Water damage cleanup, remediation, and restoration are critical parts of repairing a property following a significant hurricane. While wind damage often takes center stage in the public consciousness, water damage is a far more insidious threat that can potentially cause much longer-term damage. Water damage can cause numerous issues, but mold growth is among the worst.
Mold is a challenging problem because it can linger long after dealing with the primary sources of moisture. Major storms such as hurricanes can often be worse than typical floods, causing extensive mold damage that's impossible to remediate without professional help. Understanding how and why this happens can help you restore your property after one of these disasters.
What Causes Mold?
Homeowners often wonder why mold can overtake a home so quickly. In reality, mold spores are nearly everywhere, and most of the ingredients necessary for mold growth are present in any home. There's typically only one requirement for mold growth in residential structures: moisture. Even in humid environments, conditioned homes are often too dry for mold to grow.
Of course, the aftermath of a flood introduces more than enough moisture to foster significant mold growth. Structural damage can also allow additional mold spores to enter from the outside environment, creating even more potential for growth. And once mold starts growing, residual moisture behind walls or under floors will provide more than enough water to sustain the colonies.
What Makes Hurricanes So Likely to Cause Mold Growth?
Hurricanes combine several factors that can make them particularly threatening for homeowners worried about mold growth. A typical flood causes damage from the bottom up. You may experience a flooded basement or, in severe cases, a flooded first floor. Quick action can allow you to dry out these areas and limit the potential for mold growth.
On the other hand, the combination of wind and rain with a hurricane can blast water into surprising areas. Roof damage or destroyed windows can also allow water to enter the upper floors of your home. While flooding is unlikely in upper stories outside of storm surge areas, large amounts of rain entering through a window or a collapsed roof can be just as devastating.
What Can You Do?
The most important step after a hurricane is to contact a professional water damage remediation company as soon as possible. You'll likely be dealing with numerous contractors and your insurance company, but you shouldn't neglect the importance of addressing water damage as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely mold will take hold throughout your home.
At a minimum, you'll want to consult with experts to develop an action plan. Working out the best methods to dry your home now may mean you can salvage more of your house as you begin your larger restoration process.
To learn about flood cleanup, reach out to a restoration company or read more on the subject.