As the temperatures start to rise again, warm air is trickling in and so is the moisture. While this brings on many feelings of relief and motivation to get outside, it’s also important to remember that warmer temperatures come with their own problems. Spring is typically the peak of “mold season” which threatens a number of issues for homeowners.
Thawing ice and melting snow as well as higher concentrations of moisture create the perfect conditions for water damage and mold soon after. So it’s recommended to keep an eye out during spring cleaning, noting that it may not only be dust that’s triggering allergies; mold may be lurking behind walls and under floors.
Control the Moisture that Controls the Mold
While you may not be able to control mold growth, you can control moisture. As long as mold does not have an ample source of moisture, it cannot grow. Be sure to stay wary of each of the following:
- Moisture: Moisture is only one of two requirements for mold to grow. Food sources containing cellulose are present in all areas of the home, allowing the fungus to grow anywhere moisture is present. Moisture sources can include any of the following: water damage, condensation, indoor flooding, and humidity.
- Food source: Cellulose is an organic substance present within all homes and buildings. It also happens to be one of the primary sources on which mold feeds, commonly found in wood, insulation, drywall, and furnishings. Mold can also feed on dust.
- Mold spores: Of course, mold also requires the presence of spores in the air, a substance that flows naturally throughout all homes and buildings.
While two of the three requirements are always present, it’s crucial to control the moisture within your home or apartment to prevent the development of mold growth. Remember that higher concentrations of moisture allow for mold spores to attach themselves to building structures, growing and feeding on the cellulose.
When controlling the moisture content, mold removal professionals recommend maintaining moisture levels between 30 and 50%. Levels any higher than 50 allow for mold growth, but any less than 30 can also create negative health effects. Ensure that each area within the home, including the bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen are well ventilated to prevent moisture from accumulating within the spaces.
There are hygrometers available online as well as professionals who will be happy to test the moisture levels in your home to ensure it’s safe for everyone.
If at any time you find mold growth on your property, be sure to identify the source and maintain your distance. Don’t hesitate to call for professional mold remediation to have it removed at the source, preventing further property damage and negative health effects for your family.
Identifying Mold Growth
It’s not hard to identify mold growth in your home once you see it, but sometimes it’s hidden. It commonly grows within walls, floors, and ceilings, making it difficult to spot. It often makes itself noticeable through smell, producing a musty odor that doesn’t take long to spread throughout the home. Try your best to locate the source by following the odor.
Another way to find hidden mold growth is by searching for areas with a high risk for water damage. Areas like the bathrooms, kitchens, and around doors and windows often come into contact with high levels of moisture, making them susceptible to water damage. Be sure to frequently check these areas for water damage and/or mold growth.
Pipes, appliances, and air conditioning units also face a high risk for mold growth. Leaking pipes or condensation buildup on the pipes is enough to allow a hoard of mold spores to accumulate within the area, spreading to the surrounding building materials. And don’t forget about the attic, basement, or crawlspace as these are also areas with high concentrations of moisture.
How to Prevent Mold During the Spring
The extent of the mold growth will often determine whether or not it should be handled by a mold removal professional or yourself as a DIY project. If the growth is minor, it can be handled with some bleach and/or vinegar. But for larger areas, professionals must be called to remove it using commercial-grade cleaning products.
Trying to remove large amounts of mold growth without proper technique or resources can result in worse problems for homeowners. Disturbed mold colonies will often react defensively, releasing additional spores and pushing them to spread to new areas throughout the home. Heightened health risks will also occur from improper cleaning techniques. Mold remediation specialists are fully trained and experienced in removing mold at the source while preventing it from spreading in the process.
While it’s difficult to remove mold once it grows, preventing it is much easier. Here are some mold prevention steps to take during the springtime:
- Dry any spills and leaks before mold has a chance to grow.
- Clean out the drip pans of the A/C unit.
- Keep the moisture levels low within your home.
- Wipe off all condensation on pipes, plumbing fixtures, windows, and walls.
- Clean out your gutters to allow water to move freely away from the foundation.
- Use water and detergent to scrub any minor mold growth off walls.
Professional Mold Removal
The spring is an exciting time to get back outside and enjoy the sunny weather again, but humidity and higher levels of moisture are always threatening mold growth within homes and buildings. Especially during the springtime, homeowners must always be wary of mold and their effects on building structures and personal health.
It’s important to take all precautions necessary to prevent it, however, if you do find mold in your home that’s covered more than a few square feet, a mold removal professional, such as ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete must be called. Be sure to do it quickly to prevent the fungus from spreading to new areas on the property and affecting walls, floors, ceilings, insulation, and furnishings. Doing so can also protect the health and safety of everyone in the home.
For a free estimate on your next mold removal service in Staten Island, Brooklyn, NY or the surrounding areas, contact the professionals at ServiceMaster by Restoration Complete at (718) 984-6660.