Can a One-time Water Leak Cause Mold?
Your home is a refuge from the mayhem of the outside world. It’s the place that brings comfort and security to your family and your loved ones. And while you may not think that a measly one-time water leak in your home could jeopardize that safety, the facts say otherwise.
Even a small water leak can lead to severe damage in your home if you don’t act quickly. The main culprit? Mold.
Mold thrives in damp environments. When not handled quickly, a water leak can wreak havoc on the health of your family at a rapid pace.
Here’s everything you need to know to prevent mold growth from a one-time water leak in your home.
How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow From Water Damage?
Mold can develop at an astonishing rate. The spores can already begin developing within the first 24-48 hours after water damage from a leak. That’s barely enough time to gather your thoughts after a leak and get to work! On top of that, it can take five days or longer for parts of your home to dry out thoroughly.
These contradicting timelines are why, when it comes to mildew prevention, it is always best to be equipped with the proper tools and information on what to do in case a leak occurs. Speed up the drying process as much as you can with air circulation and have cleaning supplies at the ready.
Is Mold From a Water Leak Dangerous?
While not all types of mold are inherently dangerous, it is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health and your home. Many varieties, including molds that will grow due to water leaks in your home, can have dangerous effects on health.
Research has shown that exposure to mold within a child’s first year of life can increase their likelihood of developing asthma. But the substance can be dangerous for people of all ages.
When mold grows, it produces a toxic substance called mycotoxin, which can trigger immune responses in some adults and lead to long-lasting respiratory problems.
How to Prevent Mold After a One-time Water Leak
While it’s essential to take the threat of mold seriously after a one-time water leak, all hope is not lost. You can drastically reduce the chances of it developing with a few basic steps.
1) Act Quickly
With the proper humidity and temperature levels, mold can begin to grow incredibly quickly in your home.
The CDC recommends that you clean up after a flood within the first 24 to 48 hours to prevent dangerous mold from forming. A leak, however small, can lead to the same results.
The spores begin to colonize within the first few days—even before any spores or growth are visible! That’s why you must act quickly and address the issue before it grows out of hand.
2) Clean and Dry the Area
Dry the area out as much as possible. Mold thrives in damp environments, which is why it is common in places like basements or bathrooms with poor airflow. Use fans to aid in this process and open nearby windows, if possible, to speed up the drying process.
It’s also essential that you clean the area, even if there are no visible signs of spores or growth. You can disinfect hard surfaces with storebought products or detergent and water. You can also use a highly diluted bleach solution.
The chances of success are not as strong on porous surfaces, like carpeting, wood, or drywall, so be prepared to call in the experts for backup if needed.
3) Control Levels of Humidity
Mold thrives at high humidity levels, especially in places with a relative humidity of over 60%. If you’re concerned that mold may develop, use a dehumidifier to lower humidity levels in the affected room.
You can also purchase a humidity gauge to monitor levels and help reduce the risk of mold growth.
4) Closely Monitor Long-Term
Just because the area appears clean and dry doesn’t mean you’re necessarily in the clear. It is essential that you pay close attention to the affected areas long after the leak occurs.
Even if mold dries out, it may not completely die. Continue to monitor humidity levels in your home and pay attention to any musky odors.
If the mold continues to thrive, it may be best to call in a professional.
Call All Dry USA
With some proactive thinking and quick action, you can prevent mold growth in your home after a one-time water leak. But sometimes, it’s too late.
If the issue gets out of hand or you want a second opinion to ensure the security of your home and the health of your family, call All Dry USA.