Finding mold in your house is the last thing a homeowner wants to encounter. Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture. Not only is mold unsightly and smells unpleasant, but it can pose a serious health threat to you and your family. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). You should take steps upfront to prevent mold build up in your home by checking gutters and downspouts to ensure water is draining away from your home’s foundation. Check under sinks and near dishwashers and clothing washers for any signs of leaking and repair immediately. Finally, don’t forget to use bathroom fans when showering to limit moisture. It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back. Leaky window – mold is beginning to rot the wooden frame and windowsill. If you already have a mold problem –act quickly! Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause. Here are a few tips for dealing with it.
- Take precautions. When cleaning mold found in your home, make sure to wear proper protection such as eye covers, face masks, and rubber gloves. Try to keep children and pets out of rooms where mold exists and run fans and dehumidifiers to expel moisture.
- Use proper cleaning solutions. The best way to remove mold really depends on the surface it has grown on. For interior walls and flooring, use a mixture of bleach, detergent, and water with a sponge or mop. For exterior walls or cement, use the mixture alongside a strong bristled brush to scrub the area.
- Clean your clothing immediately. To prevent the transfer of mold spores, place clothing worn while cleaning in a plastic bag and wash separately with hot water.
- Consider hiring a professional. If the mold in your home is extensive, it may be beneficial to hire a professional. A good rule of thumb to follow is to call for help if affected surfaces surpass 10 square feet.
An experienced real estate agent can help guide you through the critical home maintenance issues that can affect the value of your home.