Mold is a very stealthy adversary for those with respiratory problems like allergies and more. Sometimes it appears and you can see the problem so you are aware of it. In some cases, it grows behind walls and you don’t even know that you have a problem.
Even aside from the potential health problems, mold does a lot of damage that can be expensive to repair. It can ruin walls that will need to be torn out and replaced. It can even ruin furniture and anything else it can get a hold of which can be expensive to replace.
If you are concerned about mold issues in your home, then read on for some tips on how to protect your health and your home.
Dangers of mold to your health
There are a number of molds that are quite toxic and can cause many different respiratory problems. These molds produce mycotoxins which are toxic to humans and can cause problems like persistent coughing and difficulty breathing. And that is just in people that are not already allergic to mold.
There are people who also have an allergy to mold which causes worse problems than in normal circumstances. It can lead to long term respiratory issues and affect the quality of life in many aspects. To some, the symptoms can be as light as what hay fever allergy sufferers deal with. Issues like itchy throat, watery eyes, and sneezing.
Besides just the mold spores, as the building material is degraded, volatile organic compounds can be released into the air as well as other particulates. When these are breathed in then it can lead to asthma-like symptoms. In many people, there is a weakening of the immune system so it becomes never ending cycle of catching colds and other illnesses.
While you are trying to find and remove the mold, you should be using an Airhealth.com portable air purifier with HEPA filter to trap the spores so they can’t reproduce and create bigger mold issues. Removing the spores from the surrounding area will provide a lot of relief while you seek to remove the root of the problem.
Keep the air purifier running 24/7 to make sure that you are able to breathe properly. Once the mold is removed, then look into having a whole-house air purifier to keep it from coming back.
Why your house has mold
Mold looks for three different criteria to be able to flourish. It seeks out food, moisture, and space to grow. If you have moist conditions at times of the year or even year round then you are giving mold a chance to find food in the wood or sheetrock in the building, there is moisture to allow it to grow and the space in your house allows it plenty of room to spread out.
Mold is everywhere and it doesn’t always find a place to grow in every situation. It could be that you had a leak or a flood and now there is moisture trapped in the building material which gives the mold a perfect environment to spread.
Or, there could be atmospheric conditions that lead to it getting a foothold in your home. If you live in a humid area like the Pacific Northwest or even the South then you have a greater chance of getting mold in your home.
Shoddy construction that uses cheap material is also a culprit so when you do repairs make sure to use the latest materials that can resist mold and bacteria growth.
How to get rid of it
The first thing is to find the source. If you don’t live in a particularly humid area then you may have a leak creating the moist conditions that allow the mold to flourish. Find the leak, repair it, and then you can replace the material where the mold is growing and that should solve the problem.
If it is environmental, then it can be more complex than that. When you have mold growing within the walls then you will need to remove the drywall to expose the affected area. Let it dry out by placing some dehumidifiers around the area plus a couple of fans.
Once it is dry then you can paint over the mold with special shellac or a primer with a mildewcide. Then you can replace the insulation and new sheetrock or drywall to cover it up. This should prevent the mold from growing back.
After this is done you will want to clean any of the surface molds as you likely have it in other areas of the house. The bathroom is the most likely place to start so make up a solution of bleach and water and scrub the surface where the mold is found. You only need a few tablespoons of bleach per quart of water. Have protection like glasses to prevent an eye injury and gloves to keep your hands clean of bleach.
How to prevent it from returning
The key to preventing mold from returning after you’ve removed it is to control the moisture in your home. Make sure that you are doing your best to fix any leaks or areas where it is always damp.
The bathroom needs to be well-ventilated so add a fan or a window if possible to allow the moisture to escape. Even an attic will need to be ventilated to allow the moisture that builds up throughout the home to escape.
Keep crawlspaces dry and aired out and make sure that water is directed away from your home by making sure the perimeter is draining properly. Then, keep a dehumidifier running to pump moisture out of the air.
Once you have a mold problem, it is easy for it to return. Keep an eye on problem areas even when you are doing your best to control the dampness in your home. This may be a years-long process to get rid of it once and for all.