California water conservation is in crisis. Governor Brown has declared a Drought Emergency and on April 1st ordered the State Water Resources Control Board to impose restrictions to achieve a 25 percent reduction in drinkable urban water usage through February 28, 2016. Water conservation rules are being enforced.

Water conservation is nothing new for Southern California, and those conservation projects have made a big difference. According to The New York Times, Los Angeles used less water in 2014 than it did in 1970, despite having a population that has grown by more than a third. But despite all the conservation efforts Southern California continues to use water far faster than water supplies. Water conservation regulations include some things that are obvious: i.e., do not water your lawn when it is raining or within 48 hours of it having rained; do not water in such a way that it results in excessive run off. What does this have to do with mold remediation? More than one might think. One of the problems that we often have to remedy is mold growing inside crawlspaces beneath a building because runoff from watering (and rain when we get it) goes into the crawlspace keeping it wet. A mysterious musty odor in a home has often been traced to mold growing on the bottom of a sub-floor because of a wet crawlspace.


Sprinkler that waters wall


A common cause of mold inside walls is that lawn sprinklers water the side of the exterior walls, never letting them fully dry out. This results in structural damage, water seeping into the walls and hidden (and in some cases not so hidden) mold growth. Drip irrigation systems cure this problem by putting the water only where it belongs, thus saving not only water but eliminating a source of mold as well.



1. If you have sprinklers, check them the next time that you run them. Do they spray on walls or into crawlspace air vents? If so then readjust them or change them out to a drip type of system.

2. Is there runoff from the sprinklers? If so, where does it go? If it goes into the crawlspace or dams against building walls you have are facing potential mold and structural damage. Reduce the amount of watering to eliminate or minimize run off. After all, water that runs off and does not soak into the ground does your plants no good.

3. Turn off the water everywhere in your home and check your water meter reading. Wait 30 minutes and check it again. Did the reading change? How much? Double the change and you will have the number of gallons per hour that is going somewhere it should not. This will not tell you if there is a leak, but it will tell you if there is one and how bad it is (of course, there could be multiple slow leaks). Slow leaks often go undetected for weeks or months and can create a great deal of damage. If you do not know where your water meter is then find out. There is a main water shut off valve at the meter. There is nothing more fun than having a water pipe break at 3:00am and running around looking for the water shut off while the place is flooding. Also make sure that you have a tool handy to turn the valve off, if needed.

4. If you do have water damage or mold or a musty odor contact Building Cleaning Services. We have more than 15 years of experience in water damage restoration and mold remediation and we are dedicated to handling problems as quickly and efficiently as is possible.

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