When it comes to mold, there are a few things pretty much everybody can agree on. Mold is disagreeable. The very idea of a mold invasion is enough to make some people cringe—not to mention the serious health risks associated with prolonged exposure to mold spores.
Beyond that, however, knowledge of mold varies greatly from homeowner to homeowner—including the risks it poses to property value, the specific health symptoms it can trigger, and methods to prevent it from growing.
This wouldn’t matter at all, except for the fact that many homeowners have paid a steep price for not understanding the facts about mold. A little research and awareness goes a long way toward preventing large scale mold problems, and the personal/financial stresses that come along with it.
Consulting a mold prevention specialist is always a good idea if you want to know how mold can best be handled in your particular location. But even if you don’t consult a specialist, here are six things that most specialists would tell you.
1. How mold enters the home
The natural environment of mold is, of course, outside. Mold plays a valuable part in recycling various elements of nature, but it also has a preferred set of conditions for growth and cultivation—namely moisture and warmth. When these conditions are found indoors, mold will try to enter. Here are common sources of moisture in homes that lead to mold growth:
- Flooding events
- Roof leaks or gutter blockages
- Faulty doors or windows
- Leaking pipes
- Humid basements or attics
- Lack of dehumidification measures when outdoor conditions are humid
There’s no question that mold grows faster and more consistently when the above conditions are present. Every mold prevention specialist will agree on that.
2. What mold can do to your health
It’s neither possible nor desirable to completely eradicate every last mold spore from your home. Like it or not, mold spores are a natural part of the environment we live in. But there are situations in which mold growth can get out of hand, and when this happens, the large amount of spores in the air is highly problematic for the human body. Symptoms may look like mild allergic responses. They can also include feeling tired, dizzy, weak, or forgetful as the days go by. Many people suffer symptoms of mold exposure for a long time without knowing what the source of the problem actually is. Very high levels of exposure to toxic quantities of mold can also have more serious long-term effects, such as nervous disorders.
3. Why you should think before your scrub
The first thing people often do when they see evidence of mold is to grab some cleaning solution, grab a sponge or brush, and get rid of it. This often gives the immediate appearance of results, but the mold comes back for two reasons: 1) the wrong type of cleaning solution/technique was used, or 2) the visible mold is part of a deeper, more extensive mold invasion behind the walls or under the floors. That’s why an intelligent mold remediation strategy is far preferable to the “gung ho” approach.
4. How to maintain a mold-free home
Maintaining a mold-free home requires a certain amount of research and awareness, but the time and effort is very little compared to what will be required if your residential mold problem gets out of hand. Strengthening your own understanding of residential mold problems, and contacting a mold expert to help you steer clear of problems, are both valid ways to make sure a costly mold problem never develops in your home.
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