Don’t Finish Your Basement Unless It’s Very Dry
Don’t finish the walls of your basement with insulation and wallboard unless your basement is very dry. Also avoid putting wall-to-wall carpet on your basement floor. If your basement floor is concrete, you can paint it and use area rugs instead. Then you can take the rugs outside to clean and dry them the rugs aren’t as likely to get moldy.
Wanda Olson McGregor Pearce and Dick Stone
Reviewed in 2018
Common Places For Mold To Grow
If you have had water damage to your home, its important to be on the lookout for possible mold growth. For example, mold in basement walls or floors can occur after flooding or severe water damage. Also chronic or persistent leaking from appliances, sinks, and showers can also lead to mold growth.
To find hidden mold, look for evidence of water intrusion which is often a sure sign that you either have mold in the home now or will be growing it soon. While it can be difficult to detect mold in the walls, its important to look for these signs of mold growth, to identify the problem as quickly as possible. Moisture meters and particle counters can be used by a certified inspector to source the water leak and fungal growth and even help detect if there is mold in your walls.
If you suspect mold growth in your home, here are some of the most common locations to check for mold to grow in the house:
- Air Ducts
- Near Plumbing
Keep in mind that mold is a sign of excessive moisture and water intrusion and can be visible or hidden behind many different surfaces. Whether its from a leaking pipe or previous water damage, mold can lead to costly building repairs and even adverse health effects, which is why it should be handled promptly.
You Feel Like You Have A Cold That Just Wont Go Away
Symptoms of a mold reaction can be as subtle as a perpetually runny nose and sneezing fits. That cold that you just cant seem to shake could actually be a sneaky sign of a mold problem.
Try to notice if your symptoms seem to worsen after spending time in a particular room or immediately after you finish doing laundry in the basement, for example.
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How Much Could Professional Remediation Cost
Mold assessment and remediation could cost anywhere from several hundred to dozens of thousands of dollars, based on the location and extent of the problem.
“It’s one thing to clean mold and the surfaces, but the other thing that gets more pricey is stopping the water that makes it grow,” said Nardozzi. Suggested remedial measures could range from removing spores via an air scrubbing machine, to digging into insulation or cutting up walls, he said.
The most comprehensive state legislation on mold to date was passed in 2015 and concerns regulation and licensure of mold assessment and remediation professionals. One of the reasons it is in place is because some mold removal companies were charging exorbitant amounts of money to address “extreme” mold problems that didn’t exist, said Nardozzi.
Now, assessment and remediation professionals must obtain appropriate training before gaining licenses with the state, and they must renew that license periodically.
Stale And Musty Odors
Mold, whether it is visible or not, emits an unusual and unpleasant odor. If an area in your home persistently smells musty, there is a good possibility there is mold in the room. You can follow the odor to where it is strongest, find the mold and remove it. However, if the mold is in an unreachable place, like inside walls, you need to call in a professional to help you remove the growth
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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 the terminology can be confusing, mildew refers to specific types of fungus, including some types of mold. That said, not all mildew and mold should be treated the same. Safely eradicating mold and mildew is crucial to keeping you safe and your home in good shape.
Your Baby Coughs At Night
According to a study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, infants exposed to mold in their homes were three times more likely to develop asthma by age seven. Symptoms to watch for include coughing, especially at night difficulty breathing fast breathing frequent chest colds and wheezing or whistling sounds when exhaling. Heres how to remove mold from your babys toys.
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What Is Mold And What Causes Mold In Your Home
Mold is, by broad definition, a type of fungus that sprouts from microscopic spores floating in the air. When clusters of mold spores grow on surfaces, they start to reproduce and become visible to the human eye. If you have mold allergies, asthma, or another lung condition, even breathing in the microscopic pores can trigger an attack. If you dont, you may not even be aware that there is mold in your home until you see it or smell it .
All homes have the key ingredients needed for mold growth: the presence of mold spores, a surface for it to grow on, oxygen, warmth, and darkness. When you add moisture, whether from a water leak, stagnant water, or high levels of humidity, into the mix, thats where mold problems begin. Knowing where mold is commonly found in homes can help you prevent and treat it so you can keep your home and body healthy.
Why Should You Only Use A Local Home Mold Removal Service
It is best to avoid mold removal companies who claim they are from out of state. Without local connections, it is easy for a scam artist to take the projects money and run away with it.
If someone claims they work for an out-of-state company, chances are there is not even a company by the name they give since it can be challenging to track these things out of state.
Additionally, you can check local references. Actual neighbors who have used the company before will be the best way to determine if a company is honest, if they do quality work, and if theyre reliable.
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Mold: What Every Homeowner Fears But Probably Shouldnt
J.T. Burton, a real estate agent with Long & Foster, was looking for a home for his growing family. The father of 6-month-old identical twin sons, Burton found what looked to be an ideal house: a four-bedroom, three-bathroom Colonial in Potomac.
In this hot market, the property should have been snapped up quickly. But there was a problem: The house had mold, and under Maryland law, the sellers were forced to disclose it. That was enough to deter potential buyers. Although the house had been under contract for $650,000, it languished on the market for nearly two months.
Unlike the other shoppers, Burton saw the problem as an opportunity to snag a good house for a discount.
I knew how to address so, therefore, I wasnt scared off, he said.
Mold seems to be cropping up more often these days, and it is not only because it has been a rainy year. Experts say mold is not more prevalent these days instead, we are more aware of it. The way new homes are built may not be helping matters. New energy-efficient homes tend to be conducive to mold growth because of their tightness, which restricts air movement.
Theyre too green, said Nelson Barnes Jr., a mold remediation expert in the Washington area. Houses need to breathe.
