes
A burst pipe can happen at any time.
Whether it’s a frozen pipe in the winter or just bad plumbing…
…it’s never a good thing when thousands of gallons of water flood your building.
If you don’t know the pipe problem happened or aren’t doing anything about it.
You could have serious damage in your walls and flooring.
And make a comfortable place for mold spores to grow.
Mold From Water Leaks
Leaking water doesn’t just happen when something big like a pipe bursts.
Something as simple as a dripping faucet going unnoticed for months can cause a leak.
While the water damage won’t always be apparent.
It can still cause mold to grow inside walls or under flooring.
Causing thousands of dollars in damage quickly and quietly.
Mold From Interior Flooding
Especially in the summer, storms can cause serious flooding to your building.
Something general like a clogged downspout or badly installed door threshold…
…can send water into your building and into the surface below flooring.
This gives mold a prime spot to grow and cause more damage.
Which costs you money and makes it hard for your business to operate.
Mold From Roof Leaks
The main purpose of your roof is to keep water out.
But that isn’t always the case due to age or damage.
No matter what material your building roof is made from…
…severe water leaks can occur when you aren’t expecting it.
This water can sit in the space between the ceiling and the outside.
Growing mold that you can’t see in these hidden areas.
Mold After Improper Drying
Sometimes mold growth isn’t because of a specific incident.
Mold can grow due to improper drying during ordinary activities.
Need an example?
Think of a bathroom in a hotel that doesn’t fully dry out after a guest takes a hot shower.
Over time, the humidity sinks into cabinets, walls, doors, etc.
Mold spores can find these areas and grow.
Eventually, you have a big enough problem to visually spot the mold on walls or other surfaces.
How Mold Damages Your Property
You might think that mold only happens after weeks or months of moisture exposure.
This is wrong.
Mold can form in as little as 24 to 48 hours when the right conditions are present.
At that stage, you might not see it.
Once it starts to colonize or show visual evidence…
…it has likely been there for up to twelve days.
By then, you’ve got some serious issues going on in your walls, under flooring, etc.
Mold Causes Physical Damage to Your Building
The biggest problem with mold is that it gets in and damages material that makes up your building.
Most common items?
- Sheetrock in your walls
- Upholstery in furniture pieces
- Ceiling tiles
- Wood beams
- Decorative wall paper
- Carpet and padding
- Vinyl flooring
- Window coverings and draperies
- Cabinets and shelving
- Appliances and fixtures
Get the picture? Letting water and moisture cause mold is bad for your building and property investment.
Mold Presents a Health Risk to Tenants and Staff
It is important to know that it isn’t just physical parts of the building at risk.
Mold can pose serious health risks to your tenants, staff, and visitors.
Even being around mold for a short period of time can trigger serious health conditions in some people.
What are symptoms of mold exposure?
- Coughing or wheezing
- Sinus irritation and congestion
- Skin rashes and other irritation
- Headaches and migraines
- Extreme fatigue and tiredness
- Dizziness and memory loss
- Low-grade fevers
And that’s just a few examples. Those with asthma or other breathing conditions seem to fare worse.
Can you see why taking steps to prevent mold is about more than just your physical building?
Protecting yourself and those who spend time on your property is crucial.
Prevent Mold If You Uncover Water Damage
When you’re trying to prevent mold, there are certain steps you need to take after water damage.
Finding an emergency provider who understands specific remediation guidelines is highly important.
They’ll be able to tell you what items need to be thrown away and which ones can be saved.
Certain fabrics can be washed to get rid of mold without causing further damage.
It is also vital to communicate with building occupants that there’s been a mold issue.
This allows them to take further steps to protect their health and keep an eye out for more problems.
After a water leak, take appropriate steps to minimize water damage.
Quick action here can keep mold growth to a minimum…
..saving you time, money, and bigger issues down the road.
Here’s what you need to do as soon as you notice there’s a leak or flood.
1. Fix the Source of the Water Leak
Locate where the water is coming from.
If it is a burst pipe or otherwise connected to your plumbing, turn off the main valve to the building.
This stops the flow.
A flood or roof damage is a little different, but at least the water isn’t continuing to come in the line.
Then call a trusted contractor if it makes sense. You might need a plumber for a frozen or burst pipe.
This will depend on what your overall issue includes.
But the main steps to remember are to stop what’s causing the leak and start making plans to get it fixed.
2. Turn Off Electricity
Once you’ve stopped the flow of water or increase in moisture, turn off electricity to the flooded area.
