Leaving Mold and Water Damage Untreated: Why It’s Never a Good Idea

Do I Need To Treat Water Damage?


Drip, drip,

drip, drip,



The issue began small.

Her master bath shower head began to leak following the coldest day of the year, with temperatures in the lower teens. She didn’t come home from the holidays with burst pipes, as did some of her friends and relatives, but she had this constant…

You guessed it:


It was nothing more than an annoying noise as she slept! Or so she thought.

The drips got faster and more frequent, and the increased humidity within the shower created a breeding ground for…

You’re right again! 


At first, it wasn’t visible, but after a week of not addressing the issue, the grout became dark and dingy, and speckles of black growth appeared on the shower floor where water splashed. It’s something they have never seen before. Also, she noticed discoloration in the walls surrounding the shower. The splash from the leak resulted in damp drywall and mold growth that also began to sprout there.

She had a mold infestation, which is one of the consequences of leaving water issues, in this case, a leak, untreated. The good news is that she could easily clean the mold, and a small drywall area required replacement after addressing the leak.

If a water damage issue (in this instance, mold growth) takes up less than 10 square feet, in most cases, it can be dried, cleaned, and sanitized using residential mold cleaning products. Still, leaving the leak untreated as long as she did was serious. Why? Because it created the perfect conditions for mold to thrive.

Do you know that mold is virtually everywhere–both indoors and outdoors? Mold spores float around even in the most sanitary places, such as hospital operating rooms. Still, it requires just the right environment to grow rapidly: moisture and humidity.

Though mold exposure to some degree is unavoidable where spores are concerned, it can multiply in as little as 48-72 hours. Mold spores can float around undetected, waiting for the right moist and humid atmosphere to multiply into colonies quickly, so acting fast to address water intrusion and damage, even leaks that lead to mold, is essential.

Mold remediation specialists like The Flood Team are happy that the woman we mentioned above was able to resolve her issue with ease, albeit learning a valuable lesson in the process:

Don’t let leaks, water damage, or mold growth linger.

Unfortunately, that is not the case for so many others we’ve had the pleasure to serve in these highly stressful water damage situations. Customers recognize that all water damage issues aren’t created equal, and a professional like The Flood Team is their best bet when things get moldy and wet.

Something many of our clients have in their favor, however, is that they act fast. They call The Flood Team right away. We come out in no time to perform a free evaluation. Then, using our professional equipment, we extract water, remove moisture through science-based drying techniques, and clean and sanitize the impacted area.

We understand the seriousness of mold, and most of our clients do too. Besides, according to Biocide Laboratories, more than 100,000 types of mold can infest your home, and many are identified as toxic. Black mold falls in this category,

Scientists say that mold exposure is like a ticking time bomb, even when it doesn’t appear outright harmful to health. Exposure can lead to long-term or short-term symptoms like those listed below:

Short-term Exposure to Mold

  • Skin rash
  • Itching*
  • Headaches
  • Sneezing*
  • Eye Irritation
  • Skin Redness


Longer Exposure to Mold

  • Nausea
  • Breathing Disorders
  • Ear Infection
  • Nose Bleeds
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Sinusitis
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Pain in the Muscles and Joints
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Nervous Disorders
  • Open Skin Sores or Lesions
  • Thyroid Conditions


Long-Term Exposure to Mold

  • COPD
  • Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis
  • Blindness
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney Failure
  • Bleeding Lungs
  • Memory Loss (long-term)
  • Cancer
  • Death


As you can see, mold is nothing to take lightly. It can cause a slew of issues and can even be the reason behind some misdiagnosed medical problems such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammation.

To make matters worse, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classify mold as a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substance. Mold is definitely nothing to mess with. Call The Flood Team at first sight of mold or whenever there is a mildewy smell.

Beyond mold, the water damage statistics are staggering. Every year, homeowners spend millions of dollars on water damage repair. Just 1 inch of standing water can cost over $4,000 to remove.

And that price tag only goes up the longer you wait. But the cost isn’t the only thing that gets worse. The longer you leave water damage in your home, the more problems arise.

We’ve already mentioned the impact of mold on your home and health, but there’s more.

