How Quick Can Mold Grow?

From Hurricane Irene last year to Hurricane Sandy this year, the east coast has been continuously hit with whipping winds, pounding rain, and raging flood waters.  Together, these elements hit the homes and businesses of the east coast in a fury, leaving many homes and buildings full of water and debris.  As if the water damage was not enough, mold quickly began to grow inside the structures, increasing the damage to properties and making clean-up from the storm a dangerous health risk.  Thousands of home and business owners up and down the east coast do not realize that if they can get a structural drying professional to the property within 48-72 hours then they can keep the mold from starting to grow at the very beginning of the cleanup, saving thousands of dollars in repair costs.  With the volume and ferocity of storms continuing to rise, knowing how to keep your home and family safe from the spread of mold has never been more important.

When water invades a home or structure, it does not take long before mold will begin to grow.  Mold spores are constantly floating all around us just waiting to find moisture to land on and start growing.  Once a spore finds a moist landing spot it begins to root and feed off of the material it is attached to.  Within hours the mold begins to spread to other moist areas, damaging the structural integrity of the material it feeds off of.  Once mold has its foothold on a surface in your home, it will begin to fill the air with thousands of spores that can cause asthma, sinus infections, irritated eyes, sore throats, allergies, and other respiratory issues.  Many people fail to realize that all of these effects could have been avoided if the moisture was eliminated before mold had the chance to take root in their home.  The most dangerous cases of mold growing in homes come when the growth is out of sight.  If the occupants of the home or structure are not able to visibly see the mold, they may not be aware that they are constantly breathing in thousands of spores that are affecting their respiratory function and damaging their bodies from within.

There is a 48-72 hour window between the introduction of moisture to a surface and the beginning of mold growth.  If the surface can be dried off within this time gap, then the start and spread of mold can be greatly reduced if not fully eliminated.  In some circumstances the moisture intrusion is contained to a central location and can easily be dried up, but in most moisture intrusions the affected area is widespread and hits numerous different surfaces in the process.  Whether the basement floods, a pipe bursts, or the toilet overflows, water can spread into walls, under floors, and through ceilings on its route to the lowest point in your house.  When water reaches these inaccessible areas within the home, the only way to get it out is to open up the area and allow it to dry.
Now remember, there is only a 48-72 hour window for this drying to stop mold growth, so generally speaking just opening a door or window to allow air flow from the outside will not dry out these areas in time, even if they have been cut into and exposed.  To get those areas dried out in time, a structural drying professional’s services will need to be obtained to introduce industrial air movers and dehumidifiers to the exposed areas, evaporating the moisture from the surface of the materials and then drawing that moisture from the air and pumping it out of the home.  With the proper equipment and lead time, a professional can have the surfaces dried within the 48-72 hour time frame and keep mold from taking over your home.  When a leak or moisture issue happens in your home, do not hesitate to call the professionals at EnviroTech ASAP to save the structure of your home and keep your family safe from the harmful effects of mold.
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