How to Avoid Mold Caused by Water Damage


WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero

UPDATED: JANUARY 24, 2023 | 1 MIN READ

Mold is a fungus that can grow in moist areas of the home. It can cause health problems such as asthma, allergies, and sinusitis and can cause damage to properties. People must know how to prevent mold from growing in their homes by keeping it dry and ventilated or using disinfectants to kill the mold spores.

How do Water Leaks Cause Mold?

Many factors cause mold to grow. One of the most common factors is water leaks.

Water leaks can be caused by various things, including faulty pipes, roof leaks, and dishwasher leaks.

Leaking water will seep into spaces like walls and ceilings, eventually finding its way to the floor or other surfaces below it. Mold grows in these spaces if they remain wet for an extended period.

How Does Mold Grow?

Mold needs three things to grow: moisture, organic material, and a temperature between 40°F and 100°F. Mold spores are in the air all around us, but they will not grow without these three elements.

Moisture is necessary because mold needs it to survive. It can grow when it gets wet or stays damp for long periods.

Organic material is also necessary because mold needs wood paneling or drywall to start growing.

A temperature between 40°F and 100°F is needed because mold prefers warmer temperatures to cold ones. However, mold can still thrive at colder temperatures if there is enough moisture in the air and organic material nearby.

How to Remove Mold from Your Home

Steps for cleaning up mold:

  • First, find the source of the moisture problem and fix it. If you need help finding the start of the moisture problem, you should hire a professional.
  • Next – clean up any visible mold with soap and water or a bleach solution (1/4 cup of bleach per gallon of water). Consider hiring a mold remediation company to help if the mold is extensive.
  • If there are remaining traces of mold after cleaning with soap and water or bleach solution, use an anti-mildew spray to kill any remaining spores.

Hidden Mold

Hidden mold is more difficult to find than visible mold because it’s hidden in an inaccessible area, like a crawl space. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold often has an earthy or musty smell.

You may be able to smell a mold problem before you can see it.

Black Mold

Black mold is a fungus that can grow anywhere with adequate moisture. It can grow in your home, office, and other buildings. Black mold is not just an eyesore; it can also be a health concern.

The most common health concerns are allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Allergic reactions to black mold aren’t as severe as some other allergies. Still, they may cause symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, wheezing, and skin irritation. Respiratory problems caused by black mold include asthma or difficulty breathing for those with asthma or another respiratory condition.

Other less common symptoms of black mold exposure include:

  • Brain inflammation (encephalitis)
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Liver damage (hepatitis)
  • Kidney failure (nephropathy)
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy)

If you have any of these symptoms after exposure to black mold, you should seek medical attention immediately.

How to Prevent Mold Growth

Several mold prevention techniques can keep your home safe and limit mold exposure.

Ventilate your Property Properly

Ventilation is essential for a property’s air quality and energy efficiency.

If you’re renting, the landlord should be responsible for installing proper ventilation. If not, install your own ventilation systems, such as a dehumidifier or HVAC system.

Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the air to keep humidity levels reasonable. Air conditioning brings fresh air into the property and extracts stale air.

Change out Air Purifiers or Dehumidifiers Often

Dehumidifiers and air purifiers are great ways to improve air quality in your home. They can help with allergies, dry skin, and other health issues.

There are a few things you need to do to make sure that your dehumidifier or air purifier is working correctly:

  • Change out dehumidifiers or air purifiers often.
  • Make sure that the water is clean before running it through the machine.
  • Clean out the filters regularly.
  • Keep them in an area where they won’t be disturbed by pets, children, or other people who might knock them over.

Keep the Area Dry and Clean at All Times

Generally, it would be best to keep the area dry and clean.

The first thing to do is to remove any excess water from the carpet with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. If there is still water on the surface, you should use a wet vacuum cleaner or a mop and bucket.

Fix Leaks Whenever Possible

Leaks can be caused by various factors, including improper installation, defective pipes, or an aging home.

Fixing leaks whenever possible will help you save money and time in the long run.

A leak detection system is a device that monitors for changes in water pressure or flow and uses this information to detect leaks in plumbing systems.

