What You Need to Know About Mold in Your Home

Some of you may remember that my hubby works in homeowners insurance. He also has a background in flood insurance, and is currently working some claims from the recent Category 4 (just a few miles per hour away from a 5!) Hurricane Michael, which made landfall in Mexico Beach, Florida, earlier this month. So, when the guy tells you he knows a thing or two about mold…he knows a thing or two about mold! 

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Since Fall is now underway, most of us are doing the thorough house-cleaning that comes with a new season. (Or a new set of decor, if you’re like me!) If during that cleaning, you encounter the dreaded black or similar stains on your walls, you may rightfully be worried – you’ve found mold in your home.

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However, as my husband, and experts from Emergency Home Solutions of Orange County claim, the situation may not be as serious as you might think.

In fact, most things you read online can be attributed to overzealous mold removal companies trying to sell you their services. Even though mold can be a problem, it may not be a cause for alarm just yet. Here are some useful things to know!

Different Kinds of Mold

What do you think when you hear the word “mold”? Chances are you are thinking of the slimy black mold known as Stachybotrys. Molds belonging to this family are also known as toxic black mold, as they indeed secrete a type of toxin known as a mycotoxin. However, there are over 100,000 types of mold out there, including the greenish growth you might find on spoilt foods. What’s more, our first and most important antibiotic – penicillin came from a type of mold, so not all molds are dangerous.

Removing Mold from Your Home

Even though there are different kinds of mold and not all molds are toxic or immediately dangerous to your health, you should still act quickly if you see mold in your home. Depending on the extent and the location of the mold, you have more than one option!

If the mold is somewhere you can easily reach and clean thoroughly, such as in your bathroom or your kitchen, you can do the job yourself. A solution of vinegar and water can do the job right, but once you are done, make sure you dry the area thoroughly, or you might find that the problem will reoccur. Hydrogen peroxide can also be very effective in these areas.

However, when it comes to wood and similarly porous surfaces, you might need to call in the experts and have them perform the task with their specialized equipment. Alternatively, you can remove the affected materials altogether and ensure that the infestation is stopped.

Bleach Does Not Help As Much As You Think

Many people will tell you to use bleach to destroy the mold on any kind of surface and that this will solve the problem. Even though bleach will effectively destroy the surface growth, and even remove most of the stains caused by the mold, this is only a temporary solution. The roots and everything beneath the surface will survive and you might find yourself fighting the same problem again sooner rather than later. Not to mention the fact that bleach can damage many different surfaces.

Moisture and Darkness Are Mold’s Best Friends

The ideal conditions for mold growth are dark and damp places. That’s why you will often find mold growing around your pipes in the basement or on the underside of your kitchen and bathroom sinks.

Mold removal professionals will often bring moisture meters with them when in the field to spot the problematic areas and focus their attention on those. More often than not, that is the most effective way to find the source of the mold.

Mold Won’t Go Away Until You’ve Solved the Underlying Problem

Mold requires water, as mentioned before. Even if you manage to clean the mold thoroughly, it won’t go away completely until the water source is cut off. So, if you have a leaky roof or a pipe, you need to take care of it, or your mold problem will come back, over and over again.

It’s never a bad idea to check with your homeowners insurance to see if they cover mold and the damage it can do in a home. Hopefully you won’t be staring down that barrel this season, and you find that some of the tips shared above will help you handle the situation quickly and easily!

Have you ever discovered mold in your home? What did you do about it?

Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!

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