We’ve all seen it growing on something in the back of the refrigerator. Just when you need a slice of cheese or bread its green and its moldy. You see it outside growing on your fence or deck and know if you don’t clean the mold off it will make you have to replace it. Why, oh why is there mold in our homes!
The truth is mold plays a very important part in keeping our planet clean and outside our homes it actually is a good thing. However, inside our home it can lead to dangerous consequences both for our homes and our health. Molds job is to breakdown things that are no longer living, so something new can grow in its place. so when it grows on the structure of our home, it thinks “time to get to work”! Of course we don’t want mold working in our homes. We want them to last as long as possible. So we create systems to help control the environment to prevent mold from starting.
It’s when these systems fail that we see mold in our homes move in and once its started it becomes much more difficult to evict.
It’s when these systems fail that we see mold move in and once its started it becomes much more difficult to evict. It’s important to know what molds need to start in our homes. it needs moisture or humidity. It needs food, like the wood our homes are built with. It needs moderate temperatures like what we set our thermostat too, and it needs mold spores, which are everywhere. So with that recipe it’s all but impossible to keep the molds needs at bay, so we need to address how to combat it.
Some of the systems we use in homes like drainage to keep water from under our homes. Ventilation in crawlspaces and attics to keep air flowing and allow moisture to escape. Siding and flashing, vapor barriers to resist water entry all helps prevent mold. If any of these systems are not working properly mold can develop. When that happens, we see our homes literally being eaten away causing high priced repairs and affecting our resale value.
Another implication is its effect on our health.
Some people are more susceptible than others. Those with allergies, asthma, respiratory or immunodeficiencies can be very sensitive to mold. Even those who do not have these issues can become ill from mold. Many people live for years with illnesses without realizing the mold in the home is the cause of their ailments. Even their doctors didn’t suspect mold in the home as the root cause.
So its important to know if mold is in our home. As a home inspector we see mold in homes all the time. Of course, we always report what we see. If mold ins visible that means the environment is right to grow more mold. However, sometimes its not visible, but there is an odor. In these cases we would recommend an air test to see what mold spores are in the air. When we can identify the mold, we can help identify what effects if has on your health, home, and make appropriate recommendations.
I have gotten good responses from clients health improvements after they completed the recommendations we put in the report. Some of the common recommendations that many never consider is things like cleaning your air ducts, replacing your HVAC filter, wiping down walls, replacing your vapor barrier, or adding some ventilation. Sometimes a dehumidifier helps or removing house plants. We can’t know for sure, but knowing the type of mold helps us identify what recommendations to make. That is why testing is such an important part of the process.
Overall mold has its place in the world, just no mold in our homes should be allowed.
We need to get ahead of it for our home and health sake. Once mold starts, it doesn’t need as much to survive. So requires more work to keep it out. Knowing where and what is in our home is important, but knowing why it is there is actually more important because it can help prevent it in the future. Give Home Resource Solutions a call and see if a mold inspection is right for you. (253) 271-0402, hrsinspects.com/mold-inspection.