How to Prevent Mold After a Water Leak



If you have had any kind of water leak in your house, anything from leaky pipes to a damaged roof, mold may now be growing inside, and that’s a problem you don’t want to ignore. In addition to creating a health hazard in the form of various respiratory issues, mold also has the potential for damaging your property as well.

As mold grows it breaks down organic structures, such as wood, and that can lead to both cosmetic and structural damage to your home or other buildings.

How Fast Does Mold Grow After a Water Leak?

There are a number of things affecting the growth of mold. These include the surfaces that are affected, the temperature and humidity levels, and the type of mold that is present.

With all those conditions in mind, after a water leak mold can begin to grow within only a few hours, with mold spores taking advantage of the damp conditions in which they thrive.

As a rule of thumb, mold can begin developing within 24 to 48 hours after a water leak, but it can take up to 18 to 21 days before the mold becomes apparent. And from its initial invasion point, it can easily spread to areas that were not affected by the original water leak.

Interior Mold

Steps to Prevent Mold After a Water Leak

Given the speed with which mold can take root and spread after a water leak has occurred, it’s essential to take corrective action as soon as possible.

The following are the steps you should take after a water leak to prevent the growth of mold.

  1. Remove the water as soon as possible.

One effective way to accomplish this is to borrow, rent, or buy a wet dry vacuum that typically can pump and remove about 5-10 gallons of water a minute. That’s a far less strenuous way and more rapid way of removing water than using plastic buckets.

Getting rid of as much water as possible as quickly as possible minimizes the damage and the potential for mold growth.

  1. Dry floors and furniture with towels.

In addition to the wet dry vac, towels can be used as an additional means of water removal and damage control. Spread towels over wet flooring and furniture to soak up water from floors and furniture. Once the towels and shop vac have done their job, it will be much easier to assess the extent of the damage you’ve suffered.

  1. Remove damp rugs and carpet.

Damp rugs and carpets are high risk areas for mold growth. They provide mold a warm and damp environment for growth as well as a lot of dust that mold spores can feed on.

  1. Check your flooring.

If the water damage is minimal, you may be able to dry and salvage your flooring. If the damage is extensive, however, removal is highly recommended.

  1. Dehumidify the affected area.

As we’ve said, mold thrives in damp humid environments, and in the process of drying out the affected area, it’s a good idea to use a dehumidifier to blow cooler, drier air into your home to reduce the chances of mold after water damage. Or, alternatively, you can use a strong fan to blow air and dry the areas where water has gotten in.

  1. Disinfect the damaged areas.

You want to eliminate any bacteria and mold spores as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth, and this can usually be accomplished using a consumer-grade disinfectant available at any grocery or hardware store.

  1. Remove damaged materials.

If you notice that rugs, carpets, flooring, furniture, or walls are beginning to change color, and if a dank, musty smell pervades the area, it’s really best to remove and replace the things that have been heavily damaged. The expense of replacement can be significant, but it’s better to spend the money now rather than run the risk of serious mold problems in the near future.

Water Leak Detection from Liberty Plumbing

Water leakage and damage can occur suddenly, brought on by flooding or a roof heavily damaged during a severe storm. On the other hand, it can also be a gradual cumulative occurrence, and water leak detection and water leak repairs are some of our specialties at Liberty Plumbing.

If you’re having either an interior or exterior problem with a water leak but you’re unsure of the source, call in our experts. We’ll conduct a thorough inspection of the affected area to determine the source of your problem and then recommend what we consider to be the very best solution to your problem. And our recommendations always include upfront pricing.

Water leakage is not a problem when you call in the detection experts from Liberty Plumbing. Give us a call at 678-902-1088 and we’ll be right over to help you!