Make Sure You Contract Professionals for a Full Inspection of your Property

It’s essential to ensure that you have a full mold inspection of your property before you buy it. This will help you figure out any problems with the property and what they are.

FAQs

Does water damage always cause mold?

With any water damage, there is the risk of mold growth, but it doesn’t mean mold will always develop after water damage. The chance of mold developing depends on a few factors, such as how severe the water damage was, how quickly it was cleaned up, and to what extent the surfaces were damaged.

How long does it take for water damage to turn into mold?

Mold and mildew can develop within 24-48 hours of water exposure. The time it takes for water damage to turn into mold depends on the amount of water absorbed into a material or structure and the environment’s temperature and humidity levels. The warmer the temperature and higher the humidity level are, the faster mold will grow. Once mold grows, it will continue to grow until steps are taken to eliminate the source of the moisture.

How do you keep mold from growing on wet drywall?

The first step is to remove the mold from the drywall surface by washing it with bleach and water. Next, any excess moisture should be removed by using fans or dehumidifiers. If you can’t remove all traces of mold from the surface, then you will have to replace the drywall or other materials that are affected by mold.

What can I spray to prevent mold?

As a homeowner, you want to ensure that your home is free from mold. You can prevent this by spraying the area with a mold-prevention spray.

There are a variety of brands and types of spray that you can use. However, it’s important to note that not all sprays are created equally. Some sprays may be toxic or contain harmful chemicals that could adversely affect your health and home.

How do I remove mold from clothes?

It’s essential to remove mold from clothes because if left untreated, it will continue to grow and may cause damage to the fabric. There are a few different methods for removing mold from clothes. Bleach is effective at killing mold, but it can cause colors to fade, so it’s best used on white clothing. Alternatively, you can use white distilled vinegar, either mixed with water as a presoak or in your washing machine to get rid of musty smells.

Is mold dangerous?

A mold infestation can be dangerous to human health if it’s present in the air, food, or water. There are many types of mold, but they all have one thing in common: they release spores into the air when they grow and reproduce. These spores can cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to them.

What should I do if mold has already started growing?

If you find visible mold on a surface, try cleaning it with soap and water. If this does not work, use a bleach solution. You can make a bleach solution by mixing one part of bleach with nine parts of water and then applying it to the moldy area with a cloth or sponge. You can also open the windows or use dehumidifiers to allow the site to dry. Absorbent or porous material such as carpet or ceiling tiles will have to be replaced as it’s impossible to eradicate the mold.

How do you clean up mold?

Mix a solution of one part bleach to three parts water in the spray bottle, and saturate the affected area. Use a scrubbing brush on the sprayed area to remove the mold. Repeat as necessary until all visible mold and mildew has been removed. Make a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in another spray bottle. Spray the cleaned surface and allow it to absorb and dry.

How do I prevent mold from coming back?

Keep humidity levels in your home as low as possible; air conditioning or a dehumidifier can help with this. Make sure that water leaks in your home are fixed, and any standing water is cleaned up quickly before mold can develop. You can also use mold prevention paint on your walls; this paint prevents mold growth, but it won’t stop mold from growing once it has developed.

How do you clean up water damage?

The first thing to do is to stop the flood water from spreading. You must remove any standing water from the area as quickly as possible. Then use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to remove as much moisture from the area as possible. Next, use a fan to circulate air throughout the room so it can dry out faster. Finally, clean surfaces with soap and warm water while wearing rubber gloves and using a disinfectant spray if necessary.

How do I know if the mold has caused any health issues?

Exposure to many mold spores may cause allergic symptoms similar to those caused by plant pollen. Possible symptoms include; a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, headache, rashes, and fatigue. When a mold problem has developed inside a home, it causes indoor air quality problems, leading to more severe allergic reactions.

How to Get Homeowners Insurance for Mold Caused By Water Damage

If you see signs of mold, you may have a mold infestation. The most important thing to do if you have a mold infestation is thoroughly clean the affected areas. This prevents further growth of mold and limits your exposure, reducing the risk of health problems.

Make sure you have the best price for your home insurance by filling out our online rate form. The proper homeowners insurance can protect you financially if you need to claim for mold damage or hire a water damage restoration company for mold removal.