No one ever thinks it can happen to them, but, life is unpredictable. Water damage can occur in unexpected places, and, according to the EPA they recommend “guidelines for response to clean water damage within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.” Walls, bed headboards and even backsplashes can conceal microbial growth, leading to a whole host of problems. At Absolute Flood Response, we can’t begin to count the number of times that we have encountered hidden growth behind the most unexpected of places, so, here are THREE hints that you can use to increase the safety of your home, and, by extension, your family.
TIP #1: Clean Up Water Immediately
The most cited cause of water damage and its aftermath that our company sees is caused by homeowners waiting much too long to do anything about a slow leak or standing water. The reality is that as soon as there is water, it begins work deteriorating anything it comes in contact with. If it’s in a hidden space, such as under a cabinet or behind an appliance, the chances that it will turn into a much more serious type of damage increases due to the enclosed space and increased warmth. A simple equation to remember is “Water + Warmth + Cellulose-Based Materials + Time = Mold”. The sooner you dry it out, the better your chances are of avoiding more damage than you bargained for.
TIP #2: Check Hidden Spots
“Out of sight, out of mind” is how most people deal with many things in life, and often don’t deal with potentially catastrophic problems until they quite literally blow up in their faces. So, what we like to suggest is that for places where potential problems can occur (water closets, behind toilet tanks, inside cabinets where perhaps a dishwasher line is run through, etc), make a habit of checking these places occasionally for dampness. It takes just a moment and can lessen the chances that an unexpected problem happen in the near future.
TIP #3: Be Aware of Water Heater Health
This is one that personally happened to myself when I just moved into a new apartment; I submitted a work order to fix a constantly running toilet and while they were there, i also asked if they could maybe see about the water temperature. Turns out that our water heater was over 10 years old and the pan was full of water, just leaking all over the place from the previous tenants having neglected maintenance on it. We luckily got it handled and replaced before anything major happened, but, others aren’t so lucky. So, make sure that your water heater is checked occasionally and that when it comes time to replace it, you have a qualified individual or company handle that for you.