7 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth
Home Owner Checklist | Protect your Home from El Nino!
Los Angeles, CA | 2015 is expected to be the strongest El Nino on record, which can have major implications for homeowners like mold growth. During an El Nino, the weather pattern shifts to push warmer waters. It also leads to creating stronger wind shear, more stable air over the Atlantic, and less hurricane activity.
However, strong El Niño’s are associated with above-average precipitation in the southern tier of the United States, and the winter temperature falls well below average. With this record-breaking El Nino looming, and significant rainfall just around the corner, it’s important for homeowners in the Southern United States from coast to coast to be prepared to prevent and repair a leaky roof from El Nino.
This high amount of rainfall can lead to water damage from the roof, including ceilings stained by water, roof leaking into the attic, and, ultimately, structural damage to the home. The best way to avoid costly leaks and water damage is to be prepared – using this homeowners checklist can help you prepare your home for heavy El Nino rains and avoid costly water damage, as well as mold growth.
Once the water has entered your home, whether through a leaking roof or water intrusion from the foundation or windows, mold is likely to appear in your home, and this can cause extensive damage.
In fact, once mold begins growing on ceilings or drywall, it is extremely difficult to completely remove. The best option is to avoid setting up an environment for mold, by taking the necessary precautions to keep your home sealed and safe through the heavy precipitation of El Nino.
How to avoid Mold Growth during El Nino
- Check all rain gutters Make sure that they are free of debris and direct water flow away from the house. Rain gutters are the first line of defense against water damage, preventing pooling, puddling, and damage or decay to the soffit and fascia. Checking and clearing rain gutters is the first step to avoiding costly water damage during El Nino.
- Check roofing tiles Check for loose, cracked, or damaged roofing tiles and have any damage repaired. If roofing tiles are loose or broken, they can let water in, causing water damage and stains from roof leakage. Have a professional roofer or contractor inspect your roof and repair any damage to prevent leaks and damage.
- Inspect Windows/ledges Have a professional contractor inspect windows and ledges for leaks. It may be necessary to take precautions to avoid water from coming in around windows and ledges. The sealant may need to be applied to prevent water damage and infiltration around the windows.
- Inspect the landscaping Yards, lawns, and planters should be 2-3” below the lower stucco line of your homes to prevent water from infiltrating the waterproofing materials of the building. If you have landscaping along the area where stucco meets the foundation, water can become trapped, build up, and cause leaks, which can cause significant water damage to the foundation.
- Avoid oversaturation Just as you do not want the water to become trapped against the home due to the yard or planters coming too high on the foundation, you want to also avoid oversaturation of the yard, which can cause standing water. Sprinklers can be minimized near the home and should be turned off during the rain periods to prevent overwatering of the yard. If your sprinklers are on automatic timers, make sure to reset or reprogram them so water does not stand in the yard.
- Frequently clear patio drains, planter drains, etc. again, this is to prevent standing water. Just as your gutters need to be cleared to avoid causing leaking roofs and water damage, be aware of anywhere else in your home or yard that may trap water or allow water to stand. Clear these areas frequently to minimize standing water and reduce the risk of water damage.
- Seal and repaint areas that may be worn or cracked by the sun When you have your roof and windows inspected, make sure that the mold inspector also looks for any areas that may be potentially compromised – in the stucco, around the windows, etc. Prior to the heavy rains of El Nino, make sure that those areas are sealed and repainted to avoid moisture and water damage in areas that are cracked and compromised.