Whether it was a burst pipe or rain coming in an open window, water can cause more damage than you might expect. In fact, water is one of the most pervasive and destructive substances on earth. If you don’t believe it, just think about the Grand Canyon – it was cut out by water and the Colorado River. Now that took hundreds of thousands of years, but the principal is the same. Water can cause an incredible amount of damage.
Equally troublesome is what can come after water damage. Mold.
What can you do to prevent mold after water damage? Let’s take a look at a few key strategies.
First things first – stop the flow
It perhaps goes without saying, but you can’t begin to repair water damage before you stop the water flowing. Whether it’s a leaky pipe or a big flood, you have to make sure you stop the water and make adequate repairs. You may be able to take care of a leaking pipe or toilet yourself. Hop on the internet and take a look through some do-it-yourself projects. However, if your water damage is coming either up from the floor of your basement, through the walls or through the roof, you should consult a professional.
Once you stop the flow, you can start looking to repair and prevention.
Dry the area completely
As soon as the water stops flowing, get the area that got wet as dry as physically possible. This may mean you need to get to your local big box hardware store and get some industrial sized fans, or you may choose to contact a water restoration company to handle this step for you. You’ll want to open all the windows and get the air flowing through the area. Mold loves damp and wet areas, especially areas with poor air flow and little light. If things have leaked into the walls, you may even want to open the wall a bit to get a better look.
Chemicals and more
Once things are dried out, you should treat the area with chemicals or other substances that are called mildewcides. There are a number of products on the market that are formulated to kill and reduce mold in wet areas. However, you can do quite a bit of this yourself with products you already have in your cabinet. First, use a non-diluted bleach solution and coat the entire area. Let the bleach rest until it dries. You can also use white vinegar – spreading this in the area will help reduce mold.
If you’ve got a leaky pipe, it’s probably an easy fix. But if you have a rather large issue, you may need to do a bit more construction to solve your problem overall. And that’s what long term is all about – you may need to invest in your home to prevent future damage.
If you’re already fighting mold or are concerned about the prospect, know that there are trusted companies that can do this work for you. Sometimes, the best thing to do is call in the professionals.