If your home is flooded, your reaction time is very important as far as the potential long-term affects generated by moisture. No matter where water comes from, you have exposure to microorganisms that can seriously affect the indoor air quality and lead to indoor air mold.
The Three Types of Flood Waters
In flooding, water is considered to be clean, gray, or black. Each of these has to do with where the water comes from. A plumbing leak from the water supply is considered clean water, and usually a roof leak is the same, although it can pick up pollutants on its way inside. Gray water contains some harmful microorganisms, and black is attributable to a sewer backup, with a host of contaminants that are not all easily determined.
Obviously, with gray and black water, microorganisms are present, and they reproduce well when air mixes with the water. Clean water is still a problem because the microorganisms that exist already in a building will begin to spread with the introduction of a moist environment.
Mold and Other Hazardous Conditions
Once they have become ingrained in the porous materials within a building, these germs, bacteria, and fungi can be extremely difficult to get rid of, and more materials in a building are porous than most people realize. Not only do these nasty invaders cause a musty smell and ruin the items they are absorbed into, they also become airborne so that you breathe them continually.
Mold is an obvious problem resulting from a water leak or flood. If the water is not removed within 24 hours of the flooding, mold will begin to spread from the mold spores that already exist everywhere. After 48 hours, it may be impossible to abate the mold in some materials.
Removal of the water itself is important, but measures must be taken to lower the humidity below 70%. With the majority of the water taken away by drainage and mechanical removal equipment, moisture still remains unless actions are taken to dry out what remains.
Cleaning the Air is Not Enough
Winix PlasmaWave Air Purifiers can effectively remove many of the airborne microorganisms that threaten your health, but no purifier can attack the growth of the problem if any moisture remains. The work of the purifier can be increased even more by the release of such things as asbestos and lead into the air from materials that contain them, such as paint and insulation.
The Surround air purifier review points out the importance of air circulation through the system, and air circulation is necessary for drying out a wet or humid area. Outside dry air must be allowed to flow through a wet area and exhaust again to the outside and the use of dehumidifiers should be employed to speed up the drying process.
In most flooding cases, some mold is going to be a problem, even when the water is removed quickly. Every minute following the flood is important to limit the amount of exposure to mold. Remembering that mold is much harder to eradicate than it is to get started should be a stimulus for anyone to dry out flooded areas as quickly as possible.
Cleaning efforts should be employed by using safe cleaners that are low in VOCs. After a cleanup is completed, an air quality reading should be taken to confirm that efforts were successful.