Are you freaking out because you’ve just gone into the garage to grab something and noticed that there’s mold growing near your hot water heater? Before having an anxiety attack, you need to understand the possible causes of water heater mold, as well as what appropriate actions to take. Whether you attempt to handle the mold yourself or call a professional for help, knowing the root cause is critical to successfully removing the mold and accompanying water damage – and ensuring it doesn’t come back again in a few months.
Possible Causes of Water Heater Mold
So what exactly could be the cause of mold near your hot water heater? One answer is that it might just be
coincidence – the mold could be from a plumbing leak elsewhere in the home, not caused directly by your hot water heater. Check other nearby appliances that are in close proximity to the water heater. Do you have a freezer or washing machine near the water heater? Is the mold growth close to the base of the water heater, or is it near the ceiling above? It’s also possible that the mold growth is coming from a leak on the second story of your home and water is leaking downward.
The other more obvious potential cause of water heater mold is a water heater leak. Check to see if there is water pooled around the base of the hot water heater, and if so, turn the unit off immediately. If you suspect mold growth near the hot water heater, check for the following signs of a water heater leak as well:
- Musty or mildewed odor near the water heater
- Discolored wall or flooring near water heater
- Standing water near the base of the water heater
- Visible mold growth on the walls or nearby objects
What to Do About Mold Near Your Water Heater
Dealing with mold is no small job, and we recommend seeking professional help whenever possible. If you decide to handle the hot water heater mold yourself, however, make sure to wear a face mask and keep your skin covered. Mold spores are extremely toxic and should not come in contact with your skin or be breathed in.
The key to effectively removing water heater mold is to remove it ASAP – and to take the proper steps in ensuring the mold is removed 100% so it doesn’t grow back. Use an antimicrobial solution and a scrub brush on walls or flooring. If you’re dealing with mold on a porous surface, however, such as carpeting or drywall, the affected areas will have to be removed completely and replaced.
And remember – you can’t just remove the mold, you also have to deal with the root cause of the mold. If your water heater is leaking and causing mold growth, call your water heater repair specialist today. They can help you safely remove the mold growth, repair your water heater, and ensure that your home is mold-free.