Does Your Home Have a Mold Problem?
October 9th, 2012
October 9th, 2012
Have you ever been away from home for a long time and walked into your home to smell a musty or earthy order? If so, you’ve smelled mold growing. Or maybe you’ve seen dark splotches growing on a wall. Unfortunately, that’s another sign that you have a mold problem.
Molds are microscopic organisms that can be found anywhere – indoors or outdoors. Molds can be found on plants, foods, leaves, wood, paper or dirt. Outdoors, they help break down dead organic materials like dead trees or fallen leaves. Unfortunately, mold spores are invisible to the eye, so you can’t see them floating through the air.
In order for molds to grow, they need a food source like paper, wood, fibers; moisture or water; and a temperature between 60° to 80° F. Mold can grow in your home due to:
Once materials, like insulation, walls, wood, or carpet in your home, become wet, mold can begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours. Mold growths can look white, gray, black, orange, brown, yellow or greenish in color; and they may appear cottony, velvety, grainy, leathery or glassy in texture. More often than not, you probably won’t be able to see the mold growing since it can be behind walls, under carpets or in other hidden areas.
Mold contamination can be dangerous to your health. It can cause allergic reactions, severe asthma and other respiratory problems, infections, dizziness, reduced concentration and agitation. Infants, children, elderly individuals, and people with allergies, chronic illnesses and/or immune system problems are more susceptible to health problems caused by mold.
Additionally, mold can cause damage to your home. You may experience cracked walls, warped beams, and/or damaged furniture and other personal items.
If you suspect you have a mold problem, the faster you get it cleaned up the better. If the mold problem is small, roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. area, you can probably clean it yourself. Refer to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website for more information on clean up. However, if the area is larger, you should contact a mold remediation company to have the mold professionally removed.
Having a mold problem isn’t fun and it can be extremely costly to clean up. Therefore, it’s important to prevent mold from occurring in the first place. Some things you can do include:
If you’re buying or selling a home, mold can be an issue. For home sellers, as mentioned, you should get the mold cleaned up as soon as possible. If you know your home has mold problems, you should disclose it. In fact, some states require you to disclose it. For home buyers, ask your home inspector if they are any signs of mold in the home you’re buying. Also, you may want to add a mold-related contingency to your offer, so you can back out of it if the home has a serious mold problem.
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