What Is the Best Method to Clean up Water Damage?

No matter how minor your water damage may be, it’s important to clean up properly after any amount of water gets inside your house. This will help you prevent any potential mold. The best steps to take to clean up water are the following:

  1. Unplug all electronics near the water
  2. Move everything you can to a dry place
    • Electronics
    • Furniture
    • Movable possessions
  3. Clean up the water with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner
    • If you don’t have one, you can rent one from a hardware store or hire professionals who have one
  4. Make sure the flooded area is completely dry
    • Use fans and a dehumidifier
    • Open windows if it’s not raining
  5. Disinfect the flooded area to get rid of any bacteria
  6. Prevent mold with a mold preventative product
  7. Dispose of any possessions that weren’t salvageable

What Products Prevent Mold?

While there are some specialized mold preventatives that you can purchase online or at a home improvement store, there are several DIY options. Many of these may actually already be in your house and can prevent mold just as well as a dedicated produce. They don’t just prevent mold but can also get rid of mold that’s already there.

Hydrogen peroxide: Put 3% concentrated hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle, spray the moldy area completely. After ten minutes, scrub the area thoroughly.

Baking soda: Mix a quarter of a tablespoon to a tablespoon of baking soda into a spray bottle of water. Make sure the baking soda has fully dissolved and then spray the moldy area. Scrub the mold away with a brush and then rinse with water.

Vinegar: Put white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle and spray it onto the moldy area. After an hour, wipe with water to clean the vinegar and residual mold from the area. Let the area dry and within a few hours the vinegar smell will fade.

Do I Need to Hire a Professional?

If the water damage is extensive and severe (for example, if your entire basement has flooded) or if you don’t have the equipment to properly clean up the water yourself, you may want to hire a professional to do it for you. A professional will be able to bring the equipment with them for the cleanup. There may also be a better guarantee that the cleanup was done properly to prevent mold. If you have questions about whether you need professional help, don’t hesitate to call us at (407) 295-5440.

What Does it Cost to Clean up Water Damage?

The cost of cleaning up water damage depends on the size of the flooded area and the severity of the damage. Hiring a professional to do the cleanup can sometimes cost between $2,700 and $7,500, depending on the size of the flooded area and the extent and severity of the damage. Fortunately, your insurance company can usually help cover these costs.

You may be able to save some money by doing the cleanup yourself, but renting a wet/dry vacuum could still run into the hundreds of dollars depending on how long you needed it, where you rented it from, and the size of the vacuum. Cleaning up the water yourself may cost more in the long run if it’s not done properly, as you could be paying more for mold and other damage.

What Causes Mold?

Mold in a house is caused by humidity and dampness. Mold can grow inside if the weather has been rainy or humid for many days in a row and may not need a flood or water damage to occur.

What Conditions Does Mold Grow in?

Floods and water damage provide optimal conditions for mold to grow because not only is the affected area damp and humid, but water can evaporate into the air, raising the overall humidity of the house, allowing mold to grow in other areas of the house as well.

How Quickly Can Mold Grow?

If the conditions are ideal for mold (humid and damp), it can grow as quickly as 24 to 48 hours.

What Are the Warning Signs of Mold?

If you’ve had water damage in your house, pay attention to the following signs to keep an eye out for mold growth:

  • Allergy symptoms
  • Musty odor
  • Dampness and humidity
  • Black spots
  • Discolored walls
  • Water stains

Learn more from our article on how to detect if there is mold in your home.

How Can I Prevent Moisture and Mold?

The best way to prevent mold from growing in your home is to prevent the conditions under which it grows from occurring. This means keeping the humidity and dampness levels in your home low. If you’ve recently had a flood or other water damage, ensure that it’s properly cleaned up and dried. Pay attention to any areas in your home that naturally have more moisture, like the attic or basement, and take steps to prevent moisture in those areas. These steps may include proper ventilation and mold-prevention products.

How Do I Prevent Mold in My Basement?

The basement is a prime location for mold and is also the usual location of water damage if your house has flooded. Prevent mold in your basement with the following:

  • Use a dehumidifier
  • Monitor humidity levels
    • Humidity monitors are available at drugstores
    • Ideal humidity is 25-40 percent in winter and less than 60 percent in summer
  • Don’t keep wood or plants in the basement
  • Keep the basement clutter-free
  • Don’t dry wet clothes in the basement
  • Make sure water is directed away from your house
    • If the ground around your home slopes down towards your house, water can drain into your basement or crawlspace. Add dirt to create a slope away from your house.
    • Gutters and downspouts should also direct water away from your house
  • Clean any floods, leaks, or spills immediately
  • Use insulated pipes

How Do I Prevent Mold in My Attic?

The attic can also provide the ideal conditions for mold growth and it can be harder to detect mold there if no one regularly goes into it. To prevent mold from growing in your attic, do the following:

  • Make sure the attic has adequate ventilation
    • If it’s not well-ventilated, you may be able to see frost and dampness inside the attic and ice dams on the eaves outside in winter.
    • Attic vents out onto the roof, gables, or eaves can ensure adequate ventilation.
  • Don’t have kitchen or bathroom vents going into the attic
  • Make sure the attic is properly insulated
  • Address any roof leaks immediately
  • Don’t install furnaces or water heaters in the attic
  • Make sure skylights are installed properly

What are next steps?

If you notice any signs of mold in your home, it’s very important to take action as soon as possible. This will help avoid any health issues for you and your family and any property damage for your home.

Contact our mold experts now at 855-352-2281.