Kauai being an Island in Hawaii often experience intense storms which leads to landslides, floods, and damaged homes. These unfortunate events can put homes and families at risk since it can occur at any time. Learn how to keep your home intact as Kauai Restoration explains more on molds, an aftermath of water damage and how to prevent its growth in your house.
It is even more disturbing to know that water damage snowballs, so fast actions are required to minimize repair costs and damage. Most water damage is caused by leaks and flooding which is a serious issue in Kauai.
The Process of Water Damage Restoration
A thorough scrutiny of the walls, ceilings, and flooring of a home will reveal how extensive the damage is. A professional water mitigation contractor is best suited for this, he will measure the moisture content of your home. In order to determine the category and class of the water damage which will provide a framework of how the restoration will happen. Read more on the damage classes here.
2. Further Damage Prevention and Standing Water Removal
To prevent things like mold growth, dehumidifiers or other drying equipment will be placed in the affected room or area. This will reduce further damages that might be caused by the water. Contractors remove any water present in the waterlogged area with impressive shop vacuums. The time taken depends on the quantity of standing water, the type of materials being dried and the room dimensions. Drying commences afterward, the affected areas are taped off to regulate the room’s environment – heat and suction. To boost air circulation around the room, air movers are used. On wooden floors, mats help to absorb moisture. Baseboards can be removed during this process to make drying faster.
Frequent reading of the moisture content helps to see how the drying process is going. It can take weeks to be completed. Also, the output and input temperature of the dehumidifiers is monitored. Once the readings are up to par, the area is classified as dry.
Cleaning and sterilization of belongings are recommended since it will inhibit the growth of unwanted mold and bacteria. Antimicrobial treatments are done for drapery, clothing, and carpeting. To reduce moisture and particles in the air, specialized scrubbers may also be used.
Restoration is the major step in the process. It includes removing materials i.e. insulation and drywall and replacing with new ones. In extreme cases, entire walls are replaced. In an old home, it is possible that toxic substances e.g. lead and asbestos are released during restoration.
After the floods, comes Molds
Mold belong to the fungi family and it thrives on old and/or dead organic materials, in the soil, on plants in nature. Not to be confused with yeast, which is also a fungus but it grows as a single cell microorganism. Only 500 thousand out of over 1 million species of molds have been identified. Though the ones in homes are few, it might have a detrimental effect on your health once the spores are present in excess in the house.
Mold reproduces with spores which are so minute and float around with the air currents. The problem starts when the spores float onto damp surface or area in the house. You can’t tell how much spores are present in your home unless air sampling and swab analysis are done to check the quantity and the strain/type of mold that has infiltrated the house.
Types of Molds
- Black Mold
It is the popular one that can be harmful to your health. They are from similar strain as green mold and are commonly found in the house. It can be easily removed once spotted early. You just have to apply bleach, a bit of elbow power to scrub and rinse off.
- Green Mold
This mold grows in cabinets, on carpets and wet bed or clothes. It can be classified into the family of Penicillium, Aspergillus or Cladosporium. The later 2 strains can lead to pneumonia or bronchitis in human but the first strain, Penicillium, inflames the lungs and cause sinus infections.
Stachybotrys produces mycotoxins. It is also known as toxic black mold and is the most dangerous one in the house.
You can’t see the toxins, but you get very sick once you ingest or inhale it. In the human body, mycotoxin cause health issues like neurological and psychological problems since it affects skin, vision, respiratory, circulatory and reproductive systems.
Some symptoms of neurological issues caused by Stachybotrys include seizures, dizziness, foggy brain, confusion, trembling and hallucinations. It affects the capacity of the brain, alter psychological status because it annihilates the brain neurons.
Why is Mold a problem?
Untreated house mold is responsible for respiratory problems like asthma and allergies, this is due to the production of mycotoxins by some types. It is often caused by leaks, poor ventilation and damp air which leads to condensation / moist environment. The signs of mold infestation include unpleasant earthy smell and stains on the carpets, walls or ceilings.
Unfortunately, they grow so easily and rapidly in a moist environment and can be virtually all over your home. Then it will become close to impossible to remove them. The best is to stop the molds in their tracks before they overgrow and become a bigger nuisance. As molds grow in the house, they produce thousands of visible and invisible spores which invade the body if you breathe them in.
Can I get rid of Molds if discovered early?
Yes and No. You can remove the ones growing on surfaces but the spores will still remain in the air. However, you can control the mold growth by fixing water problems and keeping your home moisture-free.
You can handle the mold issue yourself if the area that is moldy is about 3 feet by 3 feet patch. You need to be cautious with how you handle mold infested area and materials.
Always wear protective gears i.e. gloves, surgical mask, and goggles before handling molds. This is to prevent inhalation and exposure of your body to the spores produced.
Some household products are excellent for removing minor molds and mildew. A solution containing a squirt of dish-washing detergent plus diluted bleach or vinegar or baking soda or hydrogen peroxide works wonder to get rid of molds.
It is an effective option because the detergent will ease rinsing of the mold after scrubbing the moldy area. All you need to do is apply the solution to the areas affected.
Scrub and/or wipe off after some minutes. Rinse the area with water and leave to dry completely. This is only advisable if you are trying to clean surfaces like tiles that are non-porous.
When water damage is not known or detected, mold growth cannot be prevented by homeowners. Before you know, a small leak in the pipes or roofs will continue for months. In cases like this, the water damage restoration process will take a long time.