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Mold In Your Home? Here's How to Address It

Builders Site Protection is a provider of surface protection and PPE materials and equipment for construction companies.

What’s the deal with mold in a home?

In short, mold can grow anywhere that there is a source of moisture. In a home, this means that mold is most commonly found behind drywall, under sinks, in basements, attics, and in any other dark hard to reach area. The darker and cooler an area is relative to the climate around it, the more likely it is mold will grow there.

Not only will mold find places that meet these conditions, it can do so extremely quickly. Mold can begin growing in as little as 12 hours. Once established, mold spores can begin being released in as little as 24 hours – at which point mold growth will quickly accelerate. Once these mold spores are released into the air, they can cause unpleasant symptoms in people, such as coughing, nasal congestion, and eye irritation.

In addition, mold has an easy to discern smell, which is extremely unpleasant. Often times you can smell mold before you see it, so be aware of any particularly musty and foul odors emanating from wet, dark, or hard to reach places.

So how do you know if you have mold in your home?

Easiest of all is simply seeing mold. It will appear dark relative to the colors and surfaces it is growing on. However, mold often grows in places that are difficult to see. Before obvious mold shows up in a family room, it will have been growing in the basement for months, for example.

Take note of any distinct and unpleasant musty odors. Frequently the smell will allow you to diagnose mold growth in places that cannot be seen. Mold can even grow behind furniture, under or even inside appliances, and behind drywall. These are all difficult areas to spot, so any foul odor coming from those areas warrants checking for mold.

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If a home has had any water damage or standing water, its odds of having mold increase dramatically. Thoroughly check for mold wherever a leak has been or where water has been standing.

Worse still, if persistent cold-like symptoms fail to clear, or if you feel like you have been suffering allergies out of season, it may be caused by mold. Mold reproduces incredibly quickly, and its microscopic spores may be inundating a home, causing adverse reactions.

Finally, mold can damage the surfaces it is growing on. Particle board can warp, paint can be discolored, and drywall can bubble. All of these are indicative of mold growth. Mold often grows behind drywall, so these signs mean that mold is very likely to be found nearby – or even inside a wall.

If you have mold, then what’s the next step?

Fortunately, mold can be easy to remove even as a DIY’er. Start by identifying and removing any source of moisture. Mold cannot grow without moisture being present, so remove that moisture. Once mold is found, mold-killing coatings such as Fiberlock’s AfterShock solution can be applied directly to mold, killing it almost instantly. Negative Air Filtration equipment called Air Scrubbers can comb through air and remove mold spores while mold remediation work is being done. Small machines called Mold Foggers can evenly distribute anti-mold solutions throughout attics, basements, and other difficult to reach places where mold is present.

All of these materials and this equipment is widely available to buy or rent.

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