Assessing Moisture Impact to Mitigate Microbial Damage
On the heels of such historic flooding from Hurricane Ida, water intrusion and remediating it has taken center stage. The needs for mold and moisture assessments in impacted areas has more than tripled in the past month. What many may not realize is that mold will develop within 24-48 hours of water exposure and even worse, it will continue to grow until steps are taken to eliminate the source of moisture, and effectively deal with the mold itself. As discussed in previous blogs and communications, mold can be more harmful than its characteristic odor; it can be toxic and decrease indoor air quality (IAQ), leading to significant impacts on the health of individuals living and/or working in a mold-contaminated environment. Therefore, the words “act fast” take on greater meaning.
However, mold is only one of the dangers associated with water intrusion. It can be a major contributor to structural damage. Wood beams can become saturated, losing strength to a point of collapse, and ultimately impacting one area of a building or potentially its overall structure. Moisture and high levels of water can also damage machinery, equipment and other high-value items if it reaches those rooms or areas.
Water detection can often be obvious to the eye and some key signs of moisture include peeling paint, stained walls and discolored floors. The nose also knows as musty smells can be an indicator for fungal growth. But with the significant risks of water intrusion and the importance of quick remediation, the use of advanced techniques such as infrared imaging is an excellent tool for use by experienced IAQ practitioners in finding water and moisture sources to be confirmed using a moisture meter. When consulting with a professional, it is important to avoid an overnight “Mold Expert” and find someone who is able to go beyond what the senses uncover.