Following a water loss, time is of the essence in regards to avoiding secondary damage, which can include mold growth. Prolonged exposure to excessive moisture enables microbes to flourish. If any water damaged environment is not promptly and properly restored, many environmental microbes, such as odor-causing bacteria and fungi will colonize, grow, and amplify on building materials. These microbes will eventually contaminate the indoor air and may create health risks for those live or where there.
There are five growing conditions that are requirements for mold growth. Altering or removing one or more of these conditions best obtains effective elimination and prevention. These conditions are:
Moisture– This is the most critical requirement for fungal growth as it is essential for the metabolic activities of fungi. Spores remain in a dormant state when materials are dry and the humidity is below 60%. Following water damage, insuring that materials are dried rapidly is one of the best ways to reduce or retard mold growth indoors. Stop the source, stop the growth.
Organic Food Source – Most fungi grow best while feeding on organic materials. Many buildings are constructed of wood or wood products. Most fabrics are cotton, wool, hemp, or other organic materials.
Stagnant Air – Mold does not grow well where there is good air ventilation. Air movement will impede the growth of mold and other microorganisms. The use of air movers in water damage restoration will serve several important functions. However, blowing air on a surface that has visible mold growing on it will spread the spores and contaminate the entire area.
Temperature – Most fungi are mesophillic, meaning they grow between 68 and 86 degrees. With this information in mind, by lowering the temperature, this can play an important part in reducing mold growth when immediate restoration techniques are not possible.
Darkness – Mold grows best in total darkness. Exposure to light will hinder its growth and allow for more complete treatment.
The bottom line is this, upon discovering you have water problem in your home or business, the dry out process should begin immediately. Under normal conditions, mold growth can become evident after only 48 hours. Not only can this increase the claims cost, but can also have adverse health effects on the occupants.