Dealing with a mold problem in your home can be a daunting and scary experience. It is hard to know what to do first in situations that seem overwhelming. However, it is important to tackle a mold issue right away, so that it does not become worse and even more daunting of a problem. So what do you do if you have mold in your crawl space? This article will aim to help you break down the process and guide you in making decisions about your home and mold issues in your crawl space.
As if dealing with a flooded home wasn’t enough, you then have to worry about the very real possibility of the unwelcome intruder that is mold (when it rains it pours and all that – quite literally in this case!). And with floods holding the accolade of leading natural disasters in America today – unavoidable, even, in many regions of the country – it’s something that may be closer than you think. Read about the role of mold in post Hurricane Katrina deaths here. So, what should you do if the unthinkable happens and you have to deal with a flooded property?
As if finding a suitable rental home wasn’t hard enough, you then have the constant challenges that living in someone else’s property inevitably brings.
It can be hard to know where one responsibility ends and another begins; namely in the general wear and tear of our everyday lives. But what of mold? Who should be left to deal with this if the unthinkable were to occur?
There is quite a bit of contradictory advice when it comes to testing for mold in the home; namely, whether it’s a DIY-type job or one that calls for the experts. But as with most things, it’s not a black and white answer, with different circumstances requiring different approaches. Before we explain further, however, let’s outline the factors that may lead you to check your home for mold in the first place:
At some point you may find yourself wondering if you have mold in your walls. Perhaps you have been through a flood or identified a leak in your home that has been there for awhile. Now, as you start the cleanup, you may wonder what the least destructive (and least expensive) method is for determining the extent of the damage and if there is indeed mold in your walls.
Mold related illnesses may be one of the most prominent health issues that doctors are missing today. They can be a true hidden illness that goes undiagnosed for years. What a scary thought!
There are potentially millions of people who are currently suffering from a mystery illness, and their doctors don’t have a clue what is causing their ailments. They are often referred to doctor after doctor, repeatedly being turned away.
Mold toxins are so unique, and their effects are wide and far-reaching. Symptoms of mold related illnesses are complex and they can be mistaken for many other illnesses. All of this makes it difficult for doctors to find the correct diagnosis.
Mold in the Winter
As the cool weather blows in and we pack up our bathing suits until next year, our minds tend to turn to snowball fights and Christmas trees. Winter is a great season where we enjoy family and friends, hot cocoa and mold. Wait? Mold?!?
The cold, wet months of winter are some of the most opportunistic times for mold growth. Luckily there are some steps you can take in advance to prevent mold growth in your home throughout the winter season.
Is Your Baby at Risk from Toxic Mold?
This time of year brings lots of sneezes and wheezes to young babies as the warm weather is replaced with colder temperatures. Going outside may seem like a bad idea to those parents whose children suffer with seasonal allergies or are susceptible to colds and flus. You may be tempted to stay indoors. But what if staying inside is actually worse? If mold is present in your home, your baby could be at a higher risk indoors.
DIY vs Professional
Are you a “DIY-er” at heart? A lot of people love the thrill of taking on home projects from building their own furniture to remodeling a kitchen. DIY can be a great hobby, involve the entire family and save a lot of money. But what about when it comes to major issues like mold remediation?
Mold inside your house is a serious condition. If you’ve seen some or suspect it in your home, you may be wondering what the best method is to remove it. No matter what, mold is definitely different than your typical home maintenance project. When it comes to mold remediation in your home, should you try to DIY or should you call in the professionals?
Hurricanes, Rain, and Mold
What happens to a city when a storm system dumps an entire year’s worth of rain in just 3 days? In late August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated the city of Houston, Tx and surrounding areas. The storm left 33 trillion gallons of water on U.S. soil before finally weakening. As you can imagine, the flooding experienced in Houston was intense. Many lives were lost. Homes were ripped apart, bridges collapsed and dams gave way. Even though the hurricane is now in the rear-view mirror, the health catastrophe continues to unfold in slow motion. While the focus of the news was on the shear amount of rainfall in the city (upwards of 50 inches in some locations), mold will be an issue for months and potentially years to come.
So, the question remains: after the wrath of a big storm has passed, what should a homeowner or renter do to keep mold from growing in their homes? Here are the essential steps to consider after your home has been flooded.
Mold in Basements: Mold Symptoms
Mold in the basement can be a major problem and can seriously worry you. Mold can easily grow in the basement of your house or apartment building, especially in old buildings. This can create a very unhealthy living environment. How can you recognize the existence of basement mold?
What is damp?
Damp occurs when moisture or water builds up within the structure of a building – often in the floor, walls or the ceiling. It can occur for a huge number of reasons, often related to poor building quality and it has become a serious problem in the UK, reducing the quality of living conditions in many households across the country.
Aside from causing physical damage to the upholstery and aesthetics of a property, damp can also cause structural problems as well as having health implications for those who live with severe cases. That’s why it can be so important to have a damp survey completed on your property if you’re worried about damp.
Signs of an Unhealthy Home
When it comes to mold, the most commonly discussed topics are moisture and the effects of mold on the health of the home’s residents. While moisture and health concerns are vital symptoms of mold that can’t be ignored, it is still important that the homeowner or renter be prepared to recognize the presence of mold long before excessive moisture and bad health set off alarms.
