How Water Damage Can Affect the Air in Your Home

December 10, 2023 Uncategorized

Article by David Selter

The first 48 hours are critical in preventing water damage in your home from affecting the air you breathe. After 48 hours there will be significant microbial growth occurring in the wet materials you can see, and those hidden between the walls. Research has shown that the mold growth that occurs from water damaged materials can cause structural damage and air quality issues. According to FEMA: “Mold growths, or colonies, can start to grow on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours. They reproduce by spores – tiny, lightweight “seeds”- that travel through the air. Molds digest organic material, eventually destroying the material they grow on, and then spread to destroy adjacent organic material. In addition to the damage, molds can cause in your home, they can also cause mild to severe health problems.”

Drying out the structure will stop the growth of, and kill the mold, but the dead mold may cause allergic reactions and other health effects. And the spores it has already produced travel on the air currents in your home causing health concerns and producing more mold every time they come in contact with a wet or damp surface.

Ideally, you want to begin the drying process in the first 24 to 48 hours to prevent any significant growth of mold. If that is not possible or if this is a situation where there has been slow-motion water damage, then it is highly recommended that you have your home tested for the presence of mold afterward to see if and/or what remediation may be needed. Remember, it’s not enough to just kill the mold you see, it must be removed to eliminate the health risk and prevent its further spread. Dealing with water damage quickly and thoroughly can preserve the air quality of your home, and save you a lot of costly headaches later.