In Grand Rapids, MI we had over four inches of rain within just a couple of days last week that certainly led to unforeseen water damage…but at least it wasn’t snow, right?

Did you know that mold can start growing in as little as 48-72 hours from one single mold spore…and within one hour if there is existing mold present? And if you have mold, you are compromising the air quality in your entire home if you don’t take care of it quickly!

So, if you still have not addressed the source of that leak or the excess water sitting your basement, you really need to start! Mold needs moisture and organic material to survive and grow, and your home is made of organic material. But, if you remove the excess moisture and it’s source, you are removing your chances for mold growth and eventual mold remediation down the road, which is expensive. Unfortunately, ignoring it will NOT make it go away…it will only make a bigger problem!

STEP #1 – Get rid of all standing water or excess moisture by COMPLETELY drying out the affected area and belongings.

LOW MOISTURE = LOW CHANCE OF MOLD GROWTH = LESS WATER DAMAGE EXPENSE

If you had flooding, you may have to call in a professional extractor . If you want to DIY, follow these steps:

1.Rent a wet vac, large fan(s), and large dehumidifier.
2.Get all the water out of your house with wet vac.
3.Throw out anything permanently damaged that will not completely dry out, like carpet padding. NOTE: This is also a good time to declutter!
4.You can save your carpet and furniture, but it will need to be raised off the floor to completely dry.
5.Pull off trim or anything that could trap moisture behind it.
6.If you find mold, call a professional in mold remediation right away. Do not try to clean it yourself with bleach. Bleach will cause more mold spores to be released into the air, and is not effective at killing mold at the root, therefore your mold may grow back and your air quality will be greatly compromised.
7.If you do not find visible mold, clean all surfaces with a good anti-bacterial cleaner.
8.Run several fans and dehumidifiers non-stop until everything is completely dry.

STEP #2 – Address the water source. You may need to call in a professional to waterproof your basement or fix the roof. You do not want this issue returning with the next rain.

The common theme here is DRY, DRY DRY! And if you do, you should be well on your way to preventing mold growth in your home, and maintaining healthy air quality for you and your family.