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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Soon Does Mold Damage Start After Flooding?

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth can become a serious risk whenever standing water is present in a home. Flood water may contain bacteria, debris, chemicals, and other dangerous substances. This water is considered contaminated black water, or Category Three water, and is particularly prone to causing mold. Signs of mold may become evident within 24 to 48 hours after flooding and intensify within 72 to 96 hours, or three to four days.

Within 24 to 48 Hours

In just one to two days, several indications of mold may already be detectable. Sign to watch for include:

  • Musty odors
  • Elevated presence of microbiological volatile organic compounds
  • Spore development

It is important to make progress toward mitigation as soon as possible. If a professional service pumps out standing water during this stage and starts the cleaning, disinfection, and drying process, it may be possible to prevent problematic mold growth.

Within Several Days

Mold may start to grow and spread as time goes by. Within just 72 to 96 hours

  • Fast-growing colonies may emerge
  • Visible growth may become apparent
  • Odors will intensify
  • Microbiological volatile organic compounds may reach risky levels

It is best to have the pumping, cleaning, and disinfecting stages of mitigation completed within this time frame. Professionals can also tear out porous contents and building materials that support mold. Ideally, a flooded home will already be drying with professional equipment such as air movers and dehumidifiers. If water is still standing, mold may become a serious issue that will require testing and specialized mitigation methods.

Take action as soon as possible, ideally within the first 24 hours following a flood, to eliminate the presence of water and residual moisture in a residence. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that mold growth will develop. Residential mitigation and restoration experts can clean up and repair flood damage and determine whether mold is present.

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