The rainy season is over for now, and summer is in full swing. The air might seem hot and dry, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t sources of moisture in your home. In fact, there might even be more moisture than usual! Think about frequent cool showers, watering thirsty plants, and even splashing around by the pool. These sources of summer soaking could actually mean that you have more water in and around your home than normal. And too much moisture poses a risk for growing mold in the house. This is not only unsightly but can pose health and safety risks too. So while you are partying it up in your watery wonderland, we have compiled the information you need on mold removal.
Risks of Mold in the Home
The dangers of mold in your home are not to be taken lightly. Mold can be seriously problematic for your health. According to the CDC, mold can cause strange symptoms in a range of severity including “stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing or wheezing, burning eyes, or skin rash. People with asthma or who are allergic to mold may have severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung disease may get infections in their lungs from mold.”
These risks demonstrate that you cannot always know how the mold will affect your body or the bodies of your family members. It is essential to do your best to prevent mold from entering the home in the first place to avoid you or a family member getting sick.
Spotting Mold in the House
Mold is clearly not something you want in your home. So how does it get there in the first place? Well, mold grows where there is moisture. Like a loyal pet, if you have extra moisture in your house, mold is likely to follow. So be sure that any areas of your home that have access to water such as leaking roofs, windows, pipes, and decks are dried out after any exposure to water.
Mold can grow in a variety of surfaces including wood, carpet, drywall, paints, wallpaper, insulation, and fabric. The mold can infiltrate your home through open doors and windows, as well as through your heating and air conditioning vents. Mold can also arrive in the house on the items you, your family, and your pets bring inside.
I Think I Have Mold, Now What?
Wondering how to check for mold in your home? If you can’t see it right away, start with the smell. If you notice a moldy or musty aroma, start looking in the moist areas of your home such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and decks for spots. When you locate mold, the best thing to do is to clean it yourself right away (safely!), or have a professional come to clean it for you. Do not leave it, as it can continue to grow and cause health problems.
DIY Mold Removal
So what do you do if you plan to get rid of the mold yourself? The first thing to note is that you will need strong chemicals like bleach to clean it up. This means making sure you are fully informed about what is safe to mix, use on your surfaces, breathe, and touch. You will definitely need to open windows and doors to allow fresh air to come in and reduce intense fumes from the cleaning agents. Note: never mix bleach and ammonia products as this creates a gas that is poisonous. Cover your exposed skin with rubber gloves, rubber boots, and clothing, and wear goggles to protect your eyes. This is serious stuff!
If mold has yet to infiltrate your home, there is no better time than now to start keeping it that way! In order to prevent house mold from coming back or beginning in the first place, start by taking care of any moisture problem areas in your home. This means fixing any leaks in places like the bathroom, kitchen, roof, and laundry room. To be proactive, note any surfaces that have access to water accumulation — especially your deck — and check for water damage and existing mold.
When moisture is in the air, use vents to air out your bathroom and kitchen, keep humidity low, and use dehumidifiers or fans if necessary. To protect your walls, use mold inhibitors when painting. Whenever possible, use waterproof coatings in the home, especially if you have a deck. The last thing you want is water damage to your deck and mold to boot. Call in the pros to assess your deck and provide a proactive solution.
At WICR, we believe that mold only belongs to cheese. House mold, however, has to go. As Southern California’s waterproofing and construction experts, we want to ensure that mold is something you do not have to deal with in the first place. Call to schedule an appointment or learn more about how you can keep your home and family safe from mold.