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Water Damage in Your Basement Evanston IL

Identifying Water Damage Restoration Issues

  1. Standing water: If there is standing water, there is water soaking into building materials every second that the water sits. The longer it sits, the harder it will be to dry out and properly mitigate. It should be noted that water damage may lead to mold, but it doesn’t have to end up that way. Quickly addressing a water damage issue can mitigate any issues with mold growth. Remember, in order for microbial growth to occur, organic matter, moisture, warmth and oxygen must exist.

  2. Water condensation: Condensation is especially problematic in older homes where there isn’t proper ventilation. In these areas, mold will commonly begin to grow on the ceiling, typically above the shower and surrounding areas. If there is a window in the area, it is recommended that it be opened during and after shower use. If there is a ventilation fan in the bathroom, it should run during and after shower use to properly ventilate the area.

  3. Water staining: If you see water stains or water lines on cabinets, drywall, etc., it indicates previous water damage restoration in the area. Why does this matter? Because this is a direct indication that there are multiple water losses in the area and it is difficult to determine how many and how severe. Water damage left untreated will often result in mold or mildew in the affected building materials.

  4. Strange color: Typically, you will see a green or black substance on the building materials if mold is present, however, mold can come in all colors of the rainbow. Any discoloration in the damaged area may be an indication of microbial growth.

  5. Growth on building materials: Often times people will simply be concerned by the darkening of wood after it has been wet, believing it to be mold growth. However, simple darkening of the wood doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a mold problem. Mold will usually present itself as growth on the surface of “natural” materials; wood, paper, etc., where it is provided with a food source and prime conditions for growth.

  6. Musty odor: A very obvious key indicator of mold is smell. It’s usually a musty odor that smells like the basement of an old building; it is very unpleasant and should instantly be addressed.

  7. Increased humidity: Even without using a hygrometer (humidity meter) you can sense increased humidity in a room. It’s like walking into a bathroom after someone has taken a shower or walking outside after a rainstorm. The air is thick and heavy; you can sense that there is a water damage issue before you even see visual indications.

  8. Water damage left unmitigated: According to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), microbial growth can begin as soon as 24-48 hours, depending on the conditions. For this reason, water damage restoration Evanston IL contractors will remove more building materials and perform a more invasive mitigation service if they believe it has been sitting for multiple days. It’s possible that mold may not be present even after several days; however, it is still not a risk that water damage restoration contractors will want to take.

  9. Confined spaces: Mold is usually going to present itself in confined areas such as crawl spaces, wall cavities, closets or behind pieces of furniture. It is in these areas that there is little to no air movement, which prevents these areas from drying out and leaves the area ideal for mold growth.

  10. Health symptoms: According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), allergic reactions to mold are common. Mold exposure can also cause asthma attacks to individuals who are allergic to mold. Allergic reactions may show up in individuals in the form of irritated eyes, skin, nose, or lungs. These are only some of the symptoms associated with mold exposure. For more information, please see a health professional.

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Water Damage Restoration Evanston IL

So who should a plumber recommend to a customer if they suspect there is a mold issue? To avoid any sort of liability, plumbers should not make any diagnosis regarding mold, but should make a recommendation for a restoration contractor or CIH to inspect what may be a water damage issue. Once a water damage restoration Evanston IL contractor or CIH gets involved, it most likely will not be necessary for the plumber to be involved.