After a storm or flood, if your apartment has been damaged by water, you only have 24 to 48 hours to prevent the growth of mold and fungi. Your health and the safety of your family can be seriously jeopardized, so you need to take appropriate action immediately.
It’s worth noting that the drying process after water damage is not always straightforward, and what seems dry at first glance is not necessarily completely dried out. It’s crucial to find and dry all areas affected by flooding to curb the spread of mold, as moisture – often invisible – hides in walls and floors.
Water can get into your home in various ways, fostering the growth of mold. Below is a list of factors that can lead to mold growth and further building damage.
Even minor leaks can lead to substantial problems. The destructive power of water should not be underestimated. The effects of a leaking roof extend beyond structural damage, also posing a threat to health and safety. The attic is often prone to roof leaks and water seepage. Water often leaks from the attic all the way to the foundations, causing significant damage along the way and giving mold additional places to spread.
If your home or basement has been flooded, you should immediately check it for visible mold. Usually, fungi can start to grow after just one or two days. However, sometimes visible mold may not appear for several weeks.
Malfunctioning Air Conditioning Units
When an air conditioning unit functions correctly, it acts as a dehumidifier in the house. It removes excess humidity from the interior. However, when the drain pipe of the air conditioning unit is blocked, it can lead to water leaks and the growth of mold around it.
Leaking pipes can lead to many problems, such as the growth of mold and fungi. Pipes are often located inside walls or behind fixtures, so leaks often go unnoticed, and moisture accumulates in ceilings, under floors, and behind walls.
Often mold starts to develop before a leak is even detected. A musty smell near walls and floors, audible dripping or rushing water within walls, and discoloration on walls, ceilings, and baseboards are signs of a leak that is not (yet) visible.
Can Mold Cause Health Problems?
There are many types of mold. All are equally dangerous to health, causing cancer, infections, allergies, and other diseases. Children and people with weakened immune systems should particularly avoid contact with toxic mold. Studies confirm that children living in moldy homes have five times the risk of developing asthma compared to those who do not live in such conditions. Even healthy people can get sick when mold infests their home or when they inhale a large amount of mold spores. About one-quarter of the population has genetic predispositions to react to mold, as their bodies are unable to cope with its toxic effects.
How to Detect the Presence of Mold?
It is recommended that mold testing is performed by professional mold removal companies, as this can be challenging or even dangerous. The best way to check if there is mold in your home, for instance after flooding, is to conduct a professional inspection and tests. Unlike self-performed tests, qualified inspectors can easily identify mold and locate its source, place, and degree of growth.
How to prevent the spread of mold after flooding?
The most crucial step you can take to prevent mold growth after a flood is to quickly assess and minimize the damage. In most insurance policies, the term “loss mitigation” refers to your duty to take all reasonable actions to limit the damage.
Specifically, if your apartment is the source of water damage, shut off the water supply. Make sure all heating and cooling systems are turned off. If possible, keep the house at a comfortable temperature, avoiding turning on the central air conditioner. Turn off all fans in the house, including free-standing fans and air conditioning fans, to prevent spreading mold spores. Following these recommendations, it is essential to simultaneously contact a professional water damage restoration company that will thoroughly investigate and clean your apartment.
Why do you need a steam cleaner for mold removal?
A steam cleaner is an effective tool for removing mold because it uses high-temperature steam to kill and remove mold from surfaces. Chemicals and bleaches can temporarily remove mold but do not eliminate the spores. Steam cleaners, on the other hand, use temperatures above 100°C (212°F) to kill mold at its source, effectively removing it without leaving harmful residues. Additionally, steam cleaners can reach into small spaces and crevices, ensuring complete mold removal. Using a steam cleaner for mold removal is a safe, efficient, and eco-friendly way to protect your home and health from mold.
Fortador PRO and PRO MAX
Fortador PRO is a powerful industrial steam cleaner designed for mold removal. With a maximum pressure of 16 bar and a maximum temperature of 140°C (284°F), it can remove even the toughest mold and bacteria from various surfaces. The PRO Max model also comes with an efficient vacuum system that sucks up contaminants and moisture during cleaning, leaving surfaces completely dry and free from mold spores. This steam cleaner is highly efficient, generating steam continuously for 4 hours, using one water tank, which means less downtime for refills.
Furthermore, the Fortador PRO is solidly built with a durable stainless steel frame and a convenient digital control panel. The PRO is an excellent choice for industrial mold removal, providing a fast and effective solution for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
Fortador Volt Mini
The Fortador Volt Mini is a portable steam cleaner designed for mold removal in small spaces. Despite its compact size, it has considerable power, reaching a maximum pressure of 7 bar and a maximum temperature of 338°F. Its lightweight and ergonomic design allows for easy use even in tight places. The Volt Mini is equipped with a 1-liter water tank that provides up to 30 minutes of continuous steam, and also heats up quickly, reaching its maximum temperature in just 3 minutes. It comes with various attachments, including a nozzle, brushes, and a flexible hose, making it a versatile tool for various surfaces and applications. The Volt Mini is an excellent choice for mold removal in homes, offices, and small commercial spaces, providing a quick and effective solution for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.