DIY Disaster-Prevention TipsPosted: October 8, 2012
No one can ever really prepare you for a disaster, but there are a few things that you can do to try to prevent them. Some of the most common disasters today include water damage and mold growth. So what are you going to do to make sure your home or business is water damage and mold free?
Calm down, ma’am, I’m about to tell you, and I’ll even do it with pretty bulleted lists.
How to Prevent Water Damage
- Make sure all pipes aren’t cracked or broken. Many water damage disasters come from leaking or broken pipes. One of the biggest causes of breakage in pipes is because the pipe froze. When water freezes, it expands, which can cause the pipe to crack or even burst. To prevent pipes from freezing:
- Insulate pipes in crawl spaces, basements, and the attic.
- Seal any openings that allow cold air inside, such as around dryer vents, electrical wiring, or pipes.
- Disconnect all hoses from outside faucets, and cover outside faucets connected to the house.
- Be sure to clean your pipes! Invest in a little Drain-o or an actual pipe cleansing service. Keeping your pipes nice and clean will help you avoid backed up and clogged drains, which could, in turn, lead to bigger water damage problems (hello, broken sewer line!).
- Invest in a basement dehumidifier. No, really. You might not realize just how much moisture can linger in the air of basements. Hydrostatic pressure and aging infrastructure don’t lend themselves well to basements. Keep the air nice and dry!
How to Prevent Mold
Mold is one of the most common (and surprisingly dangerous) household disasters these days. Keep your home clean and your family safe by:
- Keeping humidity levels in check, especially in the basement. Ideal humidity levels should be below 45%. Humidity gauges are relatively inexpensive. If the humidity is too high, invest in a dehumidifier.
- Do not grow plants in the basement. No, I’m not kidding. Hello, moisture and humidity! Just say no to that beautiful little potted plant.
- Keep your home clutter-free. Clutter disrupts air flow and increases humidity, which is ideal for mold. It’s a good reason to have to go buy some awesome storage containers, right?
- While we’re on the topic of storage containers, only use plastic containers and bins. Cardboard is actually the ideal material for mold growth.
- Use extensions to drain gutters away from the foundation of the house. Excess water near the foundation of the house is the perfect environment for basement mold.
Mold can grow quickly after a water disaster, so be sure to completely dry out your home within three days to prevent mold growth. Stay clean, safe, and go buy some awesome new storage containers.
By Ginger Price
Ginger Price writes home and home maintenance articles, and works closely with companies who provide fire, mold, and water damage restoration services to give prevention tips.