With the recent flooding in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma from Tropical Storm Bill, many property owners face the strong possibility of mold growth caused by the floodwaters and ensuing heat afterward.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention stated that, “Studies of mold growth on building materials, such as plywood, have found that mold grows on materials that remain wet for 48 to 72 hours. Flooding, particularly when floodwaters remain for days or weeks, provides an almost optimal opportunity for mold growth.”

Mold is a potential health hazard to anyone who comes in contact with it. Headaches, breathing difficulties, persistent cough, cold symptoms, burning or irritation of the eyes, nose, throat or lungs, asthma attacks, skin irritation, and allergic reactions are all common symptoms people experience when mold is present.

To successfully identify and address mold issues in a structure, Rainbow International recommends these steps:
    •    Get to the exact source of the mold problem with a proper assessment from a professional. Act quickly when water leaks occur.
    •    If a water leak occurs, contact a professional restoration contractor who is certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning  & Restoration Certification) who can mitigate the damage and assure everything is dried properly.
    •    Keep relative humidity below 50 percent.
    •    Mold removal is not as easy as cleaning moldy materials with cleaners such as bleach. It may require aggressive cleaning and removal of moldy materials.

“Our restoration experts engage in extensive training. They are skilled in the latest restoration and cleaning techniques and equipment,” said Jack White, Vice President of Technical Services at Rainbow International. “In order for mold to grow, it needs food (organic materials), time (48-72 hours), temperature (68-86°F), stagnant air, and moisture. Maintaining the relative humidity below 50 percent and eliminating water leaks will prevent mold from growing.”