Water and electricity aren’t friends. In fact, they can cause a bigger problem if they meet.
Which is why you need to turn off the breaker at the panel to keep wiring in the walls or ceiling from getting wet.
3. File a Commercial Insurance Claim
The next step is to call your insurance company and file a claim.
Most commercial policies specify that you must report water damage within 48 hours.
If you don’t do this and wait to make the call, they could deny your claim.
During times of catastrophic events where a lot of policyholders have water damage, it might take them a little time to respond.
Don’t wait for this response.
Just file the claim and move onto the next step while your insurance company goes through the claim investigation process.
4. Contact a Water Damage Mitigation and Restoration Company
The next important step is to contact a company that specializes in water damage mitigation and restoration.
They’ll send out a disaster response crew with equipment necessary to dry out your building.
Think giant fans, blowers, and whatever else is necessary to get rid of the moisture and prevent mold.
As experts, they’ll also give you an idea of what other steps you need to take to completely dry out the area over the next few days or weeks.
5. Ensure Property is Completely Dried Out Before Build Back
Finally, you want to ensure your property is completely dried out before planning your build back.
Why is this a crucial step?
If your plumbing or roof is still leaking…
…and you don’t realize it…
There’s more water creating damage to the sheetrock, flooring, and other materials you just replaced.
That means you’re essentially running in circles getting nowhere but frustrated.
Instead, make sure the building is done drying out before moving forward with the rebuilding and replacement process.
What to Do If You Have Mold
What happens if you end up with mold before you discover a water leak?
This is actually pretty common.
In this instance, you want to take a few additional steps to what we’ve talked about above.
These actions will keep everybody safe and keep the problem from spreading into a costly situation.
Try to Determine the Water Source
Start by figuring out where the water is coming from.
If it is just a couple small patches of mold, it could be a one time leak from an appliance or pipe.
Big areas over two square feet in diameter mean a larger leak.
And one that has been there for a long time.
If possible, turn off water to the affected area and call a plumber or other contractor to stop the issue.
Get In Touch with Your Insurance Company
Just like with water leaks…
…you need to report mold damage within 48 hours of first noticing it.
This is true even if your issue didn’t start recently.
Your insurance company just wants to ensure you’re letting them know what happened as soon as you’re aware.
Some commercial policies specifically exclude mold, but most have some sort of coverage.
Your adjuster will give you more information after you’ve filed the claim.
Call a Professional Remediation Expert
Once you notice mold, don’t try to tackle the problem on your own.
Trying to kill the spread with bleach or other mixtures can just cause further damage.
Plus, leaks inside walls aren’t going to stop with a topical cure like cleaning.
Calling a professional mold remediation contractor can ensure the problem is safely handled…
…from the moment you or your tenants first notice the mold and through the build back process.
Communicate with Your Tenants or Staff
As we’ve told you, a mold problem is a serious health risk.
Communicate clearly with your tenants and staff that there’s an issue.
This allows them to make decisions about their health while you get the issue fixed.
Who to Call if You Have Water Damage or Mold
When it comes to finding experts to help with water damage issues.
Look no further than RestoreMasters.
Not only do we have the right drying equipment to make the process fast.
But we also can help with everything along the way.
From water mitigation services right after you notice damage…
…through dealing with your insurance company’s claim to the build back process.
Our team of experts is here to make the process quick, professional, and thorough.
Insurance Claim and Large Loss Experts
Feeling stuck dealing with your insurance company after a water damage loss?
We can help.
RestoreMasters employs a team of insurance claim and large loss experts.
What does this mean?
We have public adjusters available to make your commercial insurance claims process as smooth as possible.
And we can answer your questions along the way while working directly with your carrier.
Think of it as having an experienced professional on your behalf to get everything settled quickly and appropriately.
We’ve worked with commercial insurance companies all over the nation and know the process inside and out.
Build Back Assistance After Water Damage and Mold
Besides helping you prevent mold after water damage…
…RestoreMasters can also assist with the entire build back process.
Our team of experts can ensure your building is dried out and replace drywall, flooring, and whatever else was damaged by a water leak or flood.
Contact RestoreMasters Today
Are you dealing with a water leak, flood, or mold damage?
RestoreMasters has trained water mitigation experts around the country ready to come out to your property.
Please contact us now to start the process of getting your building back to pre-loss condition.
Mold Damage Pictures
Our teams deploy quickly with water mitigation, water extraction and dry out equipment to begin the restoration process.
From emergency response to total build back, we’ll be with you every step of the way.
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