A burst pipe in your home’s plumbing system can happen for a variety of different reasons. Pipes can burst as a result of major weather shifts that cause them to expand and crack, deterioration of the pipe’s materials and parts, and even just normal wear and tear that happens with age. When a pipe bursts in your home, the water damage that results from the burst pipe can be severe. There are some things that you can do to prevent mold after pipes burst. 

Water damage in your home is upsetting enough as it is. It is destructive and this type of damage can be expensive to repair. However, what’s even worse is the development of mold in your home that can result from water damage from a burst pipe. Not only is mold growth unsightly and smells bad, but it can also be dangerous to your health and to the health and safety of the other living things in your home. 

If a pipe bursts in your home plumbing system, don’t panic. Before you call a professional plumber—which is a necessary step after a pipe bursts in your home—there are steps you can take yourself to prevent mold growth in your home before it begins. Keep reading to learn 5 ways to prevent mold from growing inside your house after a pipe in your home plumbing system bursts and causes water damage. 

  1. Turn Off the Water 

The first step you should take to prevent mold growth after a pipe bursts in your home is to turn off the main water supply to your house. Most houses have the main water valve that controls the flow of water into the house. If you don’t shut off this main water valve, water will continue flowing into your home plumbing system through the burst pipe and escalate the water damage and potential mold growth inside your house. 

Fortunately, turning off the main water valve that lets water into your home is fairly simple. The first step is locating the main water valve, which is generally located on the front wall of your home, in a crawl space, or near your water heater. Once you have located the main water valve, turn it to the right to shut off the flow of water to your home plumbing system. You can test to make sure you have successfully shut off your home’s water supply by trying to turn on a faucet somewhere in your home. If no water comes out, that’s a good sign that you have shut off the main water supply to your house.

  1. Look Outside 

A burst pipe can lead to water building up outside of your home, which can cause moisture to seep into your house—which in turn can lead to mold growth. 

Even if the inside of your home seems dry, check outside your house as well. If you notice puddles of water accumulating near the exterior walls of your house, try your best to drain the affected areas and give a professional plumber a call to come to assess and repair the damage. 

  1. Dry Area Thoroughly 

After a pipe bursts in your home and you have shut off your home’s main water supply, it is important to dry the area around the burst pipe thoroughly in order to prevent mold growth in that area. 

Open all of the doors and windows near the area in your home that has sustained water damage. Bring in box fans if possible to help circulate air throughout the affected area. Use towels to absorb excess moisture, but make sure to change the towels frequently to prevent mold from growing on water-soaked towels. 

  1. Remove Damaged Items 

Keeping wet items in your home after your house has sustained water damage from a burst pipe is a surefire way to lead to mold growth inside your home. 

One of the first steps you should take after a pipe burst once you have turned off the main water supply to your home is to remove all wet items—including furniture—from your house as soon as possible. Throw out what can’t be saved, and leave any items you hope might be salvageable outside until they are fully dry before you bring them back inside your house. 

  1. Watch Out for Odors 

Even if you think you have thoroughly dried an area and repaired any water damage, mold growth can still occur. In the days, weeks, and months after a pipe bursts in your home, keep your eyes and ears open for any telltale signs of mold growth. 

These signs can include a musty odor, brown splotches on your ceiling or walls, warped or peeling walls, etc. If you notice any signs of mold growth in your home after a pipe burst, do your best to air out the affected area and give a professional plumber a call to come to assess the damage and diagnose the problem at hand.