Don’t Let Snow Melt Lead to Mold in Your Home

ServiceMaster Clean® experts offer tips for preventing or recovering from expensive water damage after a snow melt.

Memphis, TN (PRWEB) March 01, 2013 - Every blizzard eventually melts, and when it does, water can be a real problem for homeowners.

This year has already produced several major snow events and more are expected. These big snow falls are inconvenient and even dangerous, but melting snow can be equally troublesome. Rapid snow melt can produce torrents of water that may seep into the basement, leak through the roof or collect around a home's foundation. The result can be mold, mildew and rot. To help prevent this type of damage, act fast to remove the real culprit – moisture.

“A heavy, deep snow that melts quickly creates a lot of water that may have no place to go, so homeowners must be prepared to help prevent the water damage that may result,” said Peter Duncanson, a disaster restoration specialist for ServiceMaster Clean. “Mold can form quickly if the right conditions exist, so it’s important to act fast.”

Duncanson calls mold “nature’s digester,” as it will destroy most cellulose-based materials such as wood, wallpaper, cardboard and drywall. It also grows on surfaces where dust is present, like ventilation shafts and in basements. A significant mold problem will likely require remediation, which may involve replacing carpet, sheetrock, baseboards, subflooring and other light construction. The cost can quickly escalate into thousands of dollars and insurance coverage for these occurrences is often capped, if they are covered at all.

Other mold-related problems for homeowners:

  • Discoloration of fabrics, carpets, walls, wood and furniture
  • Odors associated with rot and mildew
  • Health issues from airborne mold spores including respiratory ailments and eye irritation
  • Loss of property value due to the presence of mold

Duncanson emphasized that prevention is the best method for dealing with mold. If water is prevented from entering the home, mold is deprived of a necessary ingredient and prevents it from forming. Before it snows, clean gutters, downspouts and drains around the home so water can flow freely. Seal up holes or leaks in the basement, and make sure the roof, soffits and fascia are in good shape.

If water does find an entrance, try to remove it within the first 18-24 hours. A working sump pump for the basement is helpful, and fans and floor dryers can help dry baseboards, sheetrock, flooring and fabrics before mold sets in.

Should mold form, it can be difficult to eliminate from porous materials that harbor mold spores. Mold is a virtual death sentence for carpet; it’s almost impossible to kill once it is established in the fibers and pad. However, hard, non-porous surfaces can be cleaned by a variety of products that will kill mold, including bleach, ammonia and vinegar.

If moisture and mold become too much to handle, call a professional remediation expert like ServiceMaster Clean. Trained specialists will assess the situation and help eliminate mold and moisture from inside the home.

About ServiceMaster Clean

With more than 4,000 franchised and licensed locations around the world, ServiceMaster Clean and ServiceMaster Recovery Management serve customers through a global network of franchises that provide a range of residential and commercial services including cleaning and restoration resulting from damage caused by water or fire, janitorial services, commercial carpet cleaning, hard surface floor care, and residential carpet and upholstery cleaning. ServiceMaster Clean is part of the Memphis-based ServiceMaster Company, one of the world’s largest residential and commercial service networks. The company’s brands include Terminix, TruGreen, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. Visit our websites at and for more information.

About ServiceMaster

With a global network of more than 7,300 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, Memphis-based ServiceMaster is one of the world’s largest residential and commercial service networks. The company’s high-profile brands are Terminix, TruGreen, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. Through approximately 20,000 corporate associates and a franchise network that we estimate independently employs over 31,000 additional people, the ServiceMaster family of brands provided services and products to approximately 8 million customers during the last 12 months. Our market-leading brands provide a range of residential and commercial services including termite and pest control; lawn, tree and shrub care; home warranties and preventative maintenance contracts; furniture repair; home inspections; home cleaning; janitorial services; and disaster restoration. Go to for more information about ServiceMaster or follow us at or


Gina Evans Kamler
ServiceMaster Clean



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