Don’t Give Mold A Home

Along with crisp fall days and leaves starting to turn, September is designated National Mold Awareness Month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Particularly after the rainy and humid summer season that many households have experienced, it’s an ideal time to make sure your home is mold-controlled.

Part of Our World
Mold is a simple organism that thrives in a wet environment, and it ‘s very common in buildings and homes. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), mold growth can start to grow on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours, especially around leaks in roofs, windows or where there has been flooding. Mold reproduces by spores traveling through the air, and destroying organic matter that it feeds on. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that mold will also grow on many types of materials in your household, such as fabric, upholstery, ceiling tiles, wood products, insulation, drywall and carpet. This can cause damage in your home along with mild to severe health problems, like respiratory issues, cough, eye and skin irritations.

Making Mold Uncomfortable
The EPA notes that there is no way to get rid of all mold and mold spores in your home—the key is to control moisture so the mold stays at bay. Moisture and condensation are culprits that can be lurking in your basement, shower, or kitchen. Here are some simple tips to minimize moisture:
 Reducing indoor humidity is rule number one. Keep it no higher than 50 percent by venting bathrooms and dryers, using your air conditioning and dehumidifiers, and turning on exhaust fans when cooking and cleaning.
 Prevent condensation by adding insulation in your home.
 Fix any leaks so the mold does not have a hospitable environment to grow.
 Clean and dry your house quickly after any flooding.
 Avoid carpet in rooms that have a lot of moisture, like basements and bathrooms.

Suspicious Spores
If you find mold growth by sight or musty smell, the CDC recommends that you remove it immediately with a cleaning product, soap and water or a bleach solution. Be sure to wear gloves, a mask and eye protection, and keep the area well ventilated. Scrub the mold off hard surfaces and let it dry completely. If you find mold on ceiling tiles or carpet, you may have to discard it. Finally, the EPA cautions that you should clean up mold before painting or caulking.

Stop Mold Before It Starts
For extra peace of mind, you also can ask your plumbing contractor to install a LeakSmart system—it will not only monitor for leaks and shut water off automatically if a leak is detected, but also remotely controls your water supply from your smart phone. That way, you can be confident that an unexpected leak will not lead to a mold problem.