Aside from its unsightly appearance and foul odor, mold and mildew are toxins and pose potential health risks to each and every living thing residing in the affected area. Mold and mildew growth can be a sign of a large moisture issue in your California home and could quite possibly threaten the stability of your homes structural elements. This is definitely not something that you want to keep as company.
Luckily, mold and mildew can at times be easily spotted and identified by their speckled and thread like growths. And the distinct musty odor emitted is a dead giveaway that you have a moisture issue in your home. Your health may also provide a clue to the presence of mold and mildew in your home. Those with allergies may experience the same runny nose, itchy skin, and congestion that is attributed to that most horrid of all seasons, allergy season.
It can be frightening to consider that this irritant may be growing in your home somewhere but rest assured, there are preventative measures that one can take to safeguard his or her home from mold and mildew.
First and foremost, the source of the moisture issue needs to be discovered and repaired or remedied. Once the source of the moisture has been properly dealt with, and we can be assured that there is no longer a threat of moisture emanating from that source, examine the surrounding area for similar issues and repair as needed.
Make sure that wet items are not left to sit for long periods of time. Mold and mildew spores float into your home and search out wet organic materials on which they can adhere and grow upon. Leaving accumulations of damp materials around your home is an open invitation to mold and mildew to come on in and take up residence.
Increase air circulation within your home. Open windows and let in the fresh air. Getting a nice breeze running through your home is a great way to combat the potential for mold and mildew growth. If your home has a full house exhaust fan, run it often and use ceiling fans. You want to try to circulate as much air throughout your home as often as possible to keep the air in your home as healthy as possible. Pulling furniture a few inches away from walls also helps to keep air flowing in otherwise confined spaces. Also be sure to run your air conditioner regularly and check that its filters are clean and free of buildup and blockages.
Older home especially may have more issue with air leaks through openings such as windows and doors, though in the name of mold and mildew prevention it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make sure that your home is not the victim of air leaks. Sealing these leaks prevents moist air and spores from entering your home. For similar reasons, it is necessary to properly ventilate and insulate attics and crawl spaces.
Regular home chores like sweeping vacuuming, mopping and dusting help to eliminate the potential for mold and mildew by killing the surface mold and mildew prior to its spreading. The use of bleach will also ensure that your surfaces are clean and free of the mold and mildew spores as well as various bacteria and germs.
The installation of a humidification or dehumidification system could allow one to choose the exact level of dryness in their homes, eliminating the moist environments in which mold and mildew thrive.
Whenever you work to remove mold and mildew from your home or other belongings, it is imperative that you wear the appropriate safety gear: gloves, goggles, debris mask. The less contact that you have with mold and mildew, the better. Make sure that all products and tools (unless capable of being properly cleaned) as well as any cleaning supplies are disposed of appropriately.