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Water is essential to all life but unless it’s running through your pipes, it is destructive to structures. Whether through a large storm or broken plumbing, water, once inside a house, can find its way into hidden places and cause even more problems than damp floors and couches. In as little as 24 hours hidden water, especially water that has seeped behind walls, can lead to mold growth.

Out of all the varieties of mold, consisting of over 90,000 types, only a few types pose a direct risk to humans and animals. If there is water damage in your home the chances of one of these caustic varieties of mold forming behind your walls is small, but the presence of a more benign form of mold does not mean it won’t affect your health. Any type of mold growing behind walls can affect health through allergic reaction and cause breathing problems for those affected by asthma. If you suspect water leakage in your house or you know there has been damage due to a storm, contact a restoration company to come and investigate.

The most common method used to find water leakage behind walls is through infrared thermography. Infrared thermography uses a specialized camera that measures light, invisible to the human eye, which registers on the heat spectrum. All structures give off infrared light, or light that is measured by temperature. Specialized infrared cameras can see the heat given off by objects like walls and home exteriors. Most walls in a house will have similar readings on an infrared thermography camera, but when a discrepancy is seen a possible problem may be behind the wall.

When a wall registers a different temperature than neighboring walls a closer investigation is needed. If water or moisture is found behind the suspected wall and mold is forming, a plan of action will be set up by your restoration specialist.

Water damage can become a big problem if not treated quickly. If you suspect there is a leaky pipe or your home has suffered even mild storm damage don’t wait to see if mold forms. Contact a reputable restoration company to come out and check for water problems.