What Do I Do If I Find What I Suspect Is Mold in My Property?

Mold is a type of fungus that sprouts from small spores that float in the air. When clusters of these spores grow on surfaces, they reproduce and spread. Homeowners may notice mold because they see it or they smell the damp, musty odor associated with it. If left unchecked, mold can damage your health and your property. If you find mold in your home or suspect you may have mold, it is important that you know the steps to take to identify and eradicate it.

Health Hazards Associated with Mold

Mold can cause a number of severe health problems, including making a person cough, wheeze and develop irritation to the skin throat and eyes. It can also exacerbate existing medical conditions, such as asthma, mold allergies or respiratory problems.

Structural Issues Caused by Mold

Mold can also cause problems with the structure of your home. It can weaken the walls, ceiling and floor. These issues can create structural problems with your home. You will also have to disclose the known presence of mold if you later place your home for sale.

Steps to Take

Some of the important steps you can take include the following:

Look for Other Locations of Mold

All homes can be a place where mold grows. Mold requires a surface to grow on, warmth, darkness and oxygen, all of which are present in all structures. When moisture is added to this combination, mold can grow. Some areas that you should inspect for mold include the following:

  • Bathroom – Check in your bathtub or shower, including on shower tiles. Look for mold around the sink, toilet and all drains where there is moisture. You may also notice mold on accessory items in your bathroom, such as your shower curtain, washcloths or shampoo bottles.
  • Kitchen – Fridge leftovers, dirty dishes and countertops are all prime spots for mold growth in your kitchen. Mold may also harbor in the garbage disposal, kitchen sink, microwave, stove or kitchen sink.
  • On walls – Mold growth may occur in bathrooms, kitchens or other locations throughout the home. Water leaks can cause a buildup of mold.
  • In air conditioning and heating vents – Water leaks can result in mold growth. Mold can grow in vents.
  • Fireplace and chimney – Mold likes dark places, so your fireplace or chimney are prime locations for mold growth.
  • Attic and basement – Your attic, basement and garage may also be prime locations for mold growth due to the humidity and dark places.

Test for Mold

Because of the potential health risks of mold, it is important to have the home tested for mold. It is important to locate all locations where mold may be present so that it can be removed properly. It is usually best to hire a certified professional for this task because home mold testing kits are often unreliable.

Correct the Problem Professionally

While some people may try to remove the mold themselves, you are safer to hire a professional. This may be expensive, but it is important to protect your health and the value of your home. Look for a reputable company with good reviews.

Prevent Mold

Once the mold is removed, be sure that you perform preventative maintenance so that the mold does not reemerge. Some ways to prevent mold include:

  • Caulk around sinks – Caulk around water fixtures, including your bathroom and kitchen sink and faucets. Leaks are a common source of mold.
  • Caulk around your windows – Prevent leakage from rain from infiltrating your home by adding a line of caulk around your windows.
  • Clean your gutters – Regular gutter maintenance can prevent flooding and standing water from leading to mold growth.
  • Repair roof damage – Prevent roof leaks by quickly taking care of any leaks you discover.

Check under your home – If you have crawl space, periodically check under your home to make sure there is no standing water under your home that could jeopardize its foundation or lead to mold.

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