Preventing mold in the home, can be an ongoing battle.
As we all know mold that is not dealt with, can cause serious health issues, for the homeowners and especially for children and pets, since it is a fungi, and releases spores into the air. So, if you have enough of it in your house, then the air quality will go down, and children especially will be affected.
It can affect everyone in the household, so preventing it from growing, is an ongoing process, and you should always be checking inside and outside the home for any leaks and damage that can trigger leaks and subsequently mold spores.
It has been known to irritate asthma sufferers and anyone with lung issues. It can be very acute or subtle. For example: Have you ever been in a perfectly good mood, then heading down to the basement to get something, and you start to feel angry or irritated? This can be an indication of spores in the air and a sign that your basement is harboring mold.
You should do a monthly check in the home, especially in the warmer months, when the inside humidity can rise.
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It forms when moisture is not allowed to dry out. Example: Have you ever left a wet towel laying around for awhile in an environment where it can't really dry out, such as in a basement? You get that green haze on the towel, or the floor and that smell? This is mold.
In preventing this from forming, you need to find and stop any source of leaks. Especially if it is leaking in such as way that it can't possibly dry out. If you had a leak in your basement and you fixed the source, and then took precautions to get it dry, then you will not likely form mold. But the worse leaks are the not so obvious. While preventing it, is an ongoing process, here is a list of places you should be checking at least once a month, to make sure these spores do not get a chance to grow.
If you find anything, you will need to clean the area, as well as prevent it from coming back. Preventing mold, means fixing the initial problem:
1. Under the kitchen and bathroom sinks
Any leaking plumbing, even just a seepage can trigger mold. Many people will just wrap a cloth around a dripping pipe, which may fix the issue for the moment, but check back and you will probably notice a black or green cloth. So, it is better to fix the plumbing and clean the area with vinegar or baking soda, or mild detergent and dry it out.
Stopping mold in the basement, by watching your basement carefully. Is it is a finished basement? If so, does it have bathrooms? laundry room? washer and dryer? If you have not allowed proper ventilation for your dryer for example. It should be vented outside, then moisture will build up in the air, and then onto other surfaces. Are the basement windows leaking? Even just a little leak can cause a huge mold area behind drywall. It is a constant battle, but you can win!
The worse conditions for mold in the basement is the humidity level. If you find mold spores on many different surfaces in your basement, then it is not likely a leaking window, but more likely the air is full of moisture and it can dry out. At this point you should get a de-humidifier, you should consider getting two of them if the air is really damp.
If you head to your basement and you get an earthy or muddy smell, then the air is not drying out. You need to find the source. It is either wet walls, or no ventilation. Stopping it from growing, starts with the basement. Work your way up from there.
You may need to get professional help if you are having trouble identifying where the dampness is coming from. Mold forms because of the dampness, so if you think you will get rid of it just by cleaning, then you will be doing a lot of cleaning. You need to identify the source, then it will stay clean and dry.
If you are planning on finishing your basement then you need to address any leaks now and plan out proper ventilation for any bathrooms that you will have in the basement.
Professional help in the basement will be a investment in your good health if there are problems.
If you have long showers, and the moisture cannot escape, then preventing mold in the home starts here! You will know there is a problem, when you get those tiny green or black specks forming on the ceiling. No these are not dirt, these are mold spores!
If the mold builds on top of the drywall, then at least you know it is a ventilation problem, but if the mold seems to be forming from behind the drywall, or the paper of the painted drywall is bubbling up, then this is an indication of water leakage behind the wall. No amount of cleaning is going to get rid of that mold. You need to cut out the drywall and find the source of the leak.
It can be hard to get rid of moisture even with the biggest fan if your family leaves wet towels everywhere! The war on preventing mold in the home, should not be fought alone! Get your family on board!
This is another area you need to check in order to prevent mold in the home. Any leaks in the roof that are not addressed, will work their way through the insulation and into the ceiling of your rooms or walls. If you notice your ceiling getting black spots or paint bubbling, then you need to check your roof.
Ventilation in the roof is another big issue in the war on preventing mold in the home, if there are not enough soffit or roof vents, then moisture will build up on the underside of the plywood of the roof. These spores will work their way into the living area of the house, and also eventually rot your roof.
Clearing clutter, especially in the basement or any area that is prone to dampness or humidity will help. You don't want to be storing cardboard boxes of fabrics in a damp or humid room. This will just magnify the issue as the mold spores will have more and more areas to grow on. So, keep your house free of clutter. If for no other reason, than to at least make your inspection of the house easier.
This all takes time, but for the sake of your health and the health of your family, you need to stay on top of this issue. Mold spores can come in on shoes and pets, so keep your home vacuumed, especially if you have someone prone to allergies.
If you lead the battle on stopping it from forming or growing, then you will be on top of any issues that show up. Just keep in mind: Ventilation (let moisture out) and Leaks (that can't dry out) . These are the two biggest problems when it comes to mold.
If it is a small area, clean with detergent and water, rinse and dry. This should get the staining off. But find the source and deal with it. Your health will thank you!