1. Clean Up Standing WaterDraining any excess water should top the priority list when considering how to prevent mold from forming. Whether an inch or a foot deep, water seeps through floors and into other parts of a home. These leaks cause water damage to a home’s foundation while also laying the groundwork for mold to develop and grow. Homeowners can clean up standing water using a wet-dry vacuum. If a vacuum isn’t available, towels and a bucket should do the trick. Once homeowners have the water to a more manageable level, they can use towels to soak up the remaining puddles. Removing rugs, furniture, and other personal belongings makes it easier for floors to dry out and gives the opportunity to clean and sanitize them to kill any budding mold spores.
2. Dry All Belongings and Clean ThemWhile many homeowners worry about mold forming on their walls, floors, or ceilings, damp belongings also create a good home for mold spores. Check out what to do with certain types of wet items to prevent mold from forming on them:
Floor RugsFloor rugs provide a home for mold looking to take root in a house. Take any rugs outside and wring as much water as possible out of them before laying them flat under the sun. After the floor rug dries, wash and dry the rug to shake loose any debris or dust and kill off any potential mold spores.
FurnitureWet fabric furniture like couches, recliners, or beds absorb water quickly, making it easier for these pieces to grow mold. Move furniture outside if possible to dry out under the sun. If moving them outside won’t work, pull them into a dry room and lie towels across them to help soak up extra water. If the weather outside is warm and dry, open the windows to increase airflow and speed up the drying process.
ElectronicsSometimes electronics like televisions or lamps suffer from water damage as well. Water-damaged electronics often require replacement rather than repair. Other times, homeowners can set them in a dry room with a dehumidifier or fan running to get them working again.
3. Dry Out the Affected AreasWhether drying out one room or an entire house, homeowners can choose from several methods to remove moisture and avoid mold development. Prevent mold after water damage by using one or more of the following:
- Manual Clean-Up: Using buckets, towels, and wet-dry vacuums, homeowners can remove standing water or pull water out of carpeting. Mopping with a sanitizer cleaner afterward can clear away excess water and wipe away any bacteria or mold spores trying to settle in.
- Fans: Turn any overhead fans on and place smaller standing fans to push moist air from the room to reduce the humidity levels. Set the fans at the furthest point in the room and point them toward an open door or window to effectively empty the home of excess moisture.
- Dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers are the best way to draw out excess moisture from the air and surrounding components. Place a dehumidifier in the center of the room and turn it on, emptying the machine if and when necessary. The drier the room becomes, the less likely that mold will form.
4. Perform Small Home RepairsAfter drying out the home, it’s time to assess lasting water damage and do what repairs need to occur. Significant water damage often requires contacting a professional restoration service capable of drying a home out and repairing major damage. Common parts of a house that water damage can affect include:
- Wall panels
- Trim and baseboards