Whether you’re a home buyer, homeowner, or home seller, mold poses a wide range of problems, from cosmetic issues to serious health hazards. According to the Alliance for Healthy Homes, more than 1,000 types of molds have been found in U.S. homes, and approximately 6-10 percent of the general population, and 15-50 percent of people who are genetically prone to develop allergies, are allergic to mold.
Surprisingly, some of today’s advanced building techniques unwittingly foster mold growth in the home. As buildings are increasingly designed to prevent the infiltration and exfiltration of air, the materials used lock in moisture and humidity. Older homes are at risk thanks to leaky windows and roofs that bring in even more moisture.
Finding and removing mold is of the utmost importance, whether you intend to sell your home in the near future or not. Here, from home inspection experts, Pillar To Post (www.pllartopost.com), are 10 tips for combating mold in your home:
1. Call in a home inspection professional to assess water-damaged areas.
2. Keep humidity low. Humidity levels should be under 40% in order for mold to stop its forward march.
3. Replace any carpets and furniture that have ever been significantly damaged (i.e., saturated in water), even if they look OK on the outside.
4. Carpet in a bathroom or basement is never a good idea. Remove any that exists in those areas in your home.
5. Use an air conditioner during the summer months, even if it’s set at a relatively high temperature, like 80. Use fans to circulate air.
6. Dust and clean furniture regularly, and vacuum carpets at least once a week (make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter).
7. Provide adequate ventilation in hot areas. The kitchen and bath are two of the highest-risk rooms for mold. Install exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom.
8. When you’re shopping for house paint for big or small painting projects, ask the sales rep about mold inhibitors you can add before painting.
9. Does your central air system have a fan from the Ford Pinto era? If so, replace it with a high-performance electrostatic air filter. Your local HVAC technician can help with this.
10. Don’t neglect areas underneath the house—have a professional drain and ventilate all sub-basement areas, especially crawl spaces.
If you do find mold in your home, remove it with a store-bought anti-fungal solution, or get rid of it with a weak bleach solution—1 cup bleach in 1 gallon of water. Or, if mold exists in a larger area, call in a professional to help.
As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have a wealth of real estate and homeownership information that may be of help to you. Feel free to contact me any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.