Let’s face the truth - we live in Florida, which is a damp, humid, sticky swamp of a state. There’s moisture everywhere - in the summer, you can’t even walk outside without sweating like one of those old men who sit in the sauna at the gym (although hopefully you’re wearing more than the tiny hand towels they wear). And where there’s moisture, there’s a risk of mold.
Anywhere that moisture has a chance to settle, you have a risk of finding mold inside your house, from sink drains to showers, kitchen sponges to laundry rooms. Outside, you’ll find it on walls, brick and concrete walkways, and even in the yard. It’s everywhere!
What should you do when you encounter mold? First, don’t panic. Here are some tips to consider when encountering mold in your home:
1. Be cautious.
Any mold, whether it’s black, white, green, or another color, has the potential to make you feel sick and exacerbate the symptoms of asthma or allergies. Take some steps to be safe by wearing a mask, using rubber gloves when dealing with it, and working in well-ventilated areas.
2. Clean it up.
If you can pinpoint the source of the mold and clean it up with some bleach and water (one cup of bleach per one gallon of water is a good ratio), then you’ll be fine. Fix that dripping faucet, leaky pipe or hole in the roof, clean up the mold, and you shouldn’t see it again. Bathrooms are the biggest offenders, with shower drains needing regular cleaning to ensure that mold won’t build up.
3. Take preventive action.
Mold can’t grow if you don’t give it the space to grow. Keep your home well-ventilated, clean, and dry. A properly functioning and regularly maintained HVAC system will go a long way toward keeping your home mold-free. Check problem areas in your garage, laundry room, kitchen, and bathroom. Keep your exterior walls of your home clean, and pressure wash them regularly. Most importantly, keep your eyes peeled for excess moisture that can be a mold breeding ground.
4. Get rid of any porous surfaces that have been affected.
While those Febreze commercials make it look easy to cover up mold and mildew scents by spraying a few puffs of chemically enhanced spray, it’s not a good idea for your home. If you have mold on furniture, carpet, or drywall, or any other surface that is absorbent, get rid of anything porous that is affected. It might not be fun to throw away a rug or a couch that has mold damage, but it’s a lot less fun to get sick from the mold, we promise.
5. Don’t fall for scam artists when it comes to black mold
Black mold is not toxic. It’s toxigenic, which means it is capable of producing mycotoxins, which are organisms that are capable of making you sick. And while black mold is uncommon, treat it with the same respect you’d have for any other mold - wear gloves and a mask and clean it up, but most importantly, find the source of the moisture and put a stop to it!
6. Use a professional when it’s the right decision
If your home was damaged by a flood or hurricane, you may have severe mold infestation, and in those limited situations, use a professional service to clean your home. This is especially important if you’ve suffered from any type of extended power outage, as mold can flourish without a central air system keeping the air in your home dry. Mold remediation companies can not only remove the mold from visible surface areas in the home, but from within your HVAC air handler and duct system as well. Thankfully, in most situations involving mold, a small mold growth can be carefully and intelligently handled by you, bleach and water, and a little safety.
Do you have questions about selling your home after finding mold? We can talk to you about any necessary disclosures and legal requirements to make sure your home still sells without a hitch. Contact us today!