How to Clean Up Water Damage And Mold Following Hurricanes

Natural disasters occur beyond our control but there are things homeowners can do to minimize harm.

We’re asked occasionally what’s the worst-case scenario we have encountered. But, hurricanes cause worse mold conditions for a large number of people. Homes are built with the idea that rain comes from above – straight down. 

The worst that can happen to a house during a storm comes from the roof. Once shingles are ignored, or even worse a bit of the roof is blown off, water can pour into houses destroying running and ceilings down to wall cavities and into rooms.

If carpet is present the harm is compounded. Depending on the amount of water that enters, the damage may not be immediately evident to homeowners due to furniture in the manner and personal effects hiding harm proof. For homeowners with vinyl floors, the requirements are a bit better. They will be able to cut off the water and the material will have a chance to dry much quicker than if the carpet was current.

Once water damage has happened homeowners immediately notify their insurance company and they’re advised an aide will be coming by. Among the most important mistakes, people make following water damage is to await their adjuster to come without disturbing anything to preserve the evidence. Tens or hundreds or tens of thousands of homeowners are awaiting, such as you, due to their insurance adjuster. It may take weeks or months before he could see you.

Homeowners must take things into their own hands rather than wait for their insurance adjuster to come and evaluate the damage. Thus, when you first call to report the damage, inform your insurance company that you will document the harm with pictures, but you will try to minimize the damage by doing everything you can to clean up. The key is for you to thoroughly document the damages. Homeowners must take many pictures and them. If the carpet has been flooded, the carpet should be immediately removed and put out of the home, and kept as evidence for your insurance adjuster. For information about the best way best to handle big water intrusion, then you might choose to read our book: Mold Matters – Solutions and Prevention.

Let us begin with the attic. Water will permeate the insulating material and also soak the ceiling. The insulation will keep things moist for a long period of time, during which time mold will begin growing, or if sufficient water comes from, the ceiling may collapse with all the excess weight.

Water will take the path of least resistance and run down into the wall cavities. The water will go into the rooms beneath the baseboards and soak the carpet. With time the water will wick up the walls in which mold will begin growing. The water from the carpeting will raise the relative humidity (RH) of this space, causing mold to grow inside wall cavities and on walls within the chambers and ceiling. An RH of over 60% promotes mold growth.

Note it is not uncommon when a hurricane hits to have the power cut off for weeks ahead of the power is restored. Since hurricanes happen throughout the summertime, the humidity found in the southern countries is quite high. Without power, homeowners are unable to run their air conditioning system, thus the relative humidity inside a water-damaged home is at least and generally greater than the outside relative humidity. In a 90°F summertime, relative humidity can near 90% by sunrise!

Within 24 to 48 hours after water intrusion mold can begin growing. Mold grows when three things exist – meals (organic substance, such as wood, drywall, etc.), a surface to grow on, and water. Regrettably, one is powerless against natural disasters but we can reduce water damage and mold after water intrusion by not waiting for your insurance adjuster. It is up to us to take things into our own hands right after the hurricane while documenting the damage and retaining the evidence outside the house.

For Skilled flood repair services, contact PuroClean

Irrespective of the conditions — damage from storms or floods, smoke, fire, or mold, call PuroClean of Orchard Park. Our mitigation experts are standing by to provide storm damage recovery to return the house to a pre-loss condition. They’re well-trained and use the most recent science. We can help you figure out the full extent of the harm and perform services following industry standards and best practices. Visit us for more info about our services.