After the Storm: Detecting Mold

Markatos Services offers their deepest condolences to those effected by Hurricane Sandy.  While some received more destruction from the storm than others, the worries of those with no visible structural damage still lingers.  Even those of us who caught the brunt of the storm more than likely still woke up with a flooded basement.  Between power outages and long lines for necessities, mold in a recently flooded basement is probably the last thing on anyone’s mind. While mold prevention throughout the entire home is very important, it is especially  imperative in the basement, where the hub of many duct systems resides. Once mold hits the ducts, it can be distributed throughout the home at a much faster rate. Below are just a few tips to help detect and remediate mold in your home.

Mold Detection…

One of the clearest signs that you have mold in your basement is the smell. Because of the stagnant air in the basement, odors build up and become very noticeable. Don’t ignore a musty or moldy smell in the basement as it probably means you have a basement mold problem.

When looking for mold in the basement you should begin by trying to find any signs of moisture. Areas where there are signs of water damage or leaks are likely spots for mold growth.  Mold can grow on any objects or building materials made from organic substances. In the basement these surfaces can be found everywhere such as drywall, wooden building frames, carpet, insulation, wallpaper, furniture or cardboard boxes.

If you cannot find mold in your basement but you suspect it is growing somewhere don’t forget that you always have the option of mold testing. Mold testing can be performed by professionals for you or you can do it yourself using mold test kits. Both air and surfaces can be sampled for mold spores during mold testing.

What to Do…

After a flood the best thing you can do is contact a mold remediation company or water damage specialist who perform clean ups of homes after floods.  In the event that you have to clean up your home yourself,  there are a few points you should keep in mind:

Clean and dry your house and everything inside it as soon as possible. Remove whatever standing water inside that you can. You can also use fans, air conditioning, heaters or dehumidifiers to help dry out your home faster.

Remove wet materials from your home straight away. Wet insulation and wet padding on carpet take a very long time to dry out and so you should remove them. Any drywall which got wet also needs to be cut away and removed. You should replace these materials only after your home has completely dried out.

Clean items in your home that got wet using a detergent or cleaning product and then let them dry out. You should generally throw away things that got wet from flood water and which can’t be cleaned and dried. The same goes for items that become moldy and cannot be cleaned. Also clean hard, non-porous surfaces in your home and let them dry out.

Unfortunately, Markatos does not yet offer mold removal services, but companies such as Servpro specialize in mold removal using HEPA vacs to ensure all microbes of mold have been removed. 



Devastation can be very tough to deal with, especially when it comes in the form of natural disaster.  While it may not always be convenient to prepare for the disaster, it is highly important to take other preventative measures to bypass any further home travesty down the line.  Just a few short moments of inspection on your part can save a world of time and money later.




About Markatos Services Inc.

Marketing Director for Markatos Services, Inc.
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