When the weather gets colder and wetter, many of us start to notice dreaded black mold appearing in our homes. Not only is this unsightly but it also poses some pretty serious health hazards too- respiratory problems, eye irritation, rashes, headaches, and even fatigue can be symptoms. Of course, if you have anyone who’s vulnerable due to their age (either old or young), have a weakened immune system, or allergy sufferers living in the property are going to be particularly affected. Here are some points to bear in mind about black mold and how you can go about getting rid of it for a healthier home.
What Causes Mold In The Home? Mold grows in damp areas in the home and so if you spot it, it’s a sign that you have some kind of moisture problem. This could be a result of a leak, or alternatively mold can accumulate due to condensation along with poor ventilation. Condensation is more of an issue in the colder months. If you notice it a lot in the bedroom, this is because when you sleep the warm air you breathe contains moisture and condenses on the cold walls and windows. The same applies if you take a hot bath or shower, or if you hang out damp washing in your home. When the area stays moist, it provides excellent growing conditions for mold.
How To Get Rid of It? If you suspect a leak to be the cause of your mold problem, have a plumber come out and have a look. Some leaks can be very slow flowing so it might not be glaringly obvious that it’s because of this right away. Sometimes leaks can come from the roof or from outside, as a result of things like blocked guttering. A thorough check is essential. If a leak is discovered, you will need to remove any wood, carpeting, or other materials that it’s damaged to prevent rot and get rid of the mold spores. If the damage isn’t too bad, allowing everything to thoroughly dry and treating it with an anti-mold product might be enough.
Your second step is to ensure good ventilation, even in cold weather (in fact, especially in cold weather) you should ‘air out’ your home every day for at least thirty minutes. This helps any moisture to evaporate, and when the areas are dry mold won’t appear. Having an extractor fan fitted in kitchens and bathrooms can help to prevent moisture building up in these areas. Another thing you could try if you’ve noticed mold, especially in the vents of your home is to have your air ducts cleaned. These should be done every three to five years. You could look online for companies offering duct cleaning services locally to you.
How To Keep It Away: Regularly airing out your home will help to prevent condensation and therefore keep mold away in many cases. If you notice a lot of condensation on windows that doesn’t evaporate when the window is left open for thirty minutes, you could buy a squeegee and manually clear and dry the windows yourself over the colder months. If any mold does start to grow, treat it right away with an anti-mold product. Painting areas prone to it in an anti-fