Friday, September 9, 2011

Prevent Mold Growth

I am just firing off a quick little post to address the many wet basements and such we have in our area.  Sadly, flooding and mold is something I have had to deal with - a lot - over the years.  I hope you can benefit from my experience and training.

To prevent mold growth, all wet areas must be thoroughly dry within 72 hours.

Some tips:
1.  Solve the problem - do not wait on your insurance adjuster.  You have a responsibility to mitigate your damages.  Take some pics and then get to work.  (Note:  I don't think there is any insurance out there that pays for damage from mold!!!  It's super important you don't wait for your insurance guy to show - I can not stress this enough.)
2.  How did the water get in?  If you have something that is clearly leaking from the outside, at least rig up something to temporarily assure more water will not be entering your home.
3.  Got standing water?  Get rid of it.  The fire department will come and soak up water if you have a lot.  You also can call almost any carpet cleaning company - check their web sites or call and ask if they offer emergency services.  This is an emergency!  They will bring water extractors and start sucking the water up and out.
4.  Swishy carpet?  Generally for carpeted areas (assuming it was soaked), you must pull out and dispose of the padding underneath and pitch it.  However, you *may* be able to save your carpet.
5.  Wet drywall?  Cut it out and get rid of it.  You can not dry drywall (assuming it got soaked through) within 72 hours so don't try - cut it out and allow the wall behind it to air dry.  Trust me on this. 
6.  Get fans.  Buy them, rent them, borrow them... whatever you have to do.... get them.  "Carpet fans" are made specifically for the purpose of focusing air flow UNDER a carpet, between the carpet and the subfloor - where the padding that you just threw out used to be.  This is the best way to try to save the carpet.  If you don't do this, you will have mold and you will end up having to replace all your carpet, and possibly even subflooring in some cases.  If it is an uncarpeted area, sop up the water, mop up the water, and keep the air circulating.    Remember to turn on any "whole house" fans and dehumidifiers that you have, too.

NOW you can wait for your insurance guy.  Remember to keep receipts for everything. 

Sorry you're going through this... but I hope this post helps a little.

Your Favorite Real Estate Expert
Vicky Chrisner
Keller Williams Realty

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