Mold is one of the most common household issues homeowners and business owners face. Also, dust-like fungi can be dangerous to a property's infrastructure and its residents' health.
Most people will encounter mold at some point, as it can appear in the corners of walls, grow on food, and appear on wet rocks and stones outdoors. Unlike rotten food you can throw away, mold in the home or a commercial space is a little trickier to resolve. You will need to treat the affected area(s) and get to the root cause of the problem to prevent it from spiraling.
Don't take chances with your structural integrity and health. Here is your big guide to mold inside your property.
What is Mold?
Mold is more than an unsightly patch in your home or business. It is a form of fungi that grows in dark, damp, or humid conditions where organic matter is present. It is common in homes and commercial spaces due to the warmth, moisture, and many materials available to feed off, including wood, carpet, and wallpaper.
Also, specific rooms in the home are more likely to develop mold, such as kitchens, bathrooms, attics, and basements. Yet, it can become an issue in any area of the home or business under the right conditions.
What Causes Mold?
If mold develops on the ceilings, walls, or corners of a bathroom or kitchen, you might scratch your head about where you are going wrong. The challenging issue with mold is that it can have many culprits, and you will need to rule each one out to get to the root cause. Yet, every mold problem has an effective solution.
Humidity is often to blame for mold growing in bathrooms and kitchens, as steam from cooking or showering can create damp, humid conditions. For this reason, mold might start to thrive on your ceilings, walls, floors, and even your furniture. Yet, humid weather conditions, excessive rain, or living near a large body of water can increase your home's risk of mold.
However, you can stop mold from developing by ventilating rooms across your home or business, especially the kitchen and bathroom when cooking or after showering.
Improve ventilation by:
- Regularly open your windows and doors
- Using a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air
- Running a fan
Water leaks cannot only cause mold that damages your home or business's structural integrity, but they may cost you a significant amount of money throughout the year in water bills.
Also, you will add to mold growth every time you turn on a tap, as a dripping pipe will allow more water to destroy the property's framework. The more moisture that builds up due to a leaking pipe, the more bacteria it will grow, and the more mold will develop.
Unfortunately, many property owners can miss pipe leaks because they are hidden behind walls. For this reason, your pipes must be checked regularly to protect the property and people's health. Also, the problem is more likely to strike during winter, as the extreme cold could warp metal pipes and cause unwanted cracks.
A leak detection plumber can use specialized equipment to identify a pipe leak inside your property before resolving the problem. For instance, they can use thermal imaging cameras to detect and diagnose leaks or acoustics to create a vibration along the pipework's length.
Also, as water damage is hard to pinpoint behind walls, a leak detection plumber could undertake a non-invasive pipework investigation, such as moisture readings, pressure testing, and static testing, to pinpoint any affected areas.
Condensation is another possible cause of mold growth inside your property. It happens when warm air reaches a cold surface, such as a cold-water pipe. The cold surface causes the air's water vapor to cool instantly, causing water droplets to form. If the liquid remains on a surface for too long, mold will develop.
It is simple to wipe away a low level of condensation from a surface. Yet, heavy condensation may cause significant damage to your flooring, drywall, and appliances. Again, good ventilation and a dehumidifier can remove excess water in the air, reducing a property's condensation and preventing mold growth. Also, lower the risk of condensation by insulating colder surfaces or objects, such as cold-water pipes.
If humidity, condensation, or a water leak isn't the culprit for mold, a roof leak might be the cause of the problem. You may have a leaking roof if you have broken shingles or your gutters or gutter glossary are clogged or damaged.
The above issues can cause moisture to damage your walls, ceiling boards, insulation, and potentially the main areas of your home or business. If you suspect a roof leak is to blame, contact a professional roofer to immediately identify and repair the problem. Also, you will need to treat the affected areas, and if affected, you must replace any insulation with mold growth.
Flooding can cause significant water damage to your walls, floors, furniture, appliances, and infrastructure. Unfortunately, excess water can lead to excess mold if not treated properly and immediately. In addition to removing excess water as soon as possible, you must dispose of any damaged items, including any affected flooring or drywall, to stop mold from spiraling out of control. Once the water and destroyed items are removed, you must treat your home with soap and hot water to banish mold before applying a disinfectant solution or mold spray.
What are the Health Risks of Mold?
Mold can play havoc with your health, as well as your property. It could potentially cause or exacerbate one or more health issues, including:
- Respiratory infections
- Allergic reactions
Also, some people and ages are more likely to be affected by mold than others, such as:
- Infants and children
- Elderly people
- People with weakened immune systems, such as a person undergoing chemotherapy
- People with a respiratory condition, such as asthma or allergies
- People with a skin condition, such as eczema
For the above reasons, you must not think twice about identifying and resolving a mold issue in your home or business. It will protect your, your loved ones, or your employees' health.
Can Mold Damage a Property's Structural Integrity?
If left untreated, mold damage can and will cause significant damage to your property's structural integrity. It will make its way to your walls, floorboards, roof, and ceiling if allowed to do so. If you leave it untreated for too long, the problem might become irreversible, and your property might be deemed uninhabitable due to its structural and health risks.
A Reduced Property Value
It makes sense that property buyers will not want to buy a home or commercial space infested with mold. For this reason, you can trust a mold problem will cause your property to lose value, as it isn't always an easy problem to resolve. Also, it might force them to question what other issues are lurking inside the property, which will likely lead to a lower offer if you are lucky enough to receive one at all.
How to Treat Mold at Home
If a small patch of mold develops in your home, you must strive to identify the cause to prevent the problem from returning and spreading. In the meantime, you can treat mold by cleaning the affected area with cold and hot water before applying a mold removal product or a disinfectant. If mold is on your wall or ceilings, you must scrap away paint or wallpaper before using a mold spray. Also, use a toothbrush to clean tight, hard-to-reach areas.
Top Tips for Preventing Mold
Once you have removed mold from your surfaces and resolved the issue, you must take steps to ensure the problem never returns.
For example, you must:
- Turn on a dehumidifier regularly
- Ventilate your home by opening your windows and doors
- Regularly dust, vacuum, and clean your property
- Change your shower curtains regularly
- Open your curtains during the day to welcome light and fresh air
- Remove moldy objects, such as carpet, furniture, or drywall
- Reseal your windows, doors, and pipes if they aren't watertight
- Insulate your home to lower humidity and condensation (a must-do for winter)
- Call in the professionals following the first signs of mold damage
Mold can damage your home or business in many ways, from destroying its aesthetic appeal and residents' health to impacting your property's structural integrity and value. As mold can be caused by several factors, you must strive to rule out each potential issue to create a safe, healthy environment.
Contact experts to identify and resolve the problem the second you spot that there is an issue. Also, don't hesitate to throw away any affected items and clean all affected areas to prevent the issue from returning in the future. You can then sleep well in your bed each night, knowing the property is mold-free, and your loved ones or employees are safe and healthy.