Still, experts say that finding mold need not be panic-inducing. Understanding what it is, what causes it, how to address it and how to prevent it, they say, can help homeowners ensure that their homes environment is healthy.
What Color Is Mold In House
What color is mold in house? Green is the most common color for mold. There are hundreds of thousands of types of mold and thousands of them appear as green at some point during their life.
How do you identify mold in your house? A common way to check for mold is to smell for it. A musty smell in an area of your home is often an indicator that there is some kind of mold present. Symptoms like a persistent runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and throat irritation could also be indicative of mold.
What color is harmful mold? Black mold is the most feared of all mold colors. This is because black mold is toxic to your health in most cases. Yet, not every black mold is toxic and there are molds of other colors that happen to be toxic as well. Believe it or not, you cannot determine if mold is black by looking at it.
Can you use vinegar to clean a flat screen TV? Make your cleaning solution: Mix a solution of half white vinegar, half distilled water. Using distilled water prevents hard water residue from making your screen look dirty. Dip a microfiber cloth into the solution: Never spray any cleaning solution directly onto your screen. Dip your cleaning rag instead.
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Visible Dark Rings And Spots
One of the early signs that mold could be lurking in your home is the appearance of dark rings or spots on the ceilings or walls. Even if these spots arent mold per se, they may be indicative of water damage or pooling water, which is a recipe for mold growth.Dark rings on your ceiling? It might be an early sign of black mold.
If you see anything like this in your home, its best to mop it up as quickly as possible and clean the area using disinfectants. If you cant access the area, get an inspector to do it for you. Be sure to check other areas as well, since there could be more widespread water damage.
Where Does Mold Originate
Mold growth often begins in a high moisture area, such as standing water outside the shower or leaky windows. Once a source is identified, it should be fixed promptly and all the excess moisture removed, said Kimble. While many say bleach can handle a mold cleanup, it destroys the plant life itself but it waters the spore, or the seed, with moisture, which allows it to survive, he said.
Bleach may work on non-porous surfaces such as glass, metal or plastic, but not on porous surfaces like wood, concrete or drywall, where mold could easily seep into the material and stay alive, said Nardozzi.
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Signs Your Home Has Mold
Worried your house or apartment has mold? Here are the telltale signs you may have a damp or fungus problem.
Does your home have mold? If you own your house or apartment, mold can be an expensive issue to fix, and a persistent problem. And it isn’t just the cost either – many forms of mold are extremely bad for your health, if ingested over a period of time, so you need to get it sorted. If you’re in any doubt about whether you have mold, what type you have, or where it is concentrated, you should pick from any of the best mold test kits and check it out for yourself. They’re all inexpensive, and can help you start to fix the problem.
However, you need to know the early-warning signs in order to start your investigation. Mold can often grow in places you rarely inspect, and can even spread behind stud walls, chimneys, or large items of furniture like wardrobes. One of the most common places for mold to grow is in your HVAC unit, which will then spread it through your home. Many test kits will sample from your air con unit, but some won’t. In some instances you may even need to change the heating and cooling system in your home, if mold gets bad, so if this is the case you should consult our guide to the best central air conditioning units.
Hopefully, though, you’ll spot one of the signs your home has mold early, and get it fixed before it spreads.
Your Seasonal Allergies Never Subside
If you seasonal allergies are dragging on and on, there might be a moldy reason for your endless sniffles.
Symptoms of mold exposure can mimic or even worsen existing seasonal allergies. If your symptoms seem to improve during the day while youre at work before worsening in the evening upon your return home, that might be a clue.
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Why Is Mold Growing In My Home
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
Key points to keep in mind:
Visit the Mold Website for more information.
Your Attic Insulation Is Lumpy
Wave off the spider webs and take a closer look at the insulation in your attic. Attic insulation that is very lumpy and uneven-looking may mean a bigger problem, says John Bodrozic, Co-Founder of HomeZada.The insulation could be in bad shape due to unforeseen roof leaks, which could also mean potential mold issues. If your attic has poor circulation or improper ventilation, it could create ideal conditions for mold growth.
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How To Test For Mold
You probably dont need to do mold testing or buy a mold test kit, especially if the fungus is visible. Because the health effects of mold vary from person to person, the CDC says that if you can see it or smell it, it should be removed, no matter what type of mold is in your home.
While its not possible to completely eliminate mold in your house, you can prevent a build-up by cleaning up any wet or damp spots and fixing any existing water leaks.
Neither the CDC nor the EPA recommends doing routine mold samplingsboth organizations point out that there are no federal limits for mold in buildings, so people cant check their apartment complexs compliance with the law, for example. Plus, the testing can be expensive.
How Does Hidden Mold Happen
In this case, there is, or was, a water leak. Maybe it was the roof and it dripped down between the walls, or perhaps a plumbing leak that went unnoticed for a period of time until it was fixed and subsequently painted over, perhaps even before the mold growth was visible.
Unfortunately, sometimes landlords and homeowners will paint-and-pretend, as properly dealing with a potential mold problem can be scary and expensive. Some states also have disclosure laws surrounding mold due to its health effects, which can also encourage owners to sweep it under the rug instead of disclosing it to tenants and homebuyers and raising red flags.
This is unethical behavior, but that is why the Badger encourages MOLD TESTING during all home inspections, as you never know what a previous owner might have intentionally or unwittingly covered up.
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Your Eyes Are Watery And Stinging
People can have allergic reactions to mold, explains Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist/immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network. The symptoms can include itchy and watery eyes, coughing, and nasal congestion. If you suspect mold is triggering these symptoms, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology suggests you track your reactions for two weeks to see if they kick in when youre in certain rooms or spaces within your house. You can also visit an allergist for a blood or skin test to confirm the allergy.
How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
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