How Do You Keep Mold Out Of Buildings And Homes
Inspect buildings for evidence of water damage and visible mold as part of routine building maintenance, Correct conditions causing mold growth to prevent mold growth.
Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
How To Detect Mold In Walls
Mold is a dangerous fungus to have inside the home. It can cause structural damage to a house and health issues for humans.
Understanding how to detect mold in walls is an essential skill to have. Youll be happy to know that detecting mold is relatively simple and doesnt take an expert to find Ill share a few tips in this article.
If you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies, its even more important to know if mold exists in your house. Mold can also cause toxicity in humans and be an underlying cause of anxiety, fatigue, mental fogginess, and even depression.
I struggled with mold allergy for years. I had always noticed a little bit of mold in the bathroom and around my windows but I didnt think twice about it. Little did I know it may have been affecting my health.
In The Walls And On The Floor
From top to bottom, mold growth is likely in a bathroom. In addition to the places mentioned above, pay attention to any water leaks coming from the walls or floors these leaks can cause mold to grow quickly. Bathroom rugs are also known to harbor mold, and are usually not washed as often as they should be.
Some tips to keep your bathroom free of mold
- Use a ventilation fan during your bath or shower, and keep it on for at least 30 minutes after
- Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep humidity levels down throughout your home
- Keep all surfaces, including counters and floors, clean and dry
- Check for leaky faucets and pipes
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How Common Is Mold In Buildings
Molds are very common in buildings and homes. Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. We do not have precise information about how often different molds are found in buildings and homes.
Is There Mold Hidden In Your Home
Most strains of mold spread easily throughout a home. If you see mold in one area, there is a good chance you have mold in other places, too. For instance, if you see mold on a wall, there is a good chance there is also mold inside the wall. If you see mold on carpet, there is a good chance there is also mold under the carpet and possibly even under the floorboards. Thats why we recommend inspecting the entire home thoroughly for mold if you discover mold anywhere.
We also recommend inspecting your home for mold if you notice a musty odor. Many strains of mold emit chemical vapors, known as microbial volatile organic compounds, which have a characteristic musty odor.
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Problems Caused By Mold
Mold can be as dangerous as it is destructive. Make sure to have it removed as soon as you find it.
Mold growth is particularly concerning because the mold will continue to eat away at affected building materials and increase the damage as it spreads. Mold will also compromise the air quality of your home and pose as a health hazard to any and all occupants. Among some of the health concerns that mold presents are eye irritation, coughing, nasal issues, and throat irritation.
Knowing the amount of damage mold can cause, it is important for you to know how to detect mold in your home. However, it can sometimes be difficult to spot mold because it can be hidden. One case of this is mold growth behind your homes walls.
For Help Removing Mold In Walls
If you need help removing mold in your walls, or if you’d just like some advice about the mold removal process, we suggest scheduling a free consultation in your home with a mold removal professional. There’s no obligation on your part, so even if you opt to handle the mold removal job yourself, you can benefit from some free professional guidance. To find qualified mold removal professionals offering free consultations in your area, you can follow the link.
Also Check: Mold Removal Bathroom Ceiling
How To Remove Mold From Walls
Mold on your interior walls doesnt just look unpleasant it can be a health hazard for your family. Depending on the amount and location, its presence also suggests a larger problem in your housewater infiltration.
For this project, we will focus on solving the mold problem. The remedy is two-fold: 1. Control moisture and 2. Kill the mold. While the former may take a more involved approach, depending on the situation, the latter often can be done with some bleach, water and a bit of elbow grease.
Remove Mold From Drywall/painted Walls
Mold can often grow on drywall and painted interior walls, especially in areas where moisture and humidity are a factor, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Walls can also be affected if your roof or exterior walls are infiltrated by water. If the drywall remains wet, mold can begin to grow and penetrate the drywall throughout. When this happens, the drywall must be removed and replaced, as you will not be able to get rid of all mold under these circumstances.
