Taking care of your home involves many responsibilities a new homeowner may not anticipate. One such responsibility includes checking for mold.
If you’re not sure where to start, a professional can help. Mold, if left unchecked, can cause a litany of problems with your home and your health. It’s best, if you want to get ahead of the curve, to have an idea of what you’re looking for and what steps you can take to prevent an infestation.
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1. Mold in Your Home
Mold is hardly an innocuous house guest. You’ll want to have it removed from your home as quickly as possible. Once it’s taken root, mold is especially difficult to get rid of. It can also have detrimental effects on your health and the overall value of your home.
The CDC has identified mold as one of the most prominent causes behind infant pulmonary hemosiderosis. It’s also known to cause conditions including:
- Difficulty breathing
- Itching eyes and/or skin
A moldy home also serves as an incubator for early asthma in children.
Nowadays, homeowners looking to sell homes that have been exposed to mold previously in the DC area must disclose their home’s history to potential buyers. Renters and landlords must abide by laws that prioritize the health and safety of all residents. Many military homes in the Virginia Beach and Richmond areas have also fallen victim to mold infestations in recent years, suggesting that even as the CDC recommends improvements throughout the home, some residences are still falling by the wayside.
As such, it’s important to try and schedule an annual home inspection with a professional foundation and basement repair contractor in your area. They’ll be able to catch mold clusters before they can take root throughout your home.
Mold does more than put your health at risk. If you don’t actively work to keep mold out of your home, it can begin to ingrain itself into your structural supports. In doing so, it can dramatically reduce the value of your home. While it is possible to sell a home that’s been exposed to mold, you can lose up to 30 percent of your asking price if you don’t clear it out ahead of time.
2. Finding and Identifying Mold In Your Home
It’s not always easy to identify mold when it first appears in your home. You may have to contend with several different types of mold at once or individually. All of them thrive when they have ready access to moisture.
As such, you’ll want to keep an eye out for leaks as well as for mold clusters. Leaks and seepage tend to beget mold, meaning the symptoms of one may suggest the presence of the other.
Even so, there are some symptoms that are specific to the presence of mold. These include:
- Obvious growths or clusters
- Unpleasant, musty, or moist smells
- Difficulty breathing
Mold spores are airborne and will spread more quickly in homes with high humidity. Luckily, you can typically smell mold as it settles, even if you don’t have a particularly strong nose. Musty or green scents tend to give away the places in your home that are the most prone to mold. If you listen to your nose, you can help professionals find the spots in your home that’ll need the most protection.
3. Where To Look For Mold In Your Home
As mentioned, mold loves moisture. Mold also loves dark places. With that in mind, you’ll want to try and look for mold in your:
- Crawl space
- HVAC system
- Air ducts
Mold will also readily grow inside your walls if you don’t take the appropriate precautions. You won’t always be able to spot these kinds of mold clusters, which makes it all the more important to have a professional tour your home.
4. Mold and Moisture In Your Home
Mold won’t thrive without moisture. If your home has a leak, your foundation has been damaged, or you’re dealing with seepage, you’re at risk for mold. Most mold particles will take root within 24 to 48 hours of a leak springing in your home.
5. Removing Mold From Your Home
Unfortunately, it’s not always safe to remove mold from your home on your own. You’ll always want to call in a professional to help you through the process. This way, you can be certain that you’ve gotten all the mold out of your home. You can also work with a professional to prevent mold from returning.
6. Preventing Mold From Taking Root
There are a number of waterproofing solutions available to you that can help you keep mold out of your home. You’ll want to discuss your options with a professional to determine which will best suit your home.
Vapor barriers for crawl space encapsulation tend to work best if you don’t have any basement or foundation damage to contend with. If you’re dealing with cracks, settlement, or other damage on top of mold, you may want to talk to a professional about your foundation repair options like piering.
Alternatively, you can always take advantage of internal drainage systems, including sump pumps or interior drains. All of these elements will help remove moisture from your home and prevent mold from reappearing.
Take the first step in ensuring the health and safety of your home and family. Contact the basement waterproofing, crawl space repair, and foundation repair experts at JES today for a free inspection and repair estimate.