Think of your home like you would your own body. When you’re ill, your body displays symptoms that give clues as to what the root sickness is. Doctors can’t diagnose your illness, disease, syndrome, or disorder until they have considered all the symptoms and ruled out false causes. The same detective work should be done in relation to your home.
There are three symptoms—aside from moisture and health issues—that reveal the presence of mold in the home.
Exposure to mold is more common than you think!
Your home may be infected with mold, but you don’t realize it. Exposure to mold is common both inside and outside the home. Some people are more sensitive than others, especially those with allergies and asthma. Because mold spores are very small and can easily be inhaled into the lungs, it is harmful to live in a home with high mold levels. Exposure to high spore levels can cause severe mold allergies.
Many unseen problems can potentially affect the price of your property. These problems can be categorized into three groups: physical, functional and external obsolescence. Fortunately, most of these problems are curable. Left unchecked, these problems can carry stigma, which can affect real estate values in the long-term.
When it comes to getting rid of mold, it is best to view the approach in two stages – defense, and offense. Prevention is a much easier way of getting rid of mold than actually having to get rid of it, and you will find that the processes involved in preventing mold from growing are actually not that much work at all. Of course, sometimes these things slip past, and you will find that it can become a problem really quickly, without you even really realizing it. In this case, you need to know exactly how to rid yourself of the mold, as the infestation of the house can be rapid as soon as it takes a hold. Remember that mold is a living thing that grows, so you really must get rid of it in the right way, as otherwise it can cause health problems as well as looking horrible!
When a new home is purchased or built, there are many things that can be done to make certain it provides a healthy environment. Mold prevention is considered a top priority with homeowners. Mold is considered a contaminant that is harmful to a person’s respiratory system. Toxic spores breathed in for an extended period of time can be fatal. There are certain things a homeowner can do to prevent mold from developing in their house.
When it comes to mold growing in the house, you would do very well indeed to get rid of it, or even better, to avoid it in it’s entirety! You will find that there is a huge amount to be said for ensuring that you are following the simple steps towards mold free living, because it can be more than just unsightly, though it certainly is that! Whilst mold growing in the corners on on your clothes will look disgusting and show that the place is not very well cared of, you may also have heard that it is very bad for the health. The spores get in to the air, and can be bad for those breathing it all in, especially the young, or those with respiratory diseases or difficulty. Have a look over these easy step to ensure that you are not encouraging mold in your home.
Ventilate the house. As a general rule, you should ventilate your house well if the place is prone to damp and mold. A decent cycle of air will ensure that your whole house is drying out nicely, rather than sitting in stagnant air that does not encourage anything other than festering damp. You may find that opening the windows is not an option when the weather is bad, so try getting ventilation window fittings installed. You will be surprised at how effective fresh air can be in giving the place a really fresh feel, and a much more revitalized scent overall!
After baths and showers, open the windows. If your house is prone to mold, then it is even more important that you open the windows after having had a hot bath. The steam form the hot water will settle in all sorts of places, seeping in to the paint work and various areas of the fittings, leaving you in a situation where you will have mold showing in a matter of days. Even if the weather is bad, it is pretty essential that you open the windows at least a little. Try just opening them a crack if it is raining hard outside, it will be worth it. You should notice that the glass in the room loses it’s mist pretty quickly.
Do not leave wet clothes lying in heaps! Clothing is a perfect place for mold to grow, as it’s fibers give it a great amount of coverage and an easy place to grow. The damp that clothes will retain is they are left crumpled up will also encourage this, as warm and damp conditions are exactly what mold will require. Sweaty clothes from exercise or wet clothes form the rain should be washed immediately, or else left hanging in a ventilated place to dry properly. Do not leave them in the washing basket with everything else, as they will cause havoc!
Avoid getting your upholstered furniture wet. The padding in upholstery will take on a lot of moisture, but because of how tightly it is packed, it will not dry out that easily. You will find that when cleaning a sofa, you need to use as little water as possible to avoid the chance of it getting saturated. Ventilate the room properly when you are cleaning, so that it can dry as it needs to. This problem can also be caused by leaving wet coats or just washed clothing on the sofa, and the upholstery taking on the moisture in to it’s padding. You will find that simply taking water out of the equation will help this problem massively.
If you have experienced some unpleasant smells in your home, leading you to suspect mold is involved, but you cannot pinpoint the exact source, then you should likely be aware that water damage might be involved in what happened. Mold can hide in the most out-of-the-way places you can imagine, such as the back of a dry wall, under paneling, wallpapers, on top of ceiling tiles, under carpets and rugs and more. You can likely find mold growing around slightly leaking pipes as well as the surface of the walls behind large pieces of furniture in a moist environment, inside ductworks and under the roof materials used above the ceiling tiles.
If you have a wet and moldy basement that may be due to a number of issues such as broken water pipes, spills, cracks in the foundations letting water in and more. This could become a threat to your health and your home, so you will need to do what you can to prevent it from growing. The following steps should be undertaken if you want to take control of the situation and save your basement before its too late: