Mold and Mildew: Big But Preventable Problems

No one wants to hear the words “Mold and mildew problem” in connection with their home. Mold has become one of those red flags that will dramatically decrease the value of your home and, even worst, that can cause illness in your family.

Generally, mold and mildew (two names for basically the same thing) grow in your home where you have areas of dampness and humidity. Basements, for example, are a favorite spot for mold growth because they are prone to leaks and dampness, plus they are dark which is also good for mold growth.

Mold and Mildew Removal

We were thankful that our home didn’t have any mold issues. Our neighbor was not so lucky. When he decided to put his house on the market, he soon found out that mold was growing in his basement and he had to do something about it.

Professional mold removal is quite expensive and usually involves a lot of home destruction. However, you don’t always need to call in a professional right away. First, you should try some DIY methods. Go through and get rid of anything that has been damaged by mold, including insulation, carpeting, etc. Then create a mixture of ¼ cup bleach to a gallon of water then clean the mold area with the bleach mixture. Let it air dry.

Keep an eye on the area for a bit. If you see mold growing again, repeat the procedure but this time use a TSP (trisodium phosphate) cleaner. Be very careful when using TSP because it is dangerous and very powerful. If that still doesn’t stop the mold growth, then you’ll need to call a professional.

Mold and Mildew Prevention

You’re definitely better off preventing the growth of mold in your home than trying to remove it. The good news is there are a couple of ways you can prevent mold. For starters, make sure your home is leak-free and mold-free when you buy it. Any leak – no matter how small – can lead to mold growth. Also, make sure you thoroughly clean your home after any flooding – that excess water will definitely lead to mold growth.

Besides those tips, you should also do what you can to remove humid air from your home. Humidity is caused when the air is warmer and holds in more moisture. Even though you can’t see that moisture, it can cause enough dampness in your home to cause mold growth.

The easiest step is to always use the fans in your bathroom and your kitchen. These are the two areas which produce the most humidity, so having those fans suck the hot moist air out of your home is a definite advantage for you. You should also make sure both fans are properly working – many times they aren’t and that’s something that goes unnoticed for a long time.

Another idea is to upgrade your fans and vents to a higher CFM (cubic feet per minute) – this refers to how much air is being moved from your home. The higher your CFM the more air is being removed and the less likely your home is to develop mold.

The bottom line when it comes to mold and mildew is prevention is your best option but if that doesn’t work out then try a few home treatments before calling for professional help.