The combination of a water leak and mold is an issue that must be addressed immediately. This is because water damage can lead to a lot more damage. That can be an extremely expensive fix. While mold is the most pressing issue that comes from water damage, there are others. Though, mold can upset a person’s health and destroy favorite possessions.
That is why it’s vital to know how to prevent mold after water damage. It saves time, money, and headache. Read on to identify water leaks as a homeowner. This can allow your house to remain a home instead of a health hazard.
Why a Water Leak and Mold Can Mean a Big Problem
A water leak and mold aren’t particularly dangerous to your health. Yet, someone with allergies will be able to tell. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, mold naturally occurs unbeknownst to most homeowners. People can’t avoid interacting with them. However, a water leak can make mold grow out of control.
At this point, a water leak and mold can produce the following health hazards:
- Excessive moisture
This could bother a person who has never dealt with allergies in their life. A person who has allergies or is immuno-compromised might find a mold infestation unbearable to live with. This is a problem for homeowners, and worse for landlords. They could face a breach in a lease because of a water leak and mold.
Homeowners or residents may experience these reactions to a water leak and mold:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Chest and nasal congestion
- Dermatitis (skin rash and itching)
Some forms of mold due to water leaks can lead to diseases in people who are sensitive to it. They won’t realize they are interacting with the mold. For instance, the mold spores float through the air in a house invisibly. Whatever they land on puts a person at risk of interacting with these spores. Follow these four steps to avoid upset allergies, or worse–a lawsuit from an angry tenant.
3 Steps on How to Prevent a Water Leak and Mold
- Examine the Water Meter to Check for a Water Leak and Mold
A large number of homeowners and tenants know their house has a water meter. Yet, there is a chance they don’t know what it is or where it is at that. A house’s water meter shows how much water a resident uses on a month-to-month basis. It gives an idea of what to expect monthly (great for budgeting).
In terms of the bigger picture, knowing what the water meter reading looks like on average every month helps identify a water leak and mold. It’s the important first step on how to prevent mold after water damage. The way to do this is to see if the reading is higher than usual.
A water meter reading may be higher than usual due to multiple factors:
- Taking longer baths and showers
- Running the dishwasher more than usual
- Using the washer and dryer more than usual
- Leaving the sink on while washing dishes or brushing teeth all the time
- Using the hose to water the garden for longer periods of time than on average
Once eliminating these factors, a homeowner or tenant can understand if there is a leak. Otherwise, the water meter should read per usual. This signals that there is a leak, but doesn’t ensure it. Maybe a child is pretending to be a whale in the backyard with a hose while a parent isn’t looking. Sometimes water meters have built-in functionality to detect leaks.
If not, turn off all the water. This means no sink running, don’t run the bath, dishwater, and etc. Then, make sure nobody is using it (this includes the wanna-be-whale). Take a peep at the water meter and note the reading. Take a few hours and then check it again. If the reading rose without anyone using water, it could mean a water leak and mold.
- Check Household Appliances for a Water Leak and Mold
So, the water meter is looking funky and not in a fresh way. The next step on how to prevent mold after water damage is to see if there is a visible leak. Any household appliance that has a water system needs to be checked out.
Here are examples of appliances that need inspection:
- Washing machine
Statistics show that a leaky household appliance that uses water can use up to 18 gallons of water per day. That’s around 13% of household water use on average. It’s also a good idea to look at water softener systems, UV systems, and any others that could be leaking. Look at the pipes and hoses of these appliances to reduce the risk of a water leak and mold. Other items to inspect would be sprinklers, hoses, and pool pumps. Take a quick peek at the spigots and gages.
- Physically Looks For Signs of a Water Leak and Mold
All the appliances look nice and dry. Now what? There are still other ways to snoop out signs of leaks which could lead to a moldy situation. First, think about if there was a leak in the past. Maybe there was a roof leak or leak from a shower into a wall. It may still be happening.
Check out these problem places for any signs of discoloration, bubbling, flaking, or cracking. Then, look around the house for other signs of water damage. If a wall or ceiling looks like it’s deflating at a certain part, there is a high chance of water damage. A musty smell is another sign. Identifying signs by physically inspecting can help how to prevent mold after water damage.
How to Prevent Mold After Water Damage
Identification of water damage is crucial to preventing mold. After a tenant or homeowner finds the source of the water damage it’s time to fix the problem. Get the wrench out if that means a leaky toilet or sink. Stop the leak to prevent more water damage and possibly mold. This may take the help of a professional if it’s not an easy fix.
Next, dry up the area. Wet spots from leaks lead to more water damage and mold overgrowth. Dry them up and then keep them that way if possible. Remove moisture from the area with dehumidifiers. A machine one is the best option, but Damprid will help as a temporary fix. Also, make sure the house has no issue with termites. This could make the foundation weaker and more prone to leaks.
The only way to really prevent mold after water damage is by bringing in the professionals. Restore, Remodel, Renew is an expert on how to prevent mold after water damage. We’re certified in multiple specialties to identify leaks, fix them, prevent them, and make your house a home again. Contact us now before a water leak and mold ruin your sanctuary.