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Maintenance  /  April 18, 2017

How to Spot Mold & What to Do if Your Find It

Mold.  It is the dreaded enemy of any homeowner.  Mold causes damage to your home and potentially your health.  Sometimes, it is very easy to spot mold, but other times it may be lurking in hidden places, slowly causing damage without you realizing it.

Mold.  It is the dreaded enemy of any homeowner.  Mold causes damage to your home and potentially your health.  Sometimes, it is very easy to spot mold, but other times it may be lurking in hidden places, slowly causing damage without you realizing it.  As a homeowner, it is important to be vigilant about checking your home periodically and knowing the warning signs of mold so that, should you see any arise, you can contact a contractor or handyman to help you rid your home of mold.  While there is environmental mold everywhere – inside and outside, it is important to know have mold tested inside your home to ensure it is not toxic mold, as ABC News reports, “”Mold spores are everywhere,” said Meg Hamilton, CEO of Hamilton Thorne Biosciences. “They’re in your house, in your attic, on the street, in your living room, in your kitchen. It’s a question really of how much and what species.” Some molds are worse than others, said Tom Kelly, a director of the indoor environments division at the federal Environmental Protection Agency.”There are a relatively small number of mold species that have been identified as producing a kind of toxin called mycotoxin,” Kelly said. “What’s not clear is whether they are toxic to human beings.” Some industry experts say there’s growing evidence that they may be. “We certainly are beginning to see strong indications that the so-called toxic mold can make you very ill,” Hamilton said… Experts agree on one thing: If you’ve got mold you need to get rid of it. More importantly, you need eliminate the cause.”We say: ‘Find the moisture, eliminate the moisture, clean up the mold,’ “Kelly said. “Come back a month later, make sure it’s still gone.”

First of all, the key to preventing mold is moisture control.  If you see signs of sitting water or if a flood of any size happens in your home, it is important to immediately eradicate the moisture to prevent mold growth.  If you do not see mold anywhere but you or a family member suddenly develop allergy problems that you did not have before, your home may have a mold problem.  Another sign of mold that you cannot see with your eyes is one you can smell with your nose.  If you smell an odd or moldy smell, even if you do not see mold, it is important to investigate where that smell is coming from and if mold is lingering in hidden places.  Lastly, if you see mold, even a tiny patch, it should be addressed immediately.  Some people may mistake mold for dirt or a stain but if it remains after some basic cleaning it needs to be dealt with.  If even a small amount of mold is growing it is also important to investigate why it is growing – are the conditions of your home facilitating mold growth?  Is there leaking water?  Find out why that mold started growing so that once you eliminate it you can have peace of mind that it won’t just come right back.

So, how do you know if mold is lurking in your walls or hidden somewhere that you cannot easily see?  One of the best ways to know is smell – do you smell an odor that is similar to dirt and rotting leaves?  That may be mold.  If you see mold and it is greenish-black and/or slimy and wet or gray and slightly sooty in appearance.  But, even if you see mold or smell mold that does not mean it is black or toxic mold.  The only way to know if it’s toxic is to text a sample under a microscope.  But, ultimately, even if it isn’t toxic, no mold is good for your home and should be eradicated either way.  Speak to a professional who can properly assess whether or not you have mold and assist you in effectively and safely removing it from your home.

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