Dealing with Mold After a Fire
A fire is a traumatic event, and if you've experienced one, you know that it can be difficult to deal with the aftermath. Along with structural damage, smoke and soot can cause mold growth in your home's walls, ceilings, and floors. If not dealt with quickly — and properly — mold growth will spread throughout your home and make rebuilding more expensive than necessary.
Mold can grow after a fire if the area is not dried quickly enough.
Mold is a fungus that grows on organic materials. To grow, it needs moisture and oxygen. It can be found everywhere in nature, but it's difficult to spread without the help of humans.
For example, after a fire occurs in your home, you will have an opening in one of the walls where smoke and heat have damaged the drywall. If this wall isn't repaired quickly enough (and if there are other factors that allow moisture to enter), mold spores could start growing on exposed wood or other materials inside your home.
How mold spreads after a fire.
In addition to the immediate damage caused by fire, there's also the potential for mold growth. Mold spores are everywhere, but a fire creates an environment that makes it easy for them to grow.
If you have a house fire and you're concerned about your home's susceptibility to mold growth, don't fret: there are ways you can ensure that your home doesn't become infested with mold after a fire.
What to do with the contents:
The contents of the room should be removed and discarded if they cannot be cleaned. If they can be cleaned, wash them in hot water and detergent, then dry them in a well-ventilated area. Do not use bleach or other harsh chemicals to clean things like clothes that may have been exposed to smoke or mold spores during the fire. Once everything has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, leave the door open so that air can get in and out of the room for several days until it is completely dry again.
The Fire Damage Restoration Process Includes Mold Remediation
The time it takes for mold to grow in your home depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the room, how much water is present and whether there was smoke damage. In general, however, it grows faster than you might think: 48 hours is common for indoor environments.
Mold is not only unsightly and may even affect your health, but also expensive to remove once it has set in—and insurance companies won't cover it unless they deem it an "act of God" (which can be hard to prove). Even if you do have insurance coverage for fire damage or other structural issues that resulted from a fire event (or any other emergency), you'll want to know what types of materials are covered so that you don't end up paying out-of-pocket just because something wasn't explicitly covered under your policy.
If you're concerned about whether there's visible evidence of mold after an emergency has occurred at home or work—or if there's reason to believe that such contamination could be imminent—call us today!
Call a professional fire restoration company to restore your home after a fire.
You should call a professional fire restoration company to restore your home after a fire.
- Mold can grow fast in a fire-damaged home and spread quickly if not controlled.
- A professional fire restoration company will use specialized equipment to remove mold, contain it, and prevent its reoccurrence.
I hope that this article has helped you understand the importance of dealing with mold in your home after a fire. Fire damage can be devastating, but it’s not something that you have to deal with alone. There are many resources available today for people who experience this type of loss. By calling a professional fire restoration company like SERVPRO or another local business, you will be able to get the help that you need to recover from your loss as quickly as possible so that life can go back to normal once again.
Black Mold Facts
Close Up Picture of Black Mold Spores
What is Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra)?
Stachybotrys chartarum (also known by its synonym Stachybotrys atra) is a greenish-black mold. It can grow on material with a high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth. It is not necessary, however, to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.
How common is mold, including Stachybotrys chartarum (also known by its synonym Stachybotrys atra) in buildings?
Molds are very common in buildings and homes and will grow anywhere indoors where there is moisture. The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. We do not have precise information about how often Stachybotrys chartarum is found in buildings and homes. While it is less common than other mold species, it is not rare.
I heard about “toxic molds” that grow in homes and other buildings. Should I be concerned about a serious health risk to me and my family?
The term “toxic mold” is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous. Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. There is always a little mold everywhere – in the air and on many surfaces. There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.
A common-sense approach should be used for any mold contamination existing inside buildings and homes. The common health concerns from molds include hay fever-like allergic symptoms. Certain individuals with chronic respiratory disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma) may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression may be at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment. For the most part, one should take routine measures to prevent mold growth in the home.
For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm
Hazard Classes and Types of Mold
Different Types of Mold Spores
Have you found mold in your home or commercial property? Everyone has mold and knows that mold can be dangerous, but knowing the different classes and types of mold can help you know what you are dealing with and how to treat them.
3 Hazard Classes of Mold
- Class A: includes fungi or their metabolic products that are highly hazardous to health. These should not be present in dwellings that are occupied. Presence of this mold in occupied buildings requires immediate attention.
- Class B: fungi which may cause allergic reactions to occupants if present indoors over an extended period.
- Class C: fungi not commonly known to be a health hazard. Growth of this mold inside, however, may cause damage to the property or structure and therefore should be remediated.
*Where They Can Be Found
Molds most commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms:
- Cladosporium cladosporioides (hazard class B)
- Cladosporium sphaerospermum (hazard class C)
- Ulocladium botrytis (hazard class C)
- Chaetomium globosum (hazard class C)
- Aspergillus fumigatus (hazard class A)
Molds most commonly found on wallpapers:
- Cladosporium sphaerospermum
- Chaetomium spp., particularly Chaetomium globosum
- Doratomyces spp (no information on hazard classification)
- Fusarium spp (hazard class A)
- Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly called ‘black mold‘ (hazard class A)
- Trichoderma spp (hazard class B)
- Scopulariopsis spp (hazard class B)
Molds most commonly found on mattresses and carpets:
- Penicillium spp., especially Penicillium chrysogenum (hazard class B) and Penicillium aurantiogriseum (hazard class B)
- Aspergillus versicolor (hazard class A)
- Aureobasidium pullulans (hazard class B)
- Aspergillus repens (no information on hazard classification)
- Wallemia sebi (hazard class C)
- Chaetomium spp., particularly Chaetomium globosum
- Scopulariopsis spp.
Molds most commonly found on window frames:
- Aureobasidium pullulans
- Cladosporium sphaerospermum
- Ulocladium spp.
Molds most commonly found in basement (cellars):
- Aspergillus versicolor
- Aspergillus fumigatus
- Fusarium spp.
Call SERVPRO of Lewsiburg/Selisngrove at (570) 523-3300 if you've found mold in your commercial or residential properties!