the connection between water damage and mold explained

The Connection Between Water Damage & Mold Explained

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Water damage and mold infestation are two of the most common problems that property owners face. When left untreated, they can lead to serious consequences, including structural damage, health risks, and financial losses.

Understanding the connection between water damage and mold infestation and how to prevent and address both situations to keep your property and your loved ones safe is essential—especially when mold remediation can cost anywhere between $1,125 to $30,000.

Keep reading to learn about the connection between the two problems, the risks, how to prevent and address them, the importance of professional remediation, and how Alpha Environmental can help.

How Are They Connected?

Water damage and mold infestation are closely connected. And that’s not entirely surprising, considering mold spores are constantly present in the air around us, requiring only moisture and time to grow and thrive.

When building materials such as drywall, wood, or insulation become wet, they create a perfect environment for mold growth. In other words, water damage provides the ideal conditions for mold to grow, and it can do so quickly, often within 24 to 48 hours.

If left unchecked, mold can spread throughout your property and cause serious damage to your property.

There are various factors that contribute to mold growth, including humidity, poor ventilation, and inadequate insulation. However, the most common causes of mold growth come from floods, burst pipes, and plumbing leaks.

If you suspect water damage and delay remediation, the excess moisture problem is likely to seep into the building materials. This is not ideal because this creates the perfect environment for mold growth and complicated infestations.

In other words, the longer you wait to address water damage, the higher the risk of mold infestation becomes.

The Risks of Both Water Damage and Mold Infestation

Water damage and mold infestations can cause serious risks not only to your health but also to your property. When left untreated, these problems can lead to long-term consequences, including health risks, financial losses, and structural damage.

Health Risks

Water damage and mold infestation can lead to serious health risks. Some of the health risks caused by exposure to mold include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Skin irritation
  • Respiratory problems
  • Neurological problems
  • Cancer
  • Chronic lung disease

Mold can also affect indoor air quality, causing respiratory problems among the other health risks listed above.

Structural and Property Damage

Water damage can cause building materials to become wet, causing them to become soft and unstable. This can lead to your floors, ceilings, and walls becoming saggy or even collapsing.

Similarly, a mold infestation can eat away at building materials like insulation and drywall.

If left unchecked, mold can spread throughout your home, damaging everything from the curtains to treasured personal belongings.

Electrical Hazards

Water damage can create hazards, which can oftentimes be deadly. If the water damage is located near electrical appliances or outlets, it’s important to immediately turn off the power to the area to prevent electrocution, shortages, and electrical fires.

Preventing and Addressing Both Situations

As you can see, one of the key methods to prevent mold infestations is to prevent water damage. Here are some tips that you can implement today to prevent water damage mold problems, and costly repairs:

  • Regular inspection. Regularly inspect your property for signs of musty odors, stains, discoloration, and other common signs of water damage.
  • Clean and well-maintained gutters and downspouts. Be sure to clean out your gutters and downspouts and ensure they’re in good condition. Well-maintained gutters and downspouts can help prevent water from pooling around your home’s foundation.
  • Proper ventilation. Install proper ventilation to prevent high humidity levels. This is more than just opening a window every now and again. Proper ventilation includes ensuring tools like your bathroom fan are big enough to get excess moisture out.
  • Address plumbing issues immediately. The general rule of thumb is that the longer a pipe is burst or an area of the home stays wet, the more permanent the damage will be. For example, if you have a burst pipe, you must do more than turn off the main water valve. You may have to turn on a faucet to let several gallons of water above the leaking section drain slowly. This allows the excess water to drain through the faucet rather than the leak causing additional damage.

If you already suspect water damage or mold infestation, it’s important to address it as soon as possible. Some of the best practices for mold remediation include:

  • Using proper personal protective equipment (PPE), including eye protection, gloves, and masks when cleaning.
  • Isolating the affected area to prevent the spores from spreading further.
  • Identifying the sources of water damage and addressing it promptly.
  • Using approved cleaning methods and products designed to remove mold.
  • Drying the affected area completely to prevent the mold problem from growing back.

