How To Detect and Treat Mold
Mold can be a serious problem
Mold in Colorado homes is far more common than most people think. Even new homes and other new construction can have mold issues. Mold spawns in water and lives off of many different food sources (leaves, wood, paper and dirt). Mold needs a little oxygen, and temperatures between 40° and 100° Fahrenheit to thrive. Mold can grow almost anywhere, and the spores can travel 10 feet without any air movement! It can spread almost as fast as it grows.
Health Risks Associated With Mold
Mold can cause a wide range of health issues. Some of the most common are throat irritation, difficulty breathing, nasal and sinus congestion, skin rashes and eye irritations. Everyone reacts to mold differently, and some reactions are extreme – including seizures, stroke-like symptoms and other severe symptoms.
Finding The Source
Mold is typically found near, or around, water sources like a water heater, under sinks, near your washer and dryer, or the inside of your home that is opposite of your outside water spigots. It can also be found in any other place where you have water piped into your home. However, mold is not always easy to find. Most homeowners have no idea that they have mold growing in their home. Mold can grow inside walls, under the carpet, and in crawl spaces. The best way to find out if you have mold is to have your home tested by a professional. The test is relatively inexpensive and extremely accurate.
Things To Consider About Mold
If your home is mold-free, we would like to help you keep it that way! Here are a few proactive ways to prevent mold from growing and/or spreading.
- Keep your gutters clean and free from standing water and debris to decrease mold growth.
- Roof maintenance and inspection will prevent leaking into your home and potential mold issues.
- When the weather is nice and humidity is low, open your windows to allow fresh dry air to circulate through your home. Dry fresh air can stop mold from spreading and growing.
- Use a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels in check. The ideal moisture range is anywhere from 30% to 50%.
- Keep your dryer exhaust vent clean and always vent your dryer to the outside. Clogged dryer vents can significantly increase moisture in your home.
- Make sure that all of your rain gutters drain away from your home. Standing or pooled water from rain gutters can lead to mold inside your home. The standing or pooled water can leak through your basement walls and create mold issues.
- Make sure that all of your windows are sealed correctly for moisture and water leaks. Use a mold resistant silicone-based caulk around all of your windows to prevent rain and even sprinklers from leaking into your home and causing mold issues.
Cleaning Up Mold
As a general rule, if your affected area is less than 5 feet in diameter (within a 5-foot circle), you should be safe to clean it up yourself. However, if you have, or suspect, that you have any allergies associated with mold, you should hire a professional. The best way to kill mold is by using bleach. Make sure to use long rubber gloves and a respirator. Mix water and bleach: 2 parts water and 1 part bleach, use a spray bottle and spray all of the affected areas. Allow the water/bleach mixture to dry before removing the affected material. All of your moldy drywall and carpet should be replaced. Wood can be treated with the water/bleach mixture, then allowed to dry and sealed to prevent further mold growth. If you are unsure, contact a professional to help.
EPA and CDC MOld Clean-Up Guild lines
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CDC (Center for Disease Control) have entire sections of their website devoted to the hazards of mold and the proper way to clean mold infected areas. You can find links to their information below: