Basics Every Homeowner Should Know About Mold and Mildew Removal
When it comes to mold and mildew removal and encapsulation, there are some important tips that homeowners should know that can save thousands of dollars in home repairs down the road.
Mold can often be mistaken for just dirt on your walls or window sills, but in many cases, the mold is just dispersed in a way that makes the area simply look dirty and not like an area infested with tiny mold spores.
Visible areas of mold and mildew in the home are caused by some sort of moisture problem that is located
- On or behind walls, or
- On, above or below floors and ceilings.
So, think beyond the mold to the water source. If the moisture source isn’t corrected, then expensive repairs to replace rotten wood and even entire walls might follow.
Mold needs water to take hold and flourish, but moisture from even just condensation near windows and outlets, can support mold. For example: Look at the seal around your refrigerator and freezer … Odds are you will find mold. If so, a mild solution of bleach and water (ten parts water to one part bleach) will kill the existing mold.
Another common problem area is ductwork, if mold forms on the ceiling under a duct or register and there’s no sign of a roof leak, then the moisture supplier may be badly insulated ductwork. In the summertime, warm moist air condenses and forms water on ducts carrying cold air through the attic or crawl space. The condensation is a sign that the duct is un-insulated or missing a vapor barrier. Eventually the water saturates the insulation and drywall and mold spores (which are everywhere) take root.
In cold weather, the reverse happens. Moisture forms anywhere warm air escapes, like unsealed joints between duct sections.
Inspect pipes and drains for leaks. If you see mold near water pipes, waste lines, icemaker lines or plumbing fixtures, chances are the mold is feeding off a nearby leak. Let the water run while you check the pipes and surrounding area for damp spots. Remember that water can travel in any direction—down, sideways or even up when it wicks into absorbent material like drywall—so the actual leak may be some distance from the mold.
If mold is growing on an exterior wall or ceiling, first look for a leak in the wall or roof. Measure from the moldy area to a reference point like a door, and then find the spot on the other side of the wall or ceiling.
Closely inspect nearby vents, roof flashing, decks, window wells and anywhere wood is rotting. Look for ground sloping toward the house and downspouts emptying next to the wall. If the ground around the house gets too wet, moisture will wick into the foundation or slab and become persistent dampness.
Mold removal experts often recommend using an ant-fungal spray that treats the area in order to kill of the existing mold, but REMEMBER this will not prevent mold and mildew from returning if the underlying moisture problem is not corrected … but it’s still a good gap-stop measure until a professional can assess and cure the problem.
If you see or smell re-occurring mold infestations in your home or if anyone in your family is suffering from reoccurring /persistent dizziness, headaches or nausea, then you should contact a certified and trained mold removal expert for an inspection.