Plumbing Leaks & Mold Growth: What You Need to Know
Mold can flourish throughout a home when conditions are right, since the fungus breaks down a wide variety of organic materials. One of the ways residential spaces provide environments for mold is through plumbing leaks. Review what your Orange County mold inspection team wants you to know about mold and plumbing problems to help your home stay dry and fungus-free.
Plumbing leaks typically occur under sinks and behind walls. Both these areas are naturally dark and therefore provide perfect conditions for mold to grow when there is a plumbing leak. Most strains flourish in damp, dark environments, including toxic black mold. And while leaks under sinks are often noticed quickly because homeowners use the spaces to store personal care products and cleaning items, leaks behind walls can go unnoticed for days or even a few weeks.
Musty odors and brownish water spots walls are among the most obvious hidden mold signs; however, they take time to develop. A mold infestation can subsequently become serious before the homeowner even realizes there is a problem.
Preventing Plumbing Leak-Related Mold Growth
The best way to stop plumbing leaks and subsequently mold infestations is with routine maintenance. Check under all household sinks regularly for moisture accumulations and damp items, such as wet hair dye boxes near the offending pipe. Remove all contents and leave cabinet doors open in the event of leaks to stop mold from forming–use a fan helps these spaces remain dry until plumbers arrive.
Schedule annual if not semi-annual plumbing maintenance checks that identify problems quickly to avoid serious water damage and mold problems, and familiarize yourself with hidden leak warning signs. In addition to water spots and musty odors, you might notice blistered paint or wallpaper, warped floorboards, and pest infestations. Ants, roaches, and other pests are always looking for the next water source, and gravitate towards homes with plumbing or roof leaks.
Practice good drainage habits to avoid putting stress on your plumbing pipes, such as using drain catchers in sinks to trap food debris, hair, soap residue, and other clogging agents. Watch what you flush, as only toilet paper should circle household toilets. Other paper products absorb moisture to create clogs, as do many other items, such as cigarette butts and coffee grounds.