Regardless of where you live, heavy rain can have lasting effects on your home if you are not taking proper care of your ceilings, pipes, leaks etc. Mold, unfortunately, can grow on everything, and if you live in a place where rain is not as common, a heavy rainstorm on a vulnerable place in your home could grow mold fairly quickly.
Is My Home Well Equipped For Heavy Rain?
It is likely to see mold growth from heavy rain in places where rainstorms last a few hours and are not common, especially in homes or apartments that are not well equipped for large amounts of rain. For example, this first hand experience from a renter that did not realize mold was growing quick in her apartment and had to take serious measures:
"We lived in an apartment that had just been renovated in an area that hadn't had much rain in years. We had about 3 weeks of constant rain out of nowhere and we could tell right away the apartment was not built to handle rain at all. It started with visible mold in our bathroom which we had cut out and a new wall installed. We assumed this was just because we had moisture in the bathroom and no window. Over the next few weeks, we started noticing mold growing on all of our belongings - clothes, shoes, furniture, rugs, our bread, and vegetables would mold overnight if we left them on the counter. We definitely learned after that we could have helped the situation by keeping more airflow through the house, turning the heaters and fans on, and running a dehumidifier which we do daily now. The experts told us that wouldn't have changed our situation because of poor construction, but it might have helped us not have to abandon 80% of our belongings when we moved out."
What About Taking Legal Action for Poor Structure?
According to personal injury lawyers, who deal with these types of cases, it is very difficult to go through with a mold lawsuit due to the loopholes found in rental insurance for mold. Renters insurance, as well as homeowners insurance, differs by every state, so renters and homeowners have to do their due diligence when reading and signing insurance. Many renters insurance does not cover mold damage when it comes to external floods like a storm surge or heavy rains. You would need separate insurance in order to claim a payout.
If you are concerned with mold growing in your home, there are many steps you can take to make sure your home is prepared for heavy rain. The main thing you have to look out for is moisture control, mold thrives on moisture and you can take control of where moisture gathers.
5 Steps to take to Protect Your Home From Mold:
- Fix & Identify Problematic Areas in Your Home: If you want to prepare your home the first thing to look at is any existing small problems around vulnerable areas like an attic or basement. Look at any small floods, water stains or even small leaks. If you have a basement when was the last time you checked or changed the carpet? You can check this quickly by ripping the carpet and taking a look under. You will immediately notice if there is some moisture gathering there. If you see a leak fix it immediately, they tend to get worst and worst as time goes by. You can also put mold-resistant materials when fixing any problems around your home or "waterproofing" the area.
- Make Sure Moisture prone areas are well ventilated: You should be doing this whether it's rainy season or summer. Moisture prone areas include the shower, laundry room, kitchen and bathrooms with no windows. These areas should always have proper ventilation, whether it's a fan or a window, you need to make sure the areas are well ventilated one way or another. Doing this will prevent the growth of mold, especially if small flooding or leak appears, you will have a smaller problem if those areas are already well taken care of.
- Purify: Air purifiers can be used to protect against mold, just as much as they protect against pollen. If you are worried about excessive moisture, it would be a good idea to invest in an air purifier that can prevent mold from growing. You can put one in the common living spaces, air purifiers can protect against debris, smoke, bacteria and can also remove odor.
- Direct Water Away From Home: this is a very common cause of mold in homes that are not well equipped for heavy rain. Many times the ground around your home can collect a lot of water that could easily seep into the bottom of your home, making it extremely hard to find. If you notice your home is gathering a lot of water around it, try and make changes to the foundation so that water is not collecting in one area and that it's flowing away from your home.
- Make Sure Gutters are working Properly: Your gutters could be the culprits for leaks on your roof. This could be easily fixed by replacing your gutters. They also must be cleaned routinely, so if you live in a place where rainstorms are rare if you anticipate a storm, take a look and check that there is nothing blocking it or that they are not damaged or cracked. Another way to know if your gutters are causing problems, check for water stains after storms this could indicate a leak.
There are many precautions you can take as a homeowner and as a renter to make sure your home is ready to handle a rainstorm. Many of these steps are not extremely expensive, but its always better to have your home ready, than to fix a mold problem that could lead to a personal injury lawsuit or worst, have lasting health issues for you and your family.