• Howard Gallagher

Ultimate Guide To Mold

Updated: Feb 20

Mold has been associated with humid climates. However mold can develop in colder climates. As long as there is moisture,warmth and nutrients mold will grow. What can you do to eliminate mold in your home? Read our ultimate guide on mold to learn why mold is a common household problem, mold prevention and ways to remove mold.

What is mold

Mold is a fungus. It is abundant in nature. In deserts and even in frozen tundra mold can be found. They exist only to decompose living things. They reproduce through spreading their spores through the air. The types of mold are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Alternaria. Black mold or Stachybotrys chartarum is common in areas recently hit with a sufficient amount of water damage. Mold can be described as having a damp musty scent. Factors that contribute to the growth of mold. Humidity, Leaky pipes, flooding, insufficient ventilation, roof leaks and damp basements.

Signs of mold exposure

Mold can be very destructive on your home and your health. It can eat through wooden furniture and lining through walls. Mold spores in the air cause a variety of reactions in the body. It ranges from acute respiratory condition like the flu to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that causes damage to the lungs.

Mold Prevention Checklist

Prevention often times is cheaper than mold removal. You can save yourself thousands in mold removal and medical bills by following this checklist. Here are a few steps to ensure the safety of your family and keep your home mold free.

· Use exhaust fans anywhere in your home where moisture builds up.

· Get a dehumidifier for your home.

· Inspect your roof for any possible damages.

· In all bathrooms make sure caulk is secured near the water fixtures.

· Keep an eye out for leaks . There are a few places in your home where leaks can spring up. The crawlspaces,the attic and the basement . The crawlspace requires a special level of care. Cover crawlspace with waterproof plastic.

· Clean out your gutters regularly.

· Caulk your windows.

· Replace Air filters.

· Open windows and doors for ventilation.

· Clean spills quickly.

· Clean drip pans.

· Wet clothes act as a magnet for mold spores. Any wet clothes should be dried as soon as possible.

· Regularly replace any shower curtains with dark spots.

· Regularly clean your home.

· Run ceiling fans clockwise for winter. A ceiling fan pulls warm air upwards.

· Update your insulation. Condensation attracts mold. To prevent this update your wall insulation.

· Dry wet areas. Snow and other types of precipitation causes water pool in certain areas of your home. Simply using a towel on those areas will help prevent mold .

· Consider getting a sump pump if you have standing water around your foundation or you crawl space. If you have a sump pump,make sure it’s working properly.

· Prevent mold and water damage by turning off the water supply to broken appliances and pipes.

· If the temperature outside is below freezing then insulate all your pipes to prevent them from freezing over.

· Paper,books and clothing are sources of food for mold, so don’t store them in humid parts of your home ,such as your basement , especially close to the floor or walls.

Mold Removal

Time is of the essence when dealing with mold removal. Especially if affected areas are also dealing with water damage. Small areas any area under 10 square feet affected by mold can be clean up with diluted bleach or vinegar solution. Use a n-95 respirator to protect your nasal area against mold spores. Install UV lights in your home’s ductwork. The light slow down mold growth. UV lights aren't only used for mold. They are an industry standard for disinfecting hospital rooms in the medical industry.Mold destroys everything it touches. Replace all affected areas even if it is drywall. Clean up debris with a vacuum. Seal wood surfaces with a sealant and paint wall surfaces with mildewcide laced paint.

Call in the experts

The most serious mold problems grow on drywall ,studs and sub flooring. Serious problem mold is typically best handled by professional mold remediation companies. There are a lot of scams in the mood removal industry. This is common after a major flood or hurricane. It is important to look for specialist that is certified by the National Environmental Health Association, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification, or the American Council for Accredited Certification. According to Home Advisor, the average cost of mold removal ranges from $1,113 - $3,345 . Larger jobs like Whole House Mold Removal requires both mold removal and treating the effects of water damage. Keep in mind getting professional help is vital for the safety of your home.