Take preventive action against mold, flooding, and water damage. Discover our tips on how to remove mold, recognize the signs of water damage, the benefits of sump pumps and shop vacs, basement waterproofing, and more.

Remove Water or Moisture Right Away to Prevent Mold

Mold is a fungus that thrives in damp environments, and can be harmful to your health. It’s safe to clean mold if the area covers less than one square metre, the size of a standard large garbage bag folded in half. You may find many small patches of mold to clean throughout your home. However, if the size of the growth is larger, you’ll need a qualified professional for more assistance.

It’s important to work as quickly and early as possible to get rid of excess moisture. According to Health Canada, mold will begin to grow within 48 hours. Mop and bucket, squeegee, or shop vac – you’ll need them all to get the job done. Turn on an industrial fan for faster drying and keep your dehumidifier running to reduce humidity. You may need to discard wet materials such as your carpet and furnishings if they have mold.

What does mold look like? Look for stains or discolouration on various materials and surfaces in your home such as your walls, floors, carpets, and more. You can also rely on your other senses to detect it, such as noticing a musty odour.

Note: When using mold cleaning products, protect yourself by wearing safety goggles, a disposable mask, and gloves. NEVER USE BLEACH. 

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Recognize the Signs of Water Damage

What are signs of water damage? Inspect your home indoors for subtle clues. Keep an eye out in areas where there’s moisture such as your kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom. Check around and under your appliances, plumbing, and pipes — anywhere where there could be moisture. If you notice bubbling paint or stains on your walls or ceiling, it could be a leak. Still unsure? Feel the surface of your wall for more telltale signs such as flaking, dampness, stains, mold, or a change in temperature.

Minimize water damage with an early warning. You may want to consider setting up an alarm system that can detect leaks or flooding. Install it in your sump pump pit or any other vulnerable area indoors for peace of mind.

Without proper maintenance, your house exterior can also be susceptible to the elements. Pay close attention to your roof, windows, foundation, and walls. Your roof should be inspected every year for cracked, broken, loose, or missing shingles. There might also be leaks and holes in your downspouts and gutters. Take a closer look for cracks in the glazing and seals around windows and doors as well as your walls and foundation.

Tip: Always consult a plumbing professional to fix the source of your leak.

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Waterproofing Your Basement & Other Tips to Protect Your Home

The best way to deal with mold and water damage is to keep them from happening in the first place. For example, a leaky toilet drain can cause massive damage to the structure of your house; you can easily replace the toilet wax ring to ensure a watertight seal. Install backwater valves to prevent waste water from coming up into your house when there’s too much water for the sewer system to handle.

Ensure proper air circulation and ventilation with Lowe’s professional installers to avoid condensation in your basement, laundry, kitchen, and bathroom. An improperly vented dryer can also create a moisture buildup, so keep its hose clear of obstructions.

Indoors or out, fill any foundation cracks with cement or concrete filler. Seal any holes created for electrical or plumbing sources with water-stopping concrete repair or building tape.

If you need to renovate and rebuild, try mold-resistant drywall or BluWood. BluWood’s shade comes from a special treatment to guard the wood from mold and fungus growth due to moisture. Speak to a Lowe’s Lumber Specialist in-store for more assistance and to learn more about other pressure-treated lumber that offer similar benefits.
 
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Why You Need a Backup Sump Pump

What’s a sump pump? A sump pump keeps your basement free from flooding and moisture. You’ll find it in the lowest point of your basement or crawlspace inside a “sump pit.”

It is a good ideas to install an extra sump pump. It will make a huge difference in a crisis. It offers protection during power outages, excessive rain, or in the event your main sump pump fails.

Common situations your main sump pump could break down are when:

  • The power can go out.
  • The main pump can become clogged or can seize up.
  • The float switch can fail or get stuck.
  • There may be too much water for the main sump pump to handle.
  • The check valve on the main pump may fail.
  • The discharge pipe may freeze or become clogged.

Choose from several types of backup systems, including battery powered and water powered. It’s also important to remember that, depending on the type of system you choose, you may need to build another complete system. This means that, in addition to a second sump pump, you may need a second float switch and a secondary power source.

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Protect Your Home from Rain & Snow with Outdoor Drainage

Rain and snow — they’re the two biggest causes for floods and leaking. Scheduling maintenance tasks will go a long way. As the weather starts to cool in the fall, drain your exterior water pipes and shut off the water to keep them from freezing and bursting. Direct your gutter or downspout away from your house during spring showers, and stay on top of winter snow removal near your exterior walls. Adding window wells and covers will keep water from leaking into your basement. Use a telescoping wand hose attachment or gutter guards to keep your eaves clear from debris or blockages year round.

Check the slope of your lot during the next rainstorm. The ground should slope away from your foundation for proper drainage. Use a shovel to build up areas of bare soil or add soil beneath patio stones where you can. If you anticipate a heavy storm or flood, tarps and sand bags can also help to divert waterflow.

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