When spring finally arrives after a long and cold winter, it’s generally good news. A lot of people around the world never experience this distinct change of seasons – but here in New Jersey, and in many other parts of the country, the arrival of spring is something to celebrate. It’s time to get outside again, de-clutter the house, open the windows, and become more active.
But it may not all be good news when you start cleaning out the home. You might notice that a certain problem has been quietly and secretly developing during that long winter: Residential mold.
People often assume that mold is only a problem in tropical or extremely humid environments. Why would mold grow during the dry, long, cold winter season? The answer is that the inside of your home has the warmth and humidity mold needs. Your furnace, stove, insulation, and any humidifiers you use will help keep conditions comfortable for you – and for mold!
But there’s another reason why the spring thaw can lead to mold infestation, and that’s water. When there’s a lot of snow on the ground, and that snow rapidly begins to melt, the base of the home is suddenly inundated with water. Depending on whether the foundation of your home is waterproofed, and whether the gradation of your landscape is optimized for drainage, that water might start to leak in to your basement. It’s well known that serious mold infestations often come on the heels on a water damage or flooding event. Melting piles of snow around the base of your home are no exception. If your foundation is not well protected, you’ll have water and moisture entering your basement. Mold will often follow.
It should be noted that this type of mold infestation might not be noticeable right away. The slow buildup of water and moisture can lead to the slow buildup of mold – and if you don’t know what to look for, you might not notice the signs of mold infestation.
So how do you know what to look for?
Aside from visible mold, it’s important to pay attention to any “musty” or “moldy” smells in the air, whether you’re in the basement or any other areas of your home. Dark spots on the walls, ceilings or floors are another possible sign. If you’re aware of a flooding or water damage event, it may be a good idea to call for professional mold inspection services, even if you don’t notice any signs of mold.
Where can I find reliable information about mold?
There’s a lot of information out there, and not all of it is accurate. Even when you reach out directly to a contractor for information on mold prevention and removal, how do you know you’re talking to a qualified pro? If you look at the contractor’s reputation in the community, including reviews from past clients, you’ll have a pretty good idea. It’s very difficult to “fake” professionalism in a specialized trade like mold removal, so it should be fairly easy to identify the most legitimate and upstanding contractors in your area.