Mold Problems? What it is, Causes and more!
When it comes to plumbing, one thing is clear; all plumbers are not the same. Plumbing work is expensive, and it makes sense to hire a considerably cheap plumber. After all, how hard can it be to put pipes together?
As it turns out, very hard. Statistics show that one in every ten homes in America has several leaks in the plumbing which waste at least 90 gallons of water a day. Most of these leaks are a result of lousy plumbing work from an inexperienced plumber.
While a dripping faucet under your kitchen sink may seem like not be such a big deal, a leaking supply pipe should be cause for concern. At worst, water damage can bring your roof down, destroy your walls, and cause your floors to swell. Worst case scenario aside, plumbing issues are the leading cause of mold in homes.
What is Mold?
Mold is an ever-present organism outdoors. It plays a vital role in decomposing leaves and other matter. It’s only when it grows indoors that mold becomes a problem.
While scientists estimate that there are over 100,000 species of mold microorganisms, only black mold is said to be dangerous. That however, doesn’t mean you should be comfortable living with mold in your house. At the very least;
- A mold colony can cause wheezing, sneezing, and breathing problems to your family members.
- Mold can cause skin rashes and other allergic reactions.
- Mold can damage your house’s structural integrity when it starts to decompose wood, drywall, and other structural features in your home.
What Causes Mold
According to Mold Busters Ottawa, several elements support mold growth, but the most important ones are moisture and humidity. In most cases, mold infestation happens after a flood if you don’t take the necessary measure to remediate the moisture.
Mold can also occur because your home is too humid and not well ventilated. If you don’t have functional vents to let out the steam that comes from cooking, showering, and washing machines, you also risk the development of mold. It also happens if your old roof lets water get inside the crawl space, or the gutters are not doing their job.
However, the most common and yet hardest to point out cause of mold in homes is plumbing issues. Plumbing is usually hidden behind the walls, under the floor, or up there in the attic. This means you might not know there is a problem until you have full-blown mold and structural damage.
That said, here are the common places you will find plumbing-related mold:
Under the sink
The space under the sink is dark, enclosed, and always full of your cleaning supplies. These conditions mean it’s almost impossible to notice a small leak or mold growing under there. Clogged pipes and aging are the most common culprits for leaking sinks.
Bathrooms are the perfect place for mold. It’s humid, always wet, and poorly ventilated. However, the most common cause for mold in the bathroom is standing water, which can be caused by clogged drainage. The moisture will climb up the wall, and you will start noticing mold around the bathtub, walls, and base of the sink.
Like the bathroom, basements provide the perfect combination for mold growth. The basement is also home to a sump pump, drain pipes, pressurized water, and washing machine. A leak from any of these appliances and pipes can go unnoticed and lead to mold infestation.
Walls and ceilings
Hidden leaks are the worst type of plumbing issues you can have in the house. The supply line passing behind the walls and crawl spaces can crack or come apart, leading to a leak. The worst part about hidden leaks is that you will not notice them until your walls and ceiling start showing a discoloration or patches.
Around the house
There are two reasons why mold would grow around your foundation; clogged drain or a flood. Clogged drains don’t take water away the way they should, so it stagnates around your home.
Poor or lack of insulation
If you have low water pressure or it ceases entirely during winter, there is a chance you have frozen pipes. It’s a common problem if your supply line passes through the attic, crawl space, or basement. The problem with frozen pipes is that the ice will expand your pipes to the point of cracking, especially when thawing. A good, experienced plumber knows all this so they would insulate your pipes to ensure they don’t freeze when it’s cold.
There is a lot of installation involved when building the plumbing system. Everything from the toilets, showers, washing machine, boiler, and sump pump needs to be installed properly. A simple mistake as connecting the wrong size of pipes can cause a leak that will go unnoticed for years. A plumber’s years of experience come in handy here to know what works and what doesn’t.
Sealing connections ensure there are no leaks in the piping system. There are two ways connections can be unsealed; either the plumber didn’t use any sealant, or they put it the wrong way. All the shaking and pressure from passing water eventually cause the connections to start getting loose if they were not sealed together.
How to Choose a Plumber
There is no arguing that finding a good plumber is not easy. People who have called the first guy they saw in the directory have lived to tell the horror stories from their plumbing work. A mold-infested house is not only a health hazard to the entire family but also a structural disaster waiting to happen.
So, apart from luck, what do you look for in a good plumber?
According to John The Plumber, years of experience, certificates and qualifications, license, references, insurance cover for their work, work guarantee, and membership to a trade organization (mostly Association of Heating and Plumbing Contractors), just to name a few.
Choosing a plumber for your home should be as big of an investment as selecting the contractor. The pipes installed therein will last throughout the life of the house, and they can damage you home if done wrong.