Mold is a many-splendored thing. It grows in different forms depending on the environment, and colonies can vary significantly in size. A house in Colorado and one in California may have different types of mold. It may be a very small problem—or if it has been left untreated for years, it may have built a sprawling network of spores.
In fact, it’s not quite as simple as saying there is a “mold problem” and using a single strategy to eliminate it. There are different kinds of mold problems that call for different treatment and prevention measures. Understanding the five most common mold removal problems and solutions will help you save time and money in the long-run.
- Problem #1: Water leakage or excess moisture
- Mold problems are almost always caused or worsened by moisture in one form or another. An infestation might be the result of a single flooding event, leaky pipes in the walls, or an aging foundation that lets groundwater in. It might also be linked to overly humid air from surrounding shade, or the constant use of a humidifier.
Solution: Look for the underlying source of the problem and consider discussing it with a mold removal specialist. Addressing the underlying issue that is allowing mold to grow is the most important step toward preventing future infestations.
- Problem #2: Infested wallpaper and paper-faced drywall
- Mold needs moisture to grow, but it also needs a proper material on which to form colonies. Wallpaper and paper-covered drywall happen to be ideal for this purpose! Many homes with plaster walls can age significantly with no mold problems, as the mold has no cellulose on which to grow. But even moderate levels of moisture can quickly turn insulation panels and wallpaper into mold strongholds.
Solution: Consider removing wallpaper and applying a mold-resistant paint process instead. Use fiberglass-covered drywall where appropriate, and if you’re building or remodeling, avoid materials that provide a good home for mold. If you’re not sure what to do, consult a specialist to protect your investments.
- Problem #3: Mold growing in dank basements
- Basements are usually cool and humid due to their position below ground. They’re also places where things get stored for long periods, where the lights are usually off, and where there is relatively little foot traffic. These conditions are perfect for mold infestations, which can easily spread up into other areas of the building.
Solution: Give your basement a thorough check for mold you can see or smell. A good quality dehumidifier, if used regularly, can help keep the basement dry and resistant to mold. Try to limit the number of items stored in the basement, especially paper sources like old magazines and newspapers. Maintain good ventilation and clean the area regularly.
- Problem #4: Phantom Mold
- Not all mold is visible—in fact, the vast majority of mold colonies are hidden from view. Detecting the full extent of a mold infestation can be difficult. Sometimes, health problems such as respiratory infections will happen repeatedly to those inside the building.
Solution: Using your knowledge of the kind of environments mold like best—dark, dank and full of cellulose—look for possible locations of a hidden mold colony. Your sense of smell is useful here. Also consider recent health problems of people in the building. When in doubt, investing in professional testing and mold removal can save you thousands in the long run.
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