A MOLDY home is unattractive and can cause health problems for residents – but luckily there are ways to prevent it from growing.
Millions of Americans are living with mold, with a couple of studies by Harvard University suggesting up to 70% could be affected.
Typically, mold builds up in damp environments, meaning areas such as bathrooms and bedrooms, as well as places you dry washing.
You’re at greater risk if you have leaks in roofs, windows or pipes, or if your home has been flooded.
If you don’t, it doesn’t mean you’ll never see a moldy home but there are a number of ways to deal with it.
It’s important to keep in mind this summer as mold grows faster in hot weather.
Mike Powell, a mold assessor and owner of Florida-based Red Flag Home Inspection, told The Sun the most effective method to deal with mold is to prevent it in the first place.
He said: “Once mold growth occurs, certain surfaces/materials are extremely difficult to clean.
“Harder and less porous surfaces can be easily cleaned, but more porous [surfaces] may require replacement.”
A simple strategy to spot potential mold in your home is to monitor your water bill, said Kris Lippi, real estate broker and owner of ISoldMyHouse.com.
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If you get a high bill and you haven’t been using excessive amounts of water, it’s likely you have a leak in your home.
Should that be the case, get the leak fixed as soon as possible and contact your water provider.
It takes less than a minute to check your water bill each month, and it could save you thousands of dollars in the long term in repairs.
If you don’t fix the leak, you’re creating a suitable environment for mold to grow.
Mr Powell added that some molds can grow with as little as 48 hours of moisture.
Other ways to prevent and get rid of mold
If you’ve already spotted mold in your home, or you’re unsure what else you can do to prevent it, there are plenty of ways.
- Open the windows
One easy way to dry out the mold is to create ample ventilation in the area.
This includes either opening windows, and using fans or the AC.
You can also use exhaust vents to avoid moisture and humidity buildup, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom, Mr Lippi noted.
Alternatively, another idea is to use a dehumidifier.
2. Use sprays, vinegar or bleach
If you’ve spotted mold on drywall in your home, you can try to use vinegar or sprays designed to eliminate it.
Once fully removed and dried, it’s worth painting it over with mold-resistant paint, said Ruth Shin, homeowner and founder of PropertyNest.
While this won’t kill any existing mold nor the growth of it, it can prevent new incidents of mold.
If you decide to use bleach, make sure not to use a solution with more than one cup of bleach in one gallon of water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You should also never mix it with ammonia or other household cleaners.
3. Remove carpeting
If you haven’t already, it may be worth removing any carpeting in your home where it could become damp or soggy.
This might be in the basement or the bathroom.
Ms Shin added: “If your mold is in carpeting, you can try to dry it out but you will still need to remove all the spores.
“It’s easier to actually just throw it out or cut the affected area out.
“You’ll also need to make sure you can dry out and remove any spores that might be on your flooring underneath.”
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