Flooded basements can become a haven for black mold

Posted by Matt Buchanan

For every homeowner that makes the right move and picks up the phone to call a certified basement flood cleanup customer when they discover a flooded basement, there are 2 that decide they can handle the problem on their own. As professionals tasked with removing moisture and preventing mold, it’s a frightening scenario because we know full well just how unlikely the DIYer is to actually stop the oncoming train wreck of black mold.


What every homeowner needs to understand about black mold!


removing black mold from a flooded basementIt is extremely difficult (and expensive) to actually remove if it has begun to take over an area of your home. And that is especially true if you are talking about a basement flood. Why? Despite what you might read, common household bleach is not an effective solution to mold removal. As a certified mold removal service, our technicians see firsthand the wacky things homeowners have tried to get rid of mold. The reality is the process for effectively killing mold spores is time intensive and requires a number of different methods, that when done together, actually remove the toxic mold spores.


It is extremely aggressive and will take over your flooded basement much quicker than you realize. In our industry, we call the time it takes mold to grow after flooding as the mold threshold. That timing is going to vary based on a few factors, but generally speaking, it takes between 48-72 hours for the mold spores to populate and begin causing damage. And when you’re talking about basement flooding, that time table can potentially speed up given the environmental climate typically found in a basement that has taken on water.


How do we prevent mold after a flooded basement?


The only way to actually prevent black mold is to remove the conditions and environment it needs to grow. What people rarely understand is that even when they don’t have a basement flood, their basement has black mold spores in it. In fact, virtually every environment has some level of black mold. What keeps it at low, safe levels is it’s inability to grow due to not having the right environment. Namely:

() the right temperature and humidity levels

() moisture

() food (organic surfaces like your drywall, studs, cabinets, etc.)

() time (which we’ve already discussed)


wet-basement-air-moversWithout all 4 of those things, mold can’t spread like it wants to. So if you have a basement that is naturally more humid and has stuff it can eat, but doesn’t have high moisture content, you can give it all the time in the world and it isn’t going to become a mold problem. But once you introduce the moisture, you’re on the clock!

So for us, fixing basement water damage before it leads to mold means removing the moisture (the pivotal factor that can be controlled) quickly. The key is structural drying, and that task in and of itself can be extremely complex. If you are under the impression that you can dry out your basement using some fans and opening up some windows, be prepared to be severely disappointed with the results.


Call us if you have basement flooding!


If your home has a flooded basement, please give us a call and let us assess the situation and make a recommendation as to your best options. Our lead technician will provide a full and complete outline of where the water damage has travelled, what will need to be done, and we can discuss the costs at that time. If it is the case your loss is covered by your insurer, we can also work directly with them throughout the claim to make sure it’s dealt with quickly and correctly!

About Matt Buchanan

I grew up in Irving, TX and left for Nashville, TN for college. After college I lived in Washington, DC and then in Cairo, Egypt. After coming back to the states, I spent a couple of years back in Dallas before moving with my wife to Denver!
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