The Flood Team put together this guide to show you why you should never leave water damage untreated.

So, let’s continue.


Weakens the Structural Integrity of Your Home 

Wood turns into a sponge when it’s exposed to water. Because of this, the wooden structure inside your walls and floors will keep absorbing water. Over time, this water will soak through the rest of your home.

Even a tiny amount of water on your floor can seep up to your ceiling.

If left untreated, this damp wood will start to rot, which causes several problems. Not only does it create a health hazard for anyone living in the house, but it also weakens the wood and, in turn, the home’s structural integrity.

But water damage can damage the foundation of a house as well.

Even a slow drip of water can break through concrete if left alone. This can create cracks in your foundation, making your entire home structurally unsound.


Ruins Your Electrical Systems

If your outlets, fuse boxes, or electrical wiring get exposed to water, they can pose a serious risk to the safety of you, your family, and your home. Instead of dealing with water damage, you might end up with a dangerous fire on your hands.

You should always hire a professional to examine any electrical components touching any water. Don’t use your power outlets or lights until a professional comes to your house.

It’s not worth the risk.


Destroys Your Walls and Ceilings

The walls and ceilings of your home are built with drywall, which doesn’t hold up to water very well.

Wet sheetrock near an attic space.

When drywall gets wet, it warps, forms bubbles, becomes brittle, and starts to discolor. And it’s not a matter of repainting over the damage. The only way to fix water-damaged drywall is to cut out the ruined sections and replace them, much like the shower head leak discussed earlier required.

As we discussed, a sloppy, discolored appearance isn’t the only threat of water-damaged drywall.

If you don’t take care of the problem, the drywall will become a breeding ground for all the different types of mold we mention above. This can quickly become a health hazard that can send you or your family to the hospital.


Corrodes the Plumbing and Pipes

Aren’t pipes designed to withstand flowing water?

Yes, but floodwater often contains chemicals and other contaminants that react with your pipes. This can cause them to weaken and, over time, corrode.

And this corrosion starts a vicious cycle.

Once your pipes corrode, they can form leaks. These leaks will worsen your water damage problem, leading to even more leaks. And if your sewage pipes start to leak, you’ll have an even more serious problem on your hands.

Trying to repair all these leaks can get expensive. It’s a better idea to take care of any water damage right away before it has a chance to make anything worse.


Breaks Down Carpet

If your carpet soaks up too much water and doesn’t have a chance to dry out, it will start to break down. This means the padding underneath the carpet will detach from the floor and become bumpy and warped.

The entire carpet can then start to mold.

And you can’t save the carpet once it’s this far gone. Instead, you’ll have to rip it out and replace it with something new, which can cost a lot of money.


Warps Your Hardwood Floors

Remember, wood acts like a sponge when it comes to water. If you have wood flooring, it will suck up the water and spread it through the rest of the house. The water will keep spreading until you clean up the water damage.

When wood floors get wet, they warp and buckle. If they absorb too much damage, you won’t be able to save them.

Ruined wood floor near a staircase.

Lowers the Value of Your Home

Dealing with all this water damage can get exhausting and expensive, so you might decide to forget the damage and sell your home instead. But water damage dramatically lowers the value of your home.

Even if you choose to sell your home, you won’t make nearly as much as you should from the sale.

In many cases, it’s better to repair the water damage before you sell. Although this will cost more, you’ll also make more money in the long run.


Turns into a Serious Health Hazard

Even if the water damage doesn’t lead to mold or weaken the structural integrity of your home, it still poses a health hazard.

Floodwaters carry a bunch of nasty contaminants, including chemical pollutants, toxic waste, sewage, bacteria, etc. Once these things get inside your home, they’ll cling to the walls and floors even when the water dries up.

These contaminants can make your house smell terrible, but, more importantly, they can cause some severe health problems if not cleaned up right away.


Why It’s Never a Good Idea to Leave Water Damage Untreated

Leaving water damage and mold untreated can cause serious structural problems to your home and create harmful health risks for you and your family. If your home has sustained any type of water damage or mold growth, you should contact a professional immediately.

Not sure who to call?

Make sure you click here to learn why The Flood Team is your best bet when things get moldy and wet.

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