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carpet mold and mildew removal

Preventing Carpet Mold and Mildew

If you have recently washed your carpet or you have issues with excessive moisture in your home, then you should be aware that it is a situation where mildew and mold may grow well. This is an excellent opportunity for them to use the abundant water present in it as a nourishing source of food, which makes it doubly important for you to keep your carpet clean and dry as often as possible so you won’t have it be the host of such growth. Many people are allergic to mold and mildew so you will do well if you avoid having it in your home where it may eventually enter your lungs and your body. The following tips will give you some insight into what you can do to keep it out of your life. Read More

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10 Hidden Dangers in Your Bathroom

Whether it’s a strictly utilitarian space or a carefully decorated and designed oasis where you unwind in a bath after a long day, your bathroom is one of the most important rooms in your home. What you may not realize, however, is that it can also be one of the most dangerous. There are several things that can pose safety risks in your bathroom, and most homeowners aren’t even aware of the hazard. These are ten of the most common hidden dangers present in bathrooms, and ways that you can restore your restroom to a relative level of safety. Read More

mold free bathroom

Preventing mold with bathroom ventilation

A properly installed vent fan is an essential weapon against bathroom mold.

Most people understand that mold likes moisture. That’s why bathrooms are so vulnerable to mold. Water that gets onto the bathroom floor after showering or bathing is an obvious concern. But waterproof flooring materials like ceramic tile or sheet vinyl do a good job of minimizing the mold potential of water that gets on the floor. Of greater concern is moisture in the air –moisture that can permeate wall and ceiling materials because of poor bathroom ventilation.
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Could Your Allergies Be Caused By Mold In Your Home?

Having allergies from seasonal changes is bad enough, but things can get even worse when we’re regularly exposed to molds within our own homes.  While pollen-based allergy flare-ups generally only hit at peak times such as late summer, household mold not only has its own heavy attack times—during the moisture of winter, for example—, but it is a pernicious annoyance all year long.   Read More

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Real Estate Transactions and Failure to Disclose

Almost every single home buyer should be cautious of failure to disclose issues. Failure to disclose generally refers to the sellers failure to disclose material defects with the property. When sellers fail to disclose they will be held liable for damages sustained by the buyer. It is important to make sure you know your rights. Below we discuss some of your rights and the duties of sellers with regards to the sale of any residential real property.

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7 Safe and Simple Steps to Clean Up The Clutter

Do you have a cluttered basement or garage that needs clearing and reorganizing that you keep putting off? Do you know what could be lingering in and around your personal belongings? Mold tends to occur in high moisture environments and areas that aren’t ventilated, such as storage areas. And if you’ve been procrastinating, it has only made it worse, allowing mold to grow.

Calling a professional is by far the best way to properly handle mold removal. However, there is a safe process that needs to be followed, if you do decide to try clean up the clutter on your own. Simply throwing out your belongings may not take care of the problem. The mold can spread.

Do it right by following these steps:

  1. Know your reaction to mold – Before anything, it might be best to know your weaknesses. Do you have allergies to mold? *If you happen to be allergic to mold or the mold damage seems too catastrophic, don’t be a hero. Skip to step 7 and Call a professional.
  2. Check before you touch – Before moving your belongings, inspect the area for water damage, leaking pipes, ceilings and roofs. This is usually a sure sign that there could be mold damage.
  3. Prioritize what you want to keep – If you do see some water damage to your belongings, organize your belongings into lists of what you want to keep and what you want to toss.
  4. Toss the rest!– Throw out all of the things you don’t want anymore. If you’re unsure about tossing something, just ask yourself, ‘is it worth cleaning?’ If not, toss it.
  5. Salvage other items – Make sure the items you do want to keep can be cleaned fairly easy. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the mold removal process to be completed correctly. For difficult items, or items that seem unsalvageable, call a professional. Keep in mind, even dead mold can still be allergenic, and some even toxic.
  6. Thoroughly inspect the area – Upon completion, scrutinize the area again once the items have been removed and see if the water damage is on or in anything else that would be impossible for you to finish the mold removal process, such as walls.
  7. Call a professional – If there is more water damage, do it right. Professional mold removal is the safest option, regardless of the damage.

Mold can be detrimental to your personal environment and to your health, which can vary depending on the type of mold and your body’s reaction to mold. Be safe when dealing with mold removal, but more importantly, be smart.

This guest post was contributed by Samuel Ott, a mold removal specialist with Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling. He is currently completing his studies at the University of Missouri.

Prevent Mold Growth By Lowering Moisture Levels in Your Home

There are thousands of different types of mold all around us. Some are beneficial to us, like molds that are used to make yogurt, cheese, beer and wine, and especially penicillin. Whereas others can kill us, like the nasty black molds you hear about in the news that release poisonous mycotoxins.

Molds are very good at surviving in all conditions, which makes them so hard to get rid of once they start growing. All mold really needs to grow and thrive are food and water and they don’t need any sunlight. For food they especially like cellulose or wood which makes parts of your home, like the sheet rock or wood floors, a veritable mold buffet. Once you add in water, mold will start to take hold and within 48 hours it will produce spores that will spread out and find new places in your home to grow. The spores are what cause that nasty moldy smell and the health problems and allergies in many individuals.

