Did you know that there could be a killer hiding in your home?
Sounds scary or dramatic but there could be mold in your home. And that is a very bad thing!
What is Mold?
Mold is a natural thing but that does not mean it is harmless. Molds can be found both inside and outside. Molds can grow almost anywhere if moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
No home can be 100% mold free because it is impossible to eliminate all the mold and mold spores in your house. You may be fooled into thinking that regular cleaning is enough to prevent mold growth. Sadly, it isn’t!
I don’t want to freak you out because mold isn’t usually a problem. There have to be the right conditions in your home for mold to become a problem.
If mold spores land on a wet or damp spot, they can begin growing. You can drastically reduce the amount of mold in your house by controlling the moisture level.
You can decrease mold growth by reducing the humidity level in your home to 30-60%. The best way to prevent mold problems in your house is by controlling the moisture. A few ways to do this:
- Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the exterior
- Using AC and a dehumidifier
- Get more fresh air inside your home by increasing the ventilation
- Prevent condensation by adding insulation
Mold Related Health Issues
Mold can cause health problems. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Some of the symptoms include hay fever symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.
Allergic reactions to mold are common. Some people will have an allergic reaction faster than others. It can be a few days , a few months or even a long time before someone experiences mold related health problems.
Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. Mold can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.
Anyone looking to buy a home should have a licensed professional do a mold evaluation!
Where Does Mold Grow?
Here are the 5 most common locations where mold could be growing in a house:
The basement can be one place to find mold if the climate and humidity levels are not controlled. Most basements don’t get any sunlight, are more humid than the rest of the house, and are not adequately ventilated. These factors can help mold to grow, especially if water get into the basement.
A musty or moldy odor shouldn’t be ignored in a basement, crawl space or cellar. It could be a sign that there’s a mold issue.
The Chilly Embrace of a Deadly Air Conditioner
If you or anyone in your house sneezes or coughs when the AC comes on, it could be caused by mold. Mold often grows in places that you can’t see like the interior of the air conditioner. One place to check is on the AC coils.
If you have science projects growing in your fridge, you need to understand they can be excellent for places for mold. If there is mold growing on food in your refrigerator, it can sneak into the little nooks and crannies. This can become a much more serious problem if the moldy food is moved to other areas in the kitchen.
Your trash can also can be a breeding ground for mold. Cleaning and disinfecting your trash cans should be a regular part of your house cleaning.
Santa Isn’t the Only One Sneaking in the Chimney
If Santa can creep into your home undetected by using the chimney, then mold will use the same trick. If your chimney has a leak, mold can develop. Then it can move into the walls.
This is why a leaky chimney is a serious problem. Not only can a leaky chimney cause issues with the home’s structural integrity, it can also create mold growth!
The Walls Have…
Probably the most common place for mold to grow is inside the walls. Proper building techniques and some of the new construction materials help prevent mold growth. But this is NOT a guarantee that mold won’t or can’t grow inside your walls!
If your home has been flooded, it is a very strong possibility that mold could be growing within your walls. Any time there is moisture behind the walls, it can cause problems.
Another reason for my dislike for wallpaper is that mold can grow behind it! A qualified mold inspector should check for this when you get a professional mold inspection.
The Take Away on Mold in Your Home
Mold is a very serious matter for both buyers and sellers. It can be deadly and can cause serious health issues.
If your home has any mold problems, these MUST be addressed before your home is listed. Failure to fix and properly disclose mold problems could cost you a boat load of money later. Besides, it is the right thing to do!
If you are thinking about buying a home, checking for mold is just one of the many inspections you should insist upon. Do not assume that the home inspection will include checking for mold.
Mold can cause serious health problems or even be deadly. And it can become costly to remove.
You can’t put a price on your health and you don’t want to hurt spend money on a problem that is easily prevented!