Mold Is a Plumbing Issue? It Can Be if You Make These Mistakes

Mold Is a Plumbing Issue? It Can Be if You Make These Mistakes

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Mold’s Damage Is Not Just to Your Home, But Also to Its Occupants

Mold causes physical damage to the surfaces in your home as it spreads, eating its way slowly through wood, drywall, and other materials. That’s not the worst of it, though, since mold releases spores and irritants that cause respiratory problems in many people, especially those who are already allergic to mold.

A Dry Climate Is No Guarantee That Mold Won’t Grow

Mold’s spores are also the way it spreads, seeking other places to grow in your home. What it’s looking for are dark, damp areas where the air is fairly moist and still. Depending on your climate, those spots could be just naturally occurring due to humidity in the air. As your plumber can tell you, though, damp and humidity can occur even in deserts as long as water is present. In dry climates, mold can grow abundantly due to the moisture from your plumbing.

Your Plumbing Can Be Causing Mold Growth and Resulting Health Problems

People who live in dry climates often take water problems less seriously because evaporation takes care of excess moisture fairly quickly. When the problem is a continuous one such as a pipe leak, though, moisture will persist and provide a growth opportunity for spores. In more humid climates such as coastal areas, damp areas may form simply from the cold temperature of water supply pipes causing condensation or “sweating.”

Mold Health Problems Are More Than Respiratory Issues

Some varieties of mold produce toxins that affect most people’s lungs, allergic or not. Other symptoms of exposure to mold include flu-like symptoms, skin rashes, frequent sneezing, and the exacerbation of other allergies as the body’s immune responses are heightened. Mold allergies can develop and become more severe over time due to exposure, resulting in strong reactions whenever a person is exposed to mold in the future, for instance during travel.

Where There’s Water, There Can Be Mold

In addition to water pipe sweating, corrosion, and damage, pipe joints and valves provide for small leaks that create dampness. Washing machines and dishwashers may leak, drains occasionally can back up, and sump pump failure can allow water to remain in the basement, especially during stormy weather. Your plumber can identify and correct many of these problems.

Mold and Your Valuable Possessions

Persistent dampness, especially in the basement, can cause irreparable damage to paper, fabrics, wood, and other materials in your valuable possessions stored in the area. In fact, storing absorbent items in areas prone to dampness can allow moisture to remain that would normally be removed by air currents. Cluttered areas also impede the flow of drier air, increasing the risk of mold.

Your Plumber Can Help Reduce Pipe “Sweating” and Other Condensation

Insulation doesn’t just preserve heat in hot water pipes: it can also be used to prevent condensation on cold water pipes in warm, humid climates. High humidity can turn into dripping water that infiltrates nearby materials and creates a hospitable environment for mold growth. A plumber can help with pipe insulation, change piping from thermally conductive metal to modern plastic material, and even reroute pipes to avoid exposure to humidity.

People Relocate to Drier Climates Just to Escape Mold, But Are Surprised

In drier climates, people often consider themselves immune to mold problems. In fact, many people with mold-related allergies consider moving to less humid climates for medical reasons. If only they knew. Anywhere that there’s water, under the right circumstances mold can develop. As any southwestern plumber can tell you, even the desert’s dry air isn’t a protection against hidden mold growth.

Leaks Provide Places for Mold to Feed and Grow

Over time, most people tend to use all the storage spaces they have available, even those under sinks and in the laundry room near the washing machine. Water leaks can slowly dampen stored materials and provide a place for mold spores to land and develop, especially if the materials remain in place for long periods of time. A periodic inspection by a skilled plumber can help identify problems by their less-obvious symptoms, such as the accumulation of dried material on the pipe or drain near the leak origin. Leaks in walls and ceilings, of course, soak into permeable building materials. Dampness may not even be noticeable except when mold develops and the telltale smell escapes, or if residents develop mold-related symptoms.

Where Mold Grows in the Light, It’s Thriving Nearby in the Dark

If mold is growing on surfaces such as walls, it’s likely that the real problem is in piping behind the wall. The surface mold is fed by water seeping through, and inside the wall you may need an inspection and repair by a qualified plumber. The still air, darkness, and enclosed dampness of water leaks in walls can be a serious mold hazard requiring immediate plumber attention if detected.

Mold in Drains Can Be a Serious Health Risk

Drains, especially infrequently used ones, can accumulate not only mold growing on the surfaces inside, but also bacteria and other contaminants. Your plumber can help to flush out the drain line and advise you on ways to keep problems from occurring in the future.

Mold Mitigation Is a Professional Matter

Thorough elimination of mold indoors often requires a professional service that has the knowledge and protective gear to dig in and give you a fresh start. It’s important to clean up properly so that the mold spores are not lurking until the next damp opportunity.

Your Plumber Can Help Reduce Mold Dangers

At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, we’re experts at correcting and preventing pipe leaks, drain overflows, and other sources of excessive moisture that can harbor mold. Our plumbers have advanced technology to discover even hidden leaks and target them directly. They can help keep mold from establishing itself in your walls and ceilings long before you realize you’ve got a problem. Give us a call to quickly detect and correct your plumbing problems, in emergencies or by appointment.

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