5 ways to prevent mold after a water pipe leak
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Originally Posted On: https://proactiveplumbinginc.com/5-ways-to-prevent-mold-after-a-water-pipe-leak/
We all dread the sound of water gushing in the basement, finding a steady dripping that has left a puddle of water on the floor, or discovering a fresh water stain on the ceiling. All of these are signs that you have a water leak. If water is left too long on a wall or floor, then the moisture provides a great environment for mold growth. Here are 5 ways to prevent mold growth after dealing with a water pipe leak in your plumbing in San Marcos.
Repair the Leak
While it might seem like a no-brainer, the truth is that if the leak is not repaired properly, then water may continue to pool. That pooling water can easily become a source of mold and mildew growth if not addressed quickly. If the area is not dried out properly, then that water can eventually cause mold to grow behind walls and in other areas of your home. Without proper airflow, the damage can be extensive but even worse, it can end up in hidden areas causing more damage that might not be detected for months.
Part of repairing the leak involves turning off the water first, stopping the water flow from the water pipe leak. That means turning the water off at the source. Depending on where the water pipe leak is, you might have to use the water shut off valve for your whole home, or it may simply require that the shut off valve below the sink, shower, or toilet needs to be turned off.
With the water is cut off, it can make repairing the water pipe leak easier. Once the water pipe leak is repaired, it is important that you regularly check the area for the next few weeks. If you see signs of water again, reach out to your plumber because there may be an additional water pipe leak or other plumbing issues. Also, investigate any musty smells, as that could be a sign that mold is beginning to form, and you need to find the source. After the source is located, then you can dry out the area and make any additional repairs that might be needed to keep the mold from spreading any further.
Get the Excess Water Pumped Out
Even before the water pipe leak is repaired, it is critical that you get the excess water out of the area. You would want to shut off the main water valve to the house and start cleaning up the water. Get as much of the water mopped up. Get as much of the water dried up as possible.
This process could involve turning on a sump pump or mopping up the water. You might even put a dehumidifier in the area to get any excess moisture out of the area. The goal is to get the area as dry as possible, as quickly as possible. Doing so will help you to avoid further damage to the flooring, walls, and structure of your home.
Increase the Air Circulation
One of the big reasons why mold grows in moist areas is that they do not have the air circulation to dry out fully. Wherever you have the water pipe leak, do as much as possible to increase the air circulation in that part of the house. You can do this by using fans or getting windows open to circulate the air. That will help the area dry out and avoid the potential of mold growth.
Many individuals use fans or heaters to decrease the moisture level, particularly in rooms or areas of the home that are typically closed off. Basements also tend to retain moisture, so you may want to consider alternative options, such as the next method, to dry the area out.
Consider Using a Dehumidifier
If increasing air circulation is not possible or you can only increase it slightly, then consider putting a dehumidifier in the area. The dehumidifier will pull the moisture out of the air and collect it, thus allowing the area to dry out. Before you plug in the dehumidifier, make sure that the electrical outlet has not been compromised by the water pipe leak.
Remember, you have to regularly empty the dehumidifier to avoid it overflowing and causing additional damage. Also, make sure that when you are done with the dehumidifier, you make sure it is completely dried out to avoid potential mold growth when it is stored.
Depending on the size of the water pipe leak or how big the area where the water was found, you might need to get a bigger dehumidifier in place. There are a variety of dehumidifiers available in various sizes, so you can find one that will be effective based on the size of the room or area where the leak happened. Just make sure that you keep the cords away from any water.
Repair Damaged Areas
The truth is that after a leak is repaired and the water is removed, building materials may be too damaged to remain in place. This fact is especially true of drywall, which when it is wet, provides food for mold and mildew to grow. Therefore, you want to remove the damaged drywall and have it replaced. Doing so will help you to avoid mold growth, particularly if the drywall was damp for a long period of time. Plus, drywall that is wet can allow for other bacteria and fungus to grow and lead to potential damage to the structure.
When replacing the damaged materials, consider using mold-resistant replacement materials where appropriate. These will help to reduce the chance of mold growth in the area where the water pipe leak occurred. If you have a water pipe leak, get your plumbing in San Marcos repaired by a professional and follow these tips to reduce the likelihood of mold growing in your home.