Imagine going on vacation and returning to your east Boulder home to find mushrooms and mold growing in your carpet!! This recently happened to a client of ours. They headed out of town on a short vacation and while they were gone, a pipe burst and flooded their basement. Since they were out of town and unaware, nature did as nature does and they ended up with a mold and fungus problem.
When they returned home and discovered the flooded basement and the mushrooms growing from the basement carpet, they immediately called PuroClean Disaster Response in to help assess the problem and find the correct method to cleanup the flooded basement and the mold on the carpet, furniture and walls. When we initially walked in, the source of the water had yet to be discovered, but the water damage was clear and it needed attention quickly. The water had saturated the carpet and traveled up the walls in the basement. It had clearly flooded high enough to saturate many personal articles in the basement such as textiles and furniture as well.
While the source of the flood was being determined and repaired, the homeowner moved most of the contents out the basement. When contents are damaged by mold or floods, they can be restored. We work directly with professional contents restoration companies who are expert at cleaning and disinfecting any item the homeowner wants to keep. In this case, the homeowner decided against the expense of sending their blankets and such to another company and ended up discarding a lot of the moldy items. Once the basement was clear of personal items and the broken pipe had been repaired we could get to work and start our mold remediation process.
We began by moving the remaining furniture out of the flooded Boulder basement. As part of that process we eliminate any mold, then clean and disinfect each piece before it is moved out of the room. This step ensures no further spread of mold. We then set up containment and HEPA air filtration in the basement to isolate the flood damaged area. This ensures the mold spores and any other dust from our work does not spread through the house while we complete our mold remediation work on flooring and walls.
The drywall on the lower portion of the walls had been saturated by the basement flood and had also begun to grow mold. Due to the age of the house an asbestos test is required before any drywall can be cut out and removed. The homeowner wanted to deal with that themselves and asked us only to clean and contain the damaged areas. We vacuumed the walls using HEPA class equipment to capture and contain any loose mold spores then applied anti-microbial solution to the area. After it dried we sealed the damaged areas behind plastic to starve the area of oxygen and to ensure that any remaining mold spores still present could not spread.
The water damage in the flooded basement along with the mold and fungal growth had deteriorated the carpet to the point that we had no chance to salvage it. If water damage from a basement flood is caught quickly enough, we can often save carpet by extracting the water and thoroughly cleaning the carpet, but in this case the water had been there too long and humidity in the basement had created excellent conditions for the mold and mushrooms to grow. This microbial growth had deteriorated the structure and fibers of the carpet. We cut the carpet into manageable sized pieces and wrapped each piece in plastic to remove it from the space. Then we did the same with the carpet pad. Once the carpet and pad were torn out, we scraped and swept all contaminated areas.
The hard part of mold remediation was complete and it was time to filter the air. We leave HEPA air filters in place long enough to ensure that 100% of the air in the mold contaminated space is filtered and free of mold spores. Once that time has passed we can remove the containment. In this case to help ease the worries of the homeowners we left the air scrubber in place for several extra days so that he could work in the area confident that the air was being constantly cleaned.