We all know that the best way to deal with water damage and mold damage is to prevent it before it happens. While there are extreme situations that require flood damage control or water damage restoration, more often than not the worst you have to deal with is mold remediation resulting from lack of knowledge about the origins of water damage rather then any of the previously mentioned devastating situations.
Common hidden causes of water damage
Bathrooms and kitchens are obvious starting points for water damage. After all, these are probably the only rooms in the house in which water is regularly used. A small leak under the sink, a crack in the tile, poor ventilation can all be the foundation of much larger problems.
Inspect tiled areas for cracks or damaged grout.
Ventilate by either leaving the window open a crack or by installing a fan.
Check shower stalls and tubs for cracks.
Inspect pipes under all sinks.
Pay attention to any dark stains or discoloration on bathroom and kitchen walls, floors and other surfaces. These may indicate a growing mold colony.
Check all caulking – if you see any cracks or degradation, take the time to re-caulk and avoid leaks. Include showers, tubs, sinks and toilets in your inspection.
Do not forget to check your shower curtain or shower/tub door for signs of mold.
Pool areas and spas are perpetually damp. Cleanliness in these areas, as well as good ventilation, is essential.
There is some research that indicated cedar tubs are better at resisting mold.
Wash frequently using an eco-friendly anti-bacterial agent. Dry thoroughly.
Invest in a pool/spa dehumidifier
Regularly inspect the integrity of water seals to ensure that there is no leakage.
It is equally important to inspect any plumbing attached to the hot tub in your spa.
Provide proper drainage for filter and heating system.
Household appliances can also be the source of water damage.
Clothes dryer vents expel hot, moist air. Poor ventilation or inefficient outtake hoses will lead to moisture accumulation.
Appliances that use water (dish washers, clothes washers, refrigerators with ice makers or a beverage bar) clearly employ mechanisms that carry water to and from the appliance. Hoses. Drain pipes and all other plumbing elements must be kept in tip-top, water-tight working order.
Certain rooms are more susceptible to unnoticed water damage than others.
Visit the basement and attic regularly. Even if these rooms are not regularly in use, they are common locations for undetected water seepage or leaking.
You do not have to memorize the plumbing schematics for your home, but you should be aware that pipes may run in unexpected places. Wall discoloration in any room in the house can indicate a problem with your plumbing and the onset of water damage.
Prevent extensive water damage by paying attention to water pressure – a drop in water pressure can indicate a hidden leak somewhere in the plumbing system.