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You could be sitting in your living room enjoying a night of TV.  You could be deep in a REM cycle.  You could be hosting a long-planned celebration.  You could be out of town on a trip of a lifetime.  All these could be possible scenarios of when your water heater could decide to fail – causing an incredibly stressful situation and making the way for mold to invade your home.

There are many reasons that your water heater may be at risk for failure.  Here are a few:

  • Inside Pressure:  If there is too much internal pressure, over time it will build up, leak, and eventually burst.  It even can become ‘bomb-like’ and explode due to the build-up of pressure however, tanks are usually equipped with a release valve that detects high pressure and opens to release some water.  This value is called a T&P valve but over time it can also fail, and the pressure may continue to mount and cause it to completely burst or explode in the future.  A good practice to prevent the pressure from building up is to make sure the water heater temperature is set between 120 to 125 degrees as well as to test the T&P valve twice a year.
  • Sediment Build-Up:  If you have hard water, over time, sediment can build up and settle at the bottom of your water heater tank.  Taking longer to heat the water due to the build-up leads to the tank to overheat and in turn, deteriorating the tank.  You can detect this by listening to see if you notice a knocking noise.  Should you hear a knocking or popping coming from your water heater, call a professional to flush and drain the tank.  This practice should be done one a year routinely even if no noise if noted coming from your tank to help prevent sediment build-up. 
  • Corrosion:  Most tanks come equipped with a 3 to 5-foot rod known as an internal rust protection element.  Unfortunately, this rod deteriorates over time and once it does, it will not be long until your tank deteriorates as well.  You can help to prevent any issues with corrosion by having a professional inspect this rod every couple of years and replace it every 5 years, especially if you have a water softener.  If you notice a brownish, rusty color coming from your heater, you may already have a corrosion issue.
  • Leaks:  If you notice water around the heater unit, you may have a small leak or fracture in the tank.  Make sure to check that all fittings and connections are dry and if they are, you may need to replace the unit.
  • Age of the Tank: The serial number is a good instrument to determine the age of the heater. You can check the manufacture’s website to learn more.  Generally, if it is more than 10 years old, you should consider replacing the unit.

By keeping on top of the maintenance and having an accurate account of the life span of your water heater, will help to prevent an unwanted and unexpected burst causing major problems with destructive water damage leading to loss and future mold growth.  When water comes in contact with paper products, cardboard, wood products, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet fabric, and upholstery, among others, could start to grow mold within 24 to 48 hours and negatively affect your indoor air quality and causing adverse health conditions.

At Coastal Air Assessments, we work our way from the outside in, first identifying potential issues at the exterior of the home that could be causing poor air quality inside the home. Our Mold Assessments and Air Sampling Tests are timely, accurate, and a true asset for Florida homeowners. We’ll provide a detailed indoor air quality assessment that will get to the root of a potential mold issue and identify sensible solutions so that you and your family can breathe a little easier. Contact us today for your free consultation.