How to Avoid Mold Damage
Every home in the US is vulnerable to mold damage and now that we’re coming into the cooler winter months, mold can thrive. Mold really needs one thing to grow: moisture.
Protect your home from mold by identifying and eliminating sources of moisture. Moisture can enter your home through many different areas including:
- Damaged roof flashing
- Damaged or worn out shingles
- A downspout that is not properly setup to push water away from your home or foundation
- A leaky pipe
- Condensation from your laundry, shower or kitchen
- A crawl space with no vapor barrier or an improperly installed vapor barrier
- Single pane windows that are sweating
- Seeping up through the floor
Eliminating these common problems is fairly simple. Identifying where the issues are coming from are sometimes more tricky as water can travel great distances before it makes it mark known. Look for mold on walls, around windows and in the corners of a room. Sometimes mold can grow under your carpet on cement slabs so if your basement smells moldy, that would be a good place to check.
There are many ways to remove moisture from your home. In bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens, install exhaust fans to remove excess moisture from laundry, showers and cooking. Without these fans, moisture can seep upwards and into your attic producing another hidden problem. A fan will quickly pull the excess moisture out of the room. Be sure to closely look at the size of the fan you install because a fan that is too small for the room may not even make a difference.
If moisture is entering your home through your crawlspace, a simple visual inspection can be completed. First, look to see if a vapor barrier exists (a black plastic). Make sure it is covering the entire surface, goes up over any pier blocks and extends to the edges of your foundation. If it doesn’t, consider a quick weekend project to remedy the issue.
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