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Summer rains can be a beautiful event but there are times when the rain comes hard and fast and wreaks havoc on our homes. Flooding basements and water damage to walls, carpets, drywall and possessions are no fun. The hassle of dealing with cleanup and repair is one thing, but the mold residue that can crop up and be left behind is another quite important, not to mention, threatening matter.

There are thousands of different types of molds, but many of even the common varieties can make you sick. Black mold is truly toxic, but even non-toxic molds are nothing to ignore. Moisture, when not dealt properly, can erupt into an extremely troublesome situation.

No matter how water and moisture finds its way into your home, mold spores can begin to grown in a 24-hour period. Moisture is produced in any number of ways. It can come from the shower, cooking, running the dishwasher or something more severe like a leaky roof, a broken pipe or rain water intruding via your basement. No matter its origin, the key to avoiding mold is to address the moisture as soon as it occurs. Check for properly functioning bathroom and kitchen vents and use them every time you shower, bathe or cook (and leave running about 30 minutes after you are finished). Open windows when you are able to let the moisture dissipate to the outside. For more serious issues like a water leak or a basement flood, remove the water asap with a wet/dry vac or call a professional company to do the work. Thoroughly dry all items the water has touched, noting that some items may not be able to be salvaged if they are soaked, and begin using fans and dehumidifiers.

If you have asthma or any type of autoimmune or compromising health issue, leave the work to someone else. People with weakened immune systems in any matter, children and the elderly are especially prone to illness and reaction from mold. When in doubt or if mold has grown more than a 1’ space, call in the professionals. Even if you can’t see the mold but can smell it, that’s also a job for a company the specializes in its treatment and removal. Make sure you work with a reputable company that is affiliated with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification or the Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration so you can rest assured the work is done properly. Your health is nothing to gamble with, and treating water and mold properly won’t have you suffering from its consequences in the long run.