Water is one of the main causes of mildew and mold growth, however finding the root of the problem may not always be as simple as it sounds. The following quick tips will provide you with a framework of reference on what you can do to deal with your mold issues, eliminating them for good. Let’s start with the first one on our list:
• Inspecting the pipes
If you see any mold near your water pipes, plumbing or waste lines, then this will likely mean you have a hidden leak on your hands. Allow the water to run, then do your best to inspect the areas around the mold spots to find the hole. You should keep in mind that water may travel in all directions, depending on the nature of the leak. This is especially relevant to drywall as that type of wall is absorbent and therefore vulnerable to mold.
• Never ignore mold
If you see mold, then this means you may have a very serious moisture problem on your hands, as it could cause more than just a musty smell and some cosmetic issues. Wood rot is a very serious problem that could cause structural damage as well as mold. You need to make sure you wipe mold away as soon as possible or you will suffer its side effects.
• Check out the vents
If you have any mold growing on the exterior walls and ceilings, then you must look for a leak in the roof. You will need to carefully measure the area of mold to a reference point such as a window or door. You must inspect the vents near the moldy area as well as the flashing, window wells and decks as well as any areas where the wood may be rotting. You must also check down for sloping areas that may have given way to moisture moving away from the spot of the leak. The same goes for the downspouts next to a wall. If you have too much moisture around the house and that water doesn’t flow away from the foundations, then you may have a serious moisture issue in your basement as a result.
• Condensation issues
If you have any mold forming around a ceiling or under a duct, but without signs of any leaks, then this may mean you’re dealing with excessive condensation. Warm and moist air can condense with ease, forming into water on cold areas and ducts. This condensation means you will have to deal with the poor insulation or vapor barrier you have on your hands. If water saturates the drywall and insulation, then this will allow mold spores to take root and grow as a result. The reverse of that will happen in cold weather, such as in areas where you have unsealed joints in the ductwork.
• Testing for mold
If you have seen any suspicious-looking spots around the area, making them seem like dirt you can’t wash away, then you may have mold on your hands. You can easily find whether they are really mold or not by mixing bleach and water in a 1:16 ratio. Dab that on the wall and examine the spot after that. If it lightens up quickly or if it keeps coming back, then it is most likely mold. You can also use mold testing kits to ensure it really is what you suspect it is.
• Killing mold
Once you’re sure you’re dealing with mold, then you will need to spray and clean the area with an antimicrobial treatment so it won’t come back. For larger areas such as basements and attics it would be best to fog the entirety of a room for maximum results.