Water for mold growth can come from several different sources, including a crack that will allow outside moisture to seep into your home, from a leaky pipe, or from high humidity. Humidity is moisture in the air and is measured in terms of relative humidity. When relative humidity levels go above 50% things start to become very uncomfortable for you. If you’ve experienced a warm summer day, especially along the Southern coast of the US, then you know what I’m talking about with that hot, muggy feeling, where you are sweating all the time and it’s hard to breath. As the humidity levels rise, condensation will form on surfaces in your home. This looks like sweat on walls or windows. This excess water is just an invitation for mold to move into your home and start breeding. The only way to reduce humidity levels in your home is through the use of a high quality dehumidifier. You can check out this top 5 list (outside link) to find one of the best models.

What are some important things you can you do to prevent mold growth? You can’t eliminate the mold’s food sources because that is essentially the main structures your home. So, one of the best ways to prevent mold growth is to limit its water sources. Here are the steps you need to take to eliminate excess water.

  1. Check for cracks
    If you have any cracks in the foundation of your home, then water will easily seep in from the outside. Basements are especially vulnerable. You should inspect all around the inside and outside of your home at the foundation to check for any cracks and patch them up using cement. Waterproofing the inside of your basement with specialized coating is also a good idea if you have a persistent water problem.
  2. Check for leaks
    You may have a leaky water pipe that is causing a moisture build-up. Many times you can repair the leak yourself using plumber’s putty and silicone caulk. In other cases, where the pipe is difficult to access, or you simply can’t stop the leak yourself, you’ll need to call a plumber. It may cost you a bit up front, but it will save you from a very costly long term problem.
  3. Test humidity levels
    You can do this using a humidistat, which you can find for about $10 at any hardware store. If humidity levels are above 60% for several days, then you have a humidity problem and a potential mold problem. The best way to lower humidity levels is through the use of a high quality dehumidifier.
  4. Purchase a dehumidifier based on the size and conditions of the wet rooms.
    You’ll need to measure the size of each room and match it up to a dehumidifier that can handle that size space. Generally large 70 pint portable models have enough capacity to handle 1,400 square feet. You can read dehumidifier reviews (outside link) to find out which models stand out.

The bottom line is that the best way to solve a mold problem is to prevent it from happening. That means eliminating the sources of moisture that allow mold to thrive. By planning ahead today and taking preventative measures you can save yourself from potential health problems and a very costly mold cleanup in the future.

This guest post was contributed by Will Turnage of DehumidifierAuthority.com, a site dedicated to providing resources and recommendations to help folks choose the right dehumidifier.

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How Mold Can Affect Refinancing Options

If you’re thinking about refinancing your home, there are steps that you can take to make the process go as smoothly as possible. One thing that you have to keep in mind is that the mortgage company will require an inspection and appraisal of your property. You should never assume that all is well. By having your own inspection done first, you can be made aware of a serious problem like a mold infestation before you begin the refinancing process. It’s smart to deal with a mold problem before you apply to refinance your home. The following information will explain why that is.

Types of Mold Infestations

Mold is natural, but it’s not something that you want in your home. There are varying degrees of mold infestations, but your goal should be to have a mold-free home prior to beginning the refinancing process. There are three main types of mold infestations:

  • Pathogenic Molds
    While these types of molds can cause infections, they usually only affect people who have suppressed immune systems. They can also pose a serious danger to pets and infants.
  • Allergenic Molds
    These types of molds cause trouble for people who suffer from conditions like asthma and allergies. Healthy folks may not be affected by the presence of these molds, but they are still a nuisance and can cause problems during the refinancing process.
  • Toxigenic Molds
    This group includes the infamous “black mold” that can be a deal-breaker during the refinancing process. The presence of this mold can stop a real estate transaction in its tracks. It is imperative to have this type of mold taken care of as quickly as possible because it can cause serious health problems.

How Does Mold Affect Property Values?

When a bank orders an inspection and appraisal of a property during the refinancing process, it does so to compare its value to the value of nearby, recently sold homes. The presence of mold can throw things for a loop in a major way. Banks don’t want to finance loans for homes that have mold in them. The presence of mold can seriously reduce the value of a property, which could cause serious problems for you during the refinancing process. It’s well worth it to have an inspection done prior to applying for home loan refinancing. If mold is found, you can pay for mold remediation services to take care of the issue.

How Mold Limits Refinancing Options

The odds of getting competitive mortgage refinancing rates for a mold-infested home are very slim. If the problem is severe enough, you may not even be able to refinance your home at all. This isn’t something that you want to find out during the refinancing application process. A good inspection will reveal the presence of serious types of mold, and you will then have the opportunity to remedy the situation before you try to refinance your home. Once the situation has been handled, you will be able to refinance your home and should have an easier time qualifying for great rates.

This guest post was contributed by Jonah Trenton of RefinanceMortgageRates.org, a consumer based organization with a goal to help homeowners avoid the many pitfalls of the current mortgage market.

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