In buildings, mold issues are the result of water and moisture problems. Mold can grow in 24 to 48 hours after a water intrusion, and can be found in many hidden, dark places. As a home owner, you must take mold issues very seriously and react quickly to the sighting. Eliminating the mold yourself can save the cost of hiring a mold remediation specialist.
Common Causes of Mold
There are many things can can cause mold issues in your home. These are the most common items to inspect to prevent mold before it starts.
- Leaky Roof- in addition to obvious drips, look for spots on the ceiling and in the attic.
- Leaky Pipes- Sometimes can be hidden behind walls and between floors.
- Musty Smell- If something smells musty, you already have elevated mold levels.
- Broken Windows- Broken or poorly sealed windows promote condensation which can lead to mold.
- Damaged Siding- Damage to your home’s siding or brick lets water infiltrate behind the walls.
- Broken Humidifier- Excessive humidity promotes mold growth.
Tips to Prevent Mold
- Regularly inspect and maintain windows, roofing, and plumbing.
- Fix leaks and make repairs immediately.
- Be on alert for water stains, areas prone to condensation, and musty odors.
- Learn about moisture and prevention.
- Keep humidity below 50%.
- Promote increased airflow and ventilation.
- Wipe condensation droplets immediately
- Don’t carpet bathrooms or damp basements.
- Ensure that exhaust fans are working.
- Add mold inhibitors to paint before painting
- Use mold-killing products when cleaning bathrooms.
- Vacuum frequently to remove mold spores.
- Remove carpets and upholstery if ever soaked.
Mold Remediation Action Plan
Follow these steps to minimize of eliminate damage if you have a mold problem.
- ACTION: Take action within 24-48 hours of water intrusion.
- REPAIR: Repair the water problem and eliminate moisture source ASAP.
- RELOCATE: Temporarily leave your home, if necessary, during mold remediation .
- SCHEDULE: Schedule work with remediation company.
- PROTECTION: Wear protective clothing if you are remediating the mold yourself.
- REGULATIONS: Be sure remediation efforts meed EPA guidelines. Isolate or seal off contaminated areas
- REPORT: Document remediation efforts (writing, photos, video).
- CLEAN: Seal off rooms; clean or remove building materials.
- Scrub items made of nonporous materials.
- Launder or discard any porous items.
- DRY: Use fans or dehumidifiers to dry the area.
- TEST: Use a mold test kit or inspection service to make sure all the mold has been eliminated.
The following infographic, created by the American Apartment Owners Association, features typical mold situations, steps for mold remediation, and helpful tips on how to prevent mold in the future.