Homeowner Nightmares: Dealing with Mold
When it comes to things that homeowners hope to never experience, there are a few dangers lurking in some homes that top the list: lead paint, asbestos, and mold. They are all dangerous, and they can all take a lot of money, disruption, time and effort to get rid of. In this article, we look at the various ways you can deal with mold if you find it in your home.
If you have a leak, spill or flood, you need to act quickly to address the problem. Mold growth can skyrocket in just a few days under the right conditions, and if you do have a large amount of water soak into walls, floors or other areas, you will probably need to open it up and air it out as soon as possible to limit damage. Fans or heaters to dry out damp areas can also help significantly.
Assess Frequently Affected Areas
Even without sudden water damage, there are areas of your home where mold growth is more likely to happen. Bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements and anywhere where you have a leak are all prime mold growth locations. Assess your home frequently. Look for signs of water damage, or the telltale black of mold growth.
When it comes to mold remediation, if you catch it soon enough, and it is not extensive, you can probably fix the problem yourself. Generally, if the mold covers less than ten square feet, you do not have to hire a professional to clean it up. If it is more extensive than that, hire a professional to take care of it for you.
Products and Gear
A trip to the hardware store will arm you with everything you need to tackle a small mold problem. Remember to stock up on facemasks as well as a mold removal spray, gloves, goggles and scrubbing brushes. Follow the directions on the product you are using, and clean the area thoroughly.
Fix the Cause of the Problem
It is important to remember that unless you have had a flood or spill, there is probably an underlying problem that is causing the mold problem. It may be poor ventilation, a leaking pipe or a leaky roof, but if you do not fix the cause, the mold will just keep coming back. While you have the area opened up for cleaning, get a professional in to fix whatever it is that is causing the problem, and prevent it from happening again.
Use Mold Resistant Products
If you are building or remodeling, you can help to prevent mold growth in future by using mold resistant products. They cannot prevent mold growth altogether, but they can limit the likelihood. Also, make mold growth one of the things you check for when doing routine repairs.
Mold is a fact of life, and it can happen to any home. You cannot prevent it, but if you are vigilant, you can catch it before it gets out of control. Make it a habit to check likely growth areas, and follow these steps to address the problem if it arises.