Not many disasters can cause so much damage and loss as quickly as a fire can. However, even once the fire is extinguished, you may find yourself facing yet another problem: mold infestation. Fire destroys everything in its path, so many people find it surprising that mold, a form of life, can so quickly follow right on the heels of a blaze engulfing your home. However, if you’re able to get the blaze out quickly and minimize the damage, you may find this combo of mold following fire can occur far easier than you might think.
Fire Creates Ideal Mold Growth Conditions
Mold requires three simple conditions in order to grow: a food source, a moisture source, and protection from the elements. Mold requires a source of carbon-based material that it can use as a food source—carbon which is often found in abundance in charred wood, drywall, and other housing materials. To make things even more appetizing, this charred material is often extremely damp or even water-soaked as a result of fire crews coming to your rescue and spraying the fire out with a hose. This moisture can stick around for days or even weeks. With food and water being found easily in the same place, that’s two of the three things mold colonies need to take root, spread, and multiply.
If the fire was purely internal, meaning the damage didn’t spread to the structure of your home or create any gaping areas where your home is opened and exposed to the elements, then these mold-prone areas are also protected from the elements, meaning excessive light, heat, and UV radiation that can prevent them from growing. Within two to three days, these charred or burned areas can quickly turn into massive mold hotspots, placing a further risk to your health.
Do You Have a Mold Problem?
If your home has recently been damaged by a fire, it’s important to get it tested within a few days’ time to find out if you may also be dealing with mold. Black mold in particular can blend in with blackened or charred areas of your home, making it difficult to detect visually often until it’s too late and you’re dealing with a huge infestation.
The first thing you should do after a fire is immediately reach out to a Bradenton mold remediation team and get your home tested. A professional will have the tools and equipment to check to see if you may have to deal with mold before your home restoration can begin. Detecting mold early can keep the infestation size to a minimal level and thus keep restoration costs low as well as minimize your exposure to this potentially toxic fungus.
Eliminating a mold infestation isn’t necessarily easy, and in many cases dealing with the possibility of toxic black mold is a good reason to leave the restoration and remediation process to a professional, including the team at Flood Pro’s, USA.
Preventing Mold Damage
The longer you leave wet, charred conditions sitting around, the greater the chance that you’ll have to deal with a mold problem. However, there are a few simple things you can do to minimize the chances of mold growth becoming an issue.
First, immediately after the fire is put out, open your doors and windows and allow natural airflow to circulate through your home. Turn on a few fans in the burned and damp area as well to try and rapidly dry this area as quickly as you can. Don’t remove anything from the damaged area until an insurance adjustor has visited your home, taken pictures, and collected the data they need, but do everything you can to dry this area out quickly. The faster you can eliminate the moisture, the sooner you can eliminate the threat of mold.
If you have any plumbing leaks as a result of the fire, shut off your home’s water supply at your emergency shut-off valve to prevent the leak from continuing to flood your home. Adding flood damage to an already burned area will only lead to increased chances of mold in even more areas throughout your home.
Finally, you’ll want to start the restoration process as soon as possible. Restoration usually begins with removing the charred, burned, and no longer useable materials from your home, which are often the food source that mold needs to grow. Make sure you talk to your insurance company and file a claim quickly so you can start removing the old material, and thus the threat of mold infestation, from your home as soon as possible.Call Flood Pro’s, USA today at (941) 234-0028 to request an estimate or schedule a visit with our skilled mold remediation experts.