Recommended Reading: How To Remove Mold From Shower Ceiling
How Does Mold Find A Way In
Usually, mold travels through air to find a way in. The tiny invisible spores can enter your house via windows, doors, clothes, shoes, pets, and HVAC vents. Once inside, upon finding the ideal conditions, mold can thrive easily. The most common areas where you can spot this tiny organism is
- Sinks, bathtubs, and showers
- And basements
The tiny spores latch onto myriad objects and materials like carpeting, fabrics, wood, paper, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, insulation, and paint.
How To Remove Mold From Cement
Concrete inside your basement or on your back patio is no exception to this rule.
If it has damp conditions and a food source, it will grow at an alarming rate.
Dirty concrete surfaces like patios that dont dry out rapidly because its in a shaded area, can be the perfect area for mold to grow.
When mold begins to grow on concrete surfaces, it looks black, green or a bunch of other colors it also can produce a strong earthy musty smell.
Mold growing on concrete inside or outside can pose a risk to your health.
Indoor, its a well-known fact that mold spores can be bad and impact an individuals health.
Some people have mold allergies and can have severe reactions, especially those that have respiratory conditions or a weak immune system.
When mold grows on concrete on concrete outdoors, there is also a risk to your health.
If you leave mold growing on a concrete surface outside your home, you could slip and fall on the growth.
This is because the surface of the concrete will become slippery when the mold growth covers enough surface area.
No matter where it begins to grow, the best thing to do is to remove it and try your best to keep the concrete as clean and dry as you can.
Here are some items you will need to remove mold from concrete inside your home.
Things You Will Need:
Use these steps to clean mold from cinder block or concrete in your home:
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In The Shower And Bathtub
Showers and bathtubs are one of the most common places you may find mold. With repeated use, these areas tend to be damp most of the time. If you arent properly ventilating during and after your shower or bath, mold spores will thrive. But mold isnt always visible and obvious be sure to check for mold on your shampoo bottles, washcloths and loofahs, shower curtain, in and around the faucet and shower head, and in the tile grout.
So What Can You Do To Decide Whether Or Not To Hire A Mold Inspector
First, you can use a moisture meter like this one to check for moisture inside your wall. . If you have ANY moisture, there is a strong likelihood that there is mold growing. Having said that, humidity levels in your home could play a role in moisture readings. So again, read my article on moisture meters.
You can also purchase a thermo imaging device to detect temperature changes behind your wall. Again, this will tell you if there is moisture but does not show mold. My post on thermo imaging cameras tells you everything you need to know about which ones to purchase and how to use them correctly.
You can use these test plates to conduct a preliminary check for mold spores on the wall. Often times if there is mold in the wall, there will be mold spores on the wall in your home. Since they arent actively growing, you wont actually be able to see them. You want to very gently place the test plate against the wall in several places. Put the lid on and label it so you know where the sample came from. Wrap it in aluminum foil and put it in a room temperature spot for 5 days. After 5 days carefully remove the foil and see if any mold growth has occurred. This isnt 100% conclusive but if you have mold growth it is likely there is mold inside your walls. No mold growth doesnt necessarily mean you are in the clear.
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How To Identify Mold Vs Mildew In Your Home
Mold and mildew are often spoken of together, almost as if they were the same substance. We fear mold and mildew growing below our homes in crawl spaces, under house siding, around the bathroom wall surround, and behind the sink. Excessive, pervasive mold and mildew can hamper a house sale or cause homeowners to move their bedroom elsewhere. Neither mold nor mildew is welcomed in the home, in any form.
Though related, mold and mildew are separate microorganisms that grow differently and must be treated differently. Safely eradicating mold and mildew is crucial to keeping you safe and your home in good shape.
You Visibly See Mold Spores
Of course one of the most obvious ways to determine that you have mold in your house is if you can see it. The downside? If you see a ton of visible mold, it can be an indicator that you have a big problem on your hands.
“Once you see it, you’ve got a big mold problem because what you’re seeing is literally just the tip of the iceberg,” Kelly Hayes-Raitt, a housesitter and the former director of the HomeSafe Campaign in California, told INSIDER.
