If you’ve lived in Texas for any length of time, you know that spring is often when we get the most severe weather. This can be bad news for homeowners, especially when flooding is the threat! It’s only early April and much of North Texas has already experienced flooding and property damage due to spring storms.
Having your home flood from heavy rain (or just from a leaky pipe) can lead to a wide variety problems; particularly the growth of mold under carpets. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much water for mold to grow and do a lot of harm to a house! Homeowners who experience flooding coupled with power outages from spring or summer storms are especially susceptible to mold growth because of the combination of moisture and warm temperatures.
Here are 8 helpful tips for preventing mildew and mold growth under carpets:
1. Timing is key. Remove water as soon as possible after a flood – the sooner you start cleaning up after water damage, the sooner you can stop mold from growing under your carpet! It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to start forming in the ideal conditions.
2. Use the right tools. Utilize your air conditioner, fans, bleach and all-purpose cleaners to get the job done. If you have one, use a wet-dry vacuum to remove excess water. Many home improvement stores offer commercial sized fans and wet-dry vacuum rentals. Keep circulating air on the carpets for 24 hours a day for up to a week to ensure the carpets are fully dry. Dehumidifiers can also be helpful to remove excess moisture from the air and lower the temperature in a room.
3. Protect yourself. Breathing in airborne mold can irritate the nose, throat, eyes and lungs and could lead to more serious problems. It’s a good idea to wear a pollen mask and rubber gloves to protect yourself from potential mold and the cleaning chemicals.
4. Replace the carpet padding. Water-damaged carpet padding typically needs to be replaced. Luckily, only replacing the padding is significantly cheaper than re-carpeting the entire home.
5. Consider steam cleaning. Having the carpets professionally steam cleaned, or renting a steamer and doing it yourself, is a good way to sanitize and deodorize flooring that may have been damaged by flooding.
6. Sanitize surrounding surfaces. Anything that came in contact with storm water should be sanitized. Baseboards, walls, hard floors, and other affected household surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water or a disinfectant all-purpose cleaner.
7. Double check furniture. Mold can form inside or underneath water damaged furniture, so be sure to inspect all furniture, and fully remove it from the space until everything is dry.
8. Hire a mold inspector. Even if you have completed all the necessary steps to clean and dry the flooded area, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional to check for any mold that could be growing inside the walls or under the flooring – places you may not be able to see!
Whether it is a result of severe storms, leaky plumbing or a faulty appliance, most homeowners will endure some extent of house flooding throughout their lifetime. It’s a difficult situation to deal with, but it can be overcome, and mold and mildew can be prevented if the right steps are taken!
If you have additional questions or need assistance with your carpets due to flooding, contact us! If we cannot assist you, we can refer you to someone that can!
Warm regards, and stay dry!
The Medford Remodeling Team