Common Misconceptions

There are many common misconceptions when it comes to water damage and mold infestations.

Myth #1: Bleach Can Kill Mold

Fact: While bleach may help make your favorite white shirt look new again, throwing a cup of bleach on an affected area won’t help. In fact, bleach can make the problem worse by releasing mold spores into the air. Bleach is only effective against mold as long as the mud and dirt in the affected area are removed first. Additionally, it’s unclear whether bleach is effective on porous surfaces like wood.

Myth #2: Small Amounts of Mold are Harmless

Fact: Although small amounts of mold may be harmless to some, others with health conditions may be more prone to the dangers of mold exposure. Even in healthy people, small amounts of mold can cause short and long-term health complications if left untreated. Additionally, a small amount of mold can be the tip of the iceberg.

Myth #3: You Don’t Need a Professional for Mold Remediation

Fact: This is often not the case. While mold remediation can be done at home, it’s highly recommended to hire a professional for pervasive mold infestations.

Myth #4: Your Home Should be Entirely Free of Mold

Fact: The truth is your home will always have some mold. Mold spores are a natural part of the environment and are constantly around us. It’s virtually impossible and certainly unreasonable for most people to attempt to remove every last spore. Mold becomes an issue when it turns into an infestation and reaches unhealthy levels.

The Importance of Professional Water Damage and Mold Remediation

Professional water damage and mold remediation services, like Alpha Environmental, can help you address both problems effectively and efficiently. While it’s tempting to tackle water damage and mold infestations on your own, the risks of DIY remediation are high.

Some reasons why you should use professional services for water damage and mold remediation include the following:

  • Training and equipment. Professional water damage and mold remediation services have the required training and PPE to safely address both problems.
  • Identification. Professionals also have the ability to rapidly identify the source of damage and address it promptly to prevent further mold growth.
  • Removal. These services can also effectively remove mold and prevent it from coming back.
  • Property restoration. Lastly, professional remediation services can help restore your property to its pre-damage condition. This helps minimize long-term consequences.

By relying on professional remediation services, you can ensure that the problem is effectively addressed and sleep comfortably, knowing the risks to your health and property from water damage and mold infestation are minimized.

Alpha Environmental’s Approach to Mold Remediation

At Alpha Environmental, we understand the importance of addressing water damage and mold infestation promptly and effectively. Our team of experienced and fully qualified professionals is trained to thoroughly inspect all the nooks and corners of your property, taking into account the moisture levels to identify where mold infestations may need to be treated, even before they’re visible to the naked eye.

In the event there is a visible mold infestation, our team likely does not require testing. However, if an area is showing signs of potential mold infestations, testing may be required to help detect spores and verify the concentration of mold.

At Alpha Environmental, we use the latest equipment and techniques to ensure that the remediation process is as efficient and effective as possible.

Give Us a Call Today

Water damage and mold infestations are serious problems that require immediate attention, and at Alpha Environmental, we’re here to help. Our team of professionals can help you prevent and address water damage and mold infestation effectively and efficiently.

Give us a call today to schedule a consultation if you suspect water damage or mold. Let us help protect your property and your loved ones from the risks that come with both problems.

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David D.
Lake Oswego, OR
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My wife and I experienced a hot water pipe busting in the crawlspace. It has been a total nightmare. However, Chris and his team provided expert quality care, with timeliness and the greatest degree of professionalism. I would HIGHLY recommend Alpha Enviornmental!
Zhanna S.
Beaverton, OR
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Can’t say enough about Alpha Environmental! Their costumer service is 10/10, they have really good systems in place, responsive, and professional. The gals in the scheduling department are always so kind! As a real estate agent, I use Alpha’s services numerous times a year. Either it’s for Mold bids, oil tank decommissioning, radon etc. They always do a fantastic job! Thank you for all the work you do!