Hidden Mold in basement
Basement mold is a common issue and the lack of proper steps when confronted with a flood or sewer back up can result in severe mold and bacteria contamination.
Recently in Toronto, Mississauga and other areas affected by the recent storm we have found that many of our affected customers were unwillingly causing more damage to their houses by not understanding the fact that given enough moisture mold will be a common decomposer of the building materials that most of us have in our houses.
Further more the sewage water will accelerate the bacteria load. Even if the water seemed that only touched the flooring without a moisture meter you are just guessing. Disater restoration contractors know that for every 24hrs, drywall will absorve 1 inch of water; that's exactly how we know how long has taken before someone checked the house or when the flood occurred besides the obvious marking on walls and cardboard left.
If you think the materials can dry by opening windows or getting household dehumidifiers think again. The pictures above were taken recently on one of our clients that didn't know what to do and thought that it would dry out.
7 days after, he could easily smell the earthy very distinguishable odour that mold formation creates when decomposing materials and visually he could see it starting to appear on the outside.
by this time a educated experienced contractor knows that mould remediation is now necessary in order to not spread and contaminate other areas upon removing the materials.
This fact is why we cut your drywall on any water damage to ensure we can supervise the drying process and ensure that no contamination is happening. We have been doing this type of cuts for years regardless if it is clean or dirty water. We also have large equipment to dry your structure in 3 days not 4 or 5 it is important to dry the materials before mother nature starts the process of decomposition.
Most insurance companies will require you to dry your property within the 3 days and ask for psychometric readings (drying charts) to ensure it was done professionally, knowledgeable and not a guess.
make no mistake about it, if you know your building materials were affected by water clean or otherwise you must remove the wet materials reduce the moisture in the inside air to avoid further damage and mold formation. we mean not only on large scale flooding like it happen here in the Toronto and Mississauga area but also in small scale like pipe leaks and others.
After all we don't want to turn a small problem into a big one with the cross contamination of mold to other areas and materials, always know that the vast majority of exterior walls have insulation and they will also retain the water for much longer, they must be removed.
Drywall is so economical and replacing it is fairly cheap, your health does not have a price.
A final note: ensure that your contractor does not cause further damage by removing visible mold from your basement walls without proper containment and procedures to ensure no contamination to other areas therefore creating a bigger problem.
Guidelines and procedures on mold removal can be found on many publications or you can get it free from us at Cleanfirst.