Oh goodness, doesn’t the word ‘Mold’ give you shivers? Knowing that it may be hiding in your home is a scary thought. But where does mold hide? Is all mold the same? How bad it is for your health?
I know, that is quite a list of questions, but as a realtor, these are questions that homeowners need to know when buying and selling a home.
According to Medical News Today, there are a few types of mold that we should be concerned with.
Common indoor molds include:
- Alternaria – found in damp places indoors, such as showers or under leaky sinks
- Aspergillus – often found indoors growing on dust, powdery food items and building materials, such as drywall
- Cladosporium – capable of growing in cool areas as well as warm ones. It is typically found on fabrics and wood surfaces
- Penicillium – typically found on materials that have been damaged by water and often has a blue or green appearance.
Effects of Mold on Your Health
Many people are sensitive to molds, but mold exposure does not always present a health problem indoors. Although, a moldy environment is associated with, and could worsen, indoor air pollution, which is a risk factor for certain respiratory conditions.
Molds can produce a number of substances that can be harmful. Allergens, irritants and mycotoxins are potentially toxic substances that can affect individuals who are particularly sensitive to them. The EPA says that exposure to molds can irritate the eyes, lungs, nose, skin and throats of individuals, even if they do not have a mold allergy.
Fighting Mold in Your Home
For a healthy home, monitoring and eliminating mold is crucial. Mold is sneaky, though, and it can creep up on you when you least expect it. Spores are known to stay dormant until they have the moisture and nutrients they need to bloom. While some forms of mold are obvious, others hide and thrive until musty smells become prominent or members of your family begin developing health problems.
To be a mold sleuth you need to know the top six spots where mold makes its home. Check this list to see spots you may have missed:
- The Bathroom. Yes, it’s the most common, but are you checking all the spots in the bathroom? Toilet seals, wet walls, shower curtains, and beneath sinks are well-known spots, but it’s the shower where things can get grimy. To keep mold from penetrating the tiles, you need to be sure your caulking and grout is in good shape. Otherwise, water can seep in and make a new home for mold.
- The Kitchen. Monthly, take a look under the sink, behind the fridge, and around the dishwasher. A quiet leak in any of these areas will up the odds of a mold problem.
- The Basement or Crawlspace. Darkness? Check. Proximity to the earth? Check. Hidden from view? You betcha. If basements flood or older homes have poor drainage and ventilation of the crawlspace, mold can take hold.
- The Windows. Condensation can build up here as temperatures fluctuate, and spores hanging around can gradually take hold and bloom into a black, spotty mess. This is especially true if the windows are shaded or are routinely covered by curtains.
- The Drywall. Here’s a hidden killer in the mold battle. When water gets into the materials which make up drywall, they can promote mold growth. To cure this problem you often have to remove considerable sections of drywall to identify and remove the mold. Your nose is your best guide here.
- The Carpet. Much like drywall, carpet can hold mold and need to be replaced. The underside of carpet hides much of the visible mold, and culprits contributing to the cause include flooding, moisture from concrete foundations, or even spills.
I enjoy every aspect of helping individuals buy and sell homes, even if it is dealing with mold! If you have questions or are ready to make a move, contact me at (928) 916-1921.