Keeping Your House Dry & Mold-Free
Any house in the world can suffer from a mold problem. Mold isn't picky. There are some factors that make it more or less likely, for example what kind of waterproofing you have, whether you live in a humid or dry climate, and how old your house is. But when you get down to it, mold doesn't care about any of that. It just needs a place to live, and all those cool, wet, dark nooks and crannies in your house will do!
Mold is stinky and gross, but it's also potentially dangerous. It can cause a wide variety of symptoms, everything from sneezes and runny noses, to asthma and chronic fatigue. In some cases, mold can be toxic and can cause serious health problems if its spores are breathed in.
In any case, you don't want mold around. It can go and find some other place to thrive outside of your home!
Mold cleanup is costly and difficult, so you are much better off finding it, stopping it and preventing it. This article is a short guide to keeping your house mold-free, and your family safe.
Find It Where It Lives!
First, let's consider where mold likes to grow. As I mentioned, it likes cool, dark, out-of-the way places. Number one, keep in mind that mold likes moisture. Wherever you have moisture, you have mold.
Probably the number one culprit in most homes is the basement. No matter how new or old houses are, about half of them experience leaky basements. It's a great place for water from under the house, under your yard and even the roof, to collect. It's also a place we don't usually spend lots of time, so mold can grow there and go unnoticed for a long time.
Here's a simple mold test that you don't have to hire an expensive mold inspector to do - Follow your nose. Open your basement door and take a whiff. That musty "basement" smell is not the natural smell of your house. It's mold, and the worse it smells, the more there is.
Another spot popular with mold spores is the attic. Like the basement, this is an area that is shut off from the rest of the house most of the time. There usually isn't proper ventilation in the attic. You might notice a smell, or you might just have a sneezing fit when you open that trapdoor. This is a dead giveaway. The mold has found a place to stay.
Any part of the house with lots of moisture, like the bathroom and kitchen, can be great places for mold to grow. Bathroom and kitchen mold isn't usually black like the mold you see elsewhere. It can be pink, orange, white, yellow, or pretty much any other color in the color spectrum.
As a general rule, any hidden place could be a destination for mold. Inside walls, under crawlspaces, under carpets and furniture can all be great vacations spots for mold.
I Found You! Now What?
If you see, smell, or in any other way sense mold in your home, get rid of it immediately. If you have spots on your tiles, a little rubbing with bleach and water will do the trick. You can wipe mold off any material, including concrete, metal and wood.
If you have a major mold problem, it will not be so easy. If mold has gotten into your walls, for example, you will have to remove all the moldy material, and this could be a major job. It is something you can do on your own, but you must take necessary precautions. Use a mask and goggle, cover everything with plastic sheets as if you are going to paint, and open all the doors and windows. You will have to remove all the moldy material and place it in garbage bags to be removed safely.
There are a few things you can do to prevent mold from getting to be a problem in the first place. Make sure to keep the moisture in your home down. You can buy instruments to measure your home's humidity level, and you can get dehumidifiers and run them to keep it dry. Two things you should consider to minimize moisture are ventilation and waterproofing.
If there is not enough air flowing through a room, any moisture will definitely breed mold. One of the best ways to keep mold out of your house is to make sure there is always plenty of air. This is a challenge when it comes to attics and basements, and that is one reason why mold favors those places.
There are a variety of fans that can be installed in both basements and attics. If you are just building your house, make sure there are windows and take it into consideration when designing your basement and attic. This is also true of the kitchen and bathroom, and that is the reason there are fans installed in those rooms.
During any kind of mold clean-up operation, definitely make sure that you have all windows and doors open. As you work, it will get difficult to breath. When you move moldy materials, spores will fly up into the air and irritate your respiratory system. This is also why it is important to wear a mask and goggles.
The best way to get rid of mold is to not have it in the first place. Keep the water from coming into your house and you won't have mold problems.
There are lots of things you can do to prevent water from coming in, but most people never think to do these things. As a result, moisture in the home is a problem for nearly 50% of all homeowners.
You can install better gutters on your roof, or work with your yard's landscaping in order to get the water to flow away from your foundation. Even then, the water can build up underground and put more pressure on the walls of your basement.
The absolute best sure-fire way to keep moisture out of your house is to install proper waterproofing. This is an area of the home most people are totally unaware of. Do you know what kind of waterproofing your house has? There are two kinds. One is to use a tar based solution. This is called "damp-proofing," and it is effective for the first few years of your house's life. Then, it starts cracking and the water gets in anyway.
The other way is to use a membrane that is partially made of rubber. This membrane will stretch as your house settles and cover your foundation even when cracks appear. This is the most recommended technique for waterproofing. Some contractors will tell you that tar is the way to go, but they are only trying to cut down costs. Good waterproofing will be cheaper in the long run, because it will keep water damage from coming in.
Keep your home moisture free and you will keep it mold free. This way, you can ensure the long healthy life of your home, and the people who live there. For your waterproofing needs, check out Aqua Seal USA. Aqua Seal USA is a company that specializes in waterproofing and keeping homes dry. They can install waterproofing in your basement that will keep the water out permanently, all at a reasonable cost. You can also purchase environmentally-friendly waterproofing products from them to make sure your house stays moisture free.