You might associate mold remediation with substantial amounts of water damage, such as following a flood or a significant water leak. However, mold only requires a few essential ingredients to take hold, and it doesn't need much moisture to begin growing. Once mold establishes itself in your home, the spores can travel throughout your home and put down roots in unexpected locations.
As a result, it's crucial to think about mold following almost any leak or flooding event, even if it seems relatively minor at the time. While you might not need a complete remediation job for a dripping pipe, you shouldn't ignore the threat posed by mold. These three questions will help you determine if a minor might require attention from an expert.
1. Did You Dry the Area Quickly?
Mold often takes hold when moisture remains on a surface for an extended period. Depending on the variety of mold, it may be able to begin growing within 24-48 hours. As a result, quickly and thoroughly drying the area is critical if you want to avoid the possibility of future mold growth. Remember that colonies can often start small and then rapidly expand.
You have the best chance of drying the area yourself if water only made it to solid, non-porous surfaces. Wood and drywall are highly porous and can be among the most challenging materials to dry. You may need to use fans, dehumidifiers, or other equipment in these cases. If you don't have access to these items, consider calling in a professional.
2. How Soon Did You Spot the Leak?
Water will follow paths of least resistance, which often allows it to seep into hidden or hard-to-reach areas. Leaks in kitchens or bathrooms can often be problematic since water can travel along tile or wood floors to places behind cabinets or under wall trim. The longer a leak goes unnoticed, the greater the chance moisture will enter these areas.
If you suspect that a pipe has been leaking for some time, you may already have a moisture or mold problem that you can't see. Contacting a mold remediation specialist for an inspection is an excellent way to get some peace of mind and confirm that you don't have a problem growing out of sight.
3. Does the Area Smell Musty?
After repairing a leak and thoroughly drying the area, you shouldn't smell any musty or unusual odors. If your nose tells you that something is off, it might be a sign that your minor leak caused more damage than you realize. You should consider those musty odors your nose's way of letting you know that something is wrong.
Don't assume those odors are normal. Instead, contact a mold expert to inspect the area and check for the presence of an excessive amount of spores. By addressing the problem quickly, you can often avoid more costly remediation efforts in the future.
If you are in need of mold damage remediation, contact a company such as 1-800-BUSY-DOG.