My House Was Flooded

Dear George,

My house was flooded with 4″ of water from TS Fay. I spent a week drying out the house with dehumidifiers and wanted to know when I should test for mold? How long will it take to know if our efforts are successful?

How Dry I Am


Dear How Dry I Am,

Mold testing at ANY time provides a baseline of comparison for any future testing.

If you had not recently undergone a flood, there would be no need for testing if none of the residents were smelling mold or experiencing symptoms of mycotoxin exposure; but since you have undergone a flood, it would be a good idea to test soon. A test will be able to determine how effective your dehumidification efforts were, because mold growth can begin within 72 hours. If there is lingering moisture or areas of rogue mold colonization, then, the sooner you locate the problem the easier it will be to eliminate it. Testing will also help you pinpoint mold hot spots, too.

After receiving the lab results, the mold assessor will be able to compare your house’s internal readings to outside levels, and you will know if your indoor numbers are elevated. EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT ELEVATED, the numbers will serve as a basis for comparison for any subsequent testing. Bear in mind that even outdoor levels may be elevated after a flood.

There is not a cut and dried deadline we can give you that will tell you once and for all that your efforts have been successful. Even if your property is bone dry and mold free, no home is built in a vacuum. Because you are there and know your locale, and sound aware of the issue, use your best judgement for how frequently you should test.

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