Mold can become a problem in any home where there is excess moisture. Whether it’s a new house or an older house, mold will grow and thrive in the right conditions. If you notice a musty odor or spots or stains appearing on walls and ceilings, it could be mold. Here are six things to know about mold in your home.
1. What is mold?
Mold spores travel through the air naturally, seeking an ideal environment to settle and grow. The best conditions for mold to spread are warm and damp. Unfortunately, your home can create a perfect environment for this fungus to grow. What may start out as a discoloration on the ceiling or wall can develop into spots, splotches, and streaks of different colors, depending on what type of mold it is.
2. How do you get mold in your home?
Mold spores exist everywhere in the environment. They can get indoors through open windows and doors, on pets, and even on your clothing. Once the mold spore is inside your home, it will only thrive in humid environments as mentioned above. Air purifiers and dehumidifiers can reduce the number of mold spores in the air.
3. How do you know if your home has a mold problem?
If you are seeing discolored areas on walls, ceilings, or baseboards, you should seek the help of a professional mold tester. It’s possible that the backside of the surface is the damp area, and since it’s hidden behind the walls, you may only be seeing a small amount of the mold in your home. A trained mold tester has the right equipment to identify the type of mold and offer solutions for how to get rid of it.
4. How do you get rid of mold?
After removing the mold, the key is to get everything dry so the spores aren’t able to establish themselves again. Sometimes, depending on the factors that encouraged the mold in your home in the first place, the surface where it was growing may need to be replaced. For serious mold issues, consult with a home inspector who specializes in mold.
5. How do you prevent mold?
Rooms that are vulnerable to mold, like bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements, should be well-ventilated to prevent moisture from building up. Use ventilation fans when doing any task that creates heat or moisture. Any water leaks should be dried as soon as possible to make sure any wood or drywall isn’t damaged and to eliminate the risk of inviting mold to grow. If your windows are foggy with condensation, you have a humid environment that would benefit from a dehumidifier.
6. What are the health risks of mold growing in your home?
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, mold can aggravate your symptoms. Mold can trigger allergic reactions even for people who didn’t know they had allergies. Headaches and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat are common when exposed to mold in the home. Black mold is especially bad for your health and can have long-term effects.