Simply scrubbing the visible mold with soap and a sponge won’t actually get rid of the mold. So if you see visible mold, you need to reach out to a mold remediation company or another expert to help you get things under control, including any leaks that may have caused the issue in the first place.
Recommended Reading: How Quickly Can Mold Grow From Water Damage
How Do Molds Affect People
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people with asthma symptoms in people with asthma and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.
In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould pdf iconexternal icon pdf icon. Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.
Warning Signs You Have A Mold Problem
- Date: 05-2017
Molds are types of fungi that may grow indoors or outdoors, usually in damp, warm, and humid environments. The most common types of household molds might be found around bathrooms, basements, drywall, ceiling tiles, carpet, wallpaper, under sinks, and around plumbing pipes.
Mold in the home can pose serious health risks, but unfortunately many dont realize they have a mold problem because they dont know what to look for. Here you will read a little about mold warning signs, first as it relates to your health, and secondly as it relates to the structure and history of your home.
Mold Warning Signs: Allergies and Other Health Issues
When someone has mold in their home, they usually show allergy-related symptoms. If youre not sure whether your allergy-like symptoms are caused by mold in your home, then consider this question: do your symptoms get better once you go outdoors or leave your home? If so, then there is good chance that mold is the culprit.
Symptoms of mold allergies include:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Irritated, itchy skin
Some forms of household mold are toxic, causing serious, life-threatening illness. These highly-dangerous molds might cause symptoms such as bleeding, internal organ damage, mental impairment, cancer, and even death.
Mold Warning Signs in Your Home
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Getting Rid Of Basement Mold
Mold in the basement can be persistent, given the nature of basements they tend to be much more humid than above-ground levels and typically have poor ventilation and little air flow, a combination that can cause mold to flourish. And of course, basements can be prone to flooding, due to extreme weather or undetected leaks in the pipes or sump pump. In addition, once mold develops, cinder blocks or concrete walls can be difficult to clean due to their rough texture.
To get rid of mold in the basement, scrub the walls using a large brush, and keep in mind that porous surfaces such as ceiling tiles or drywall might need to be removed and replaced. If basement carpet has become moldy, sweep it to loosen the mold and let it dry in the sun if you can move it, or use high-powered fans to remove moisture if its affixed to the floor.
To prevent mold in the basement, you need to alter the conditions that can cause it to grow. First, remove dampness by installing a dehumidifier and making sure the dryer vent exhausts externally, if you use your basement for laundry. Then turn your attention outside: Shore up cracks and other foundation issues, and make sure that your soil is properly graded so that rainwater or melting snow goes away from the house, rather than collecting near your foundation.
Is There Mold In Your Walls
At some point you may find yourself wondering if you have mold in your walls. Perhaps you have been through a flood or identified a leak in your home that has been there for awhile. Now, as you start the cleanup, you may wonder what the least destructive method is for determining the extent of the damage and if there is indeed mold in your walls.
Obviously, the sooner you identify any mold in your walls, the easier and more effective the remediation will be. You can, of course, rip out your drywall and replace it as the most conservative option. But there are some less drastic methods of determining the necessity of such actions.
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Are There Visible Signs Of Mold
Mold leaves behind clues, especially if there is enough of it. One of the clues is the visibility of mold growth. Mold can discolor your walls and spread quickly. Even if the mold has been painted over, it will often show itself over time. If there are visible signs of mold, the chances are good that the mold is deep in your drywall. Some surface mold can be cleaned, but if the mold is inside the wall, it will need to be replaced. Perform a detailed inspection of your home if you suspect mold in your walls. Be sure to look at walls behind furniture and along baseboards.
Many homeowners are worried about the potential of black mold and spend lots of money testing once visible signs of mold are found. However, much of this testing isnt necessary. While black mold is well known for the damage it can cause, all types of mold can affect your health and should be dealt with promptly and properly. Therefore, if you see visible signs of mold on your walls, you can skip the testing and simply replace and remediate.