Mold has taken the center stage in recent years as a health concern to the general public. It has been linked to serious issues including asthma, allergies and occasionally neurological damage. It does not matter how important you think the issue of mold is because, much like a mold infestation, the subject is not going away any time soon.
It is true that most molds are not harmful to humans. Many molds are indistinguishable to the untrained person, so do not be so quick to dismiss concerns of mold if it is detected. It is important to treat all molds growing in homes and offices as a suspect for being harmful.
4 Signs of Mold
- Visible Mold Growth: Mold can take on a variety of colors with black being the most common. It will appear splotchy in its pattern and usually found near a source of moisture.
- Odor: If you think you smell mold, as in a musty odor, there is a high probability that there is mold in your environment.
- Visible Water Staining: If there has been a persistent moisture issue such as a leaky pipe, window or bathroom fixture over any period of time, it is best to assume that the area may have some form of mold growth.
- Unexplained Respiratory Issues: If one or more persons that occupy a space begin to have unusual breathing problems, such as shortness of breath without any prior issues in their health histories, mold may be the key to the mystery. Please contact your healthcare provider.
The recommended way to eliminate mold and prevent future occurrences is to remove the mold source altogether. While it sounds simple to scrub and cut the areas affected by mold, you will continue to spread mold spores and greatly increase the risk of making the mold issue even worse in the future.
4 Steps To Prevent Mold
- Humidity: Relative humidity should be below 60 percent, meaning the air should be fairly dry. Humidity condenses on surfaces making ideal growing conditions for mold.
- Fix Leaks: Check all pipes and fixtures after use to make certain there is no water escaping into areas that it should not. Check all windows, doors and basements after rain events to make certain that no rainwater is getting into the home.
- Clean Up Spills: All spills should be cleaned and dried immediately. Mold can begin to grow within a 48 to 72 hour period.
- Antimicrobial: Treat any affected areas with an antimicrobial agent that can be found in any home goods store. Bleach is not considered an antimicrobial treatment and is not recommended for mold remediation. Antimicrobial treatments will not eliminate mold spores and should only be used as a preventative measure, not to eliminate mold.
Use caution when attempting to remediate mold on your own. A professional mold remediation company should be consulted before an untrained person attempts to remove mold. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so your efforts are best focused on controlling the issues that can cause mold.
Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.
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