What to Do if Your Home Has Mold or Mildew

Homeowners living in particularly damp areas of the country should take extra precautions to prevent mold and mildew from growing and spreading. Let’s take a look at the importance of mold and mildew removal in Seattle.

About mold

Mold is a type of fungi—it consists of microscopic organisms that release spores in order to reproduce and digest organic matter. Mold is not a problem out in nature, where it has a role in decomposing dead wood, leaves and other plant debris. It really only becomes a problem when it grows inside places like homes and other structures and starts breaking down building materials.

Causes of mold growth

Mold in a home needs consistent moisture to grow and spread, such as moisture from a leaky roof, high humidity, flooding or pipe leaks, as well as a lack of proper ventilation or natural light. Mold and mildew can live on all types of surfaces like paint, wallpaper, wood, tiles, carpet, insulation materials and sheetrock. The best thing you can do to control mold growth in your home is to keep your home as dry as possible.

How molds affect health

Disturbed mold will release spores into the air. These spores are so tiny that they are not easily seen, and exposure to spores often means breathing them in. You can also be exposed to mold through touching moldy surfaces or objects, hand-to-mouth contact or eating moldy food.

Most healthy people are not put in harm’s way if they are exposed to mold. However, people living with asthma or allergies may be more sensitive to mold spores. They may experience eye irritation, skin rashes, coughing, runny nose, congestion, trouble breathing, enhanced asthma symptoms or other respiratory issues. Individuals with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk for infections. Some molds produce toxins known as mycotoxins. People exposed to high levels of mycotoxins may experience fatigue, headaches, nausea and eye and lung irritation.

What to do about mold growing in your home

The key to getting rid of and preventing mold and mildew growth inside your home is to dry out your house, remove any existing mold and fix any moisture problems. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Increasing airflow provides proper ventilation throughout your home. Open doors and windows (as long as it’s not humid outside) in your house, garage, basement and other areas with moisture buildup. Use fans in areas without windows that can open.
  • Fix any water leaks! Leaky pipes and roofs need to be repaired as soon as you notice them. Make sure your basement has a proper drainage system to keep water away from walls and concrete surfaces.
  • Check that the attic and crawlspaces are well ventilated. Install exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms and enclosed laundry rooms.

Even though you may have taken steps to ensure complete mold and mildew removal from your Seattle home, some areas may need repairs. Here at Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co., we carry all the tools and materials you’ll need to make important home repairs. Call us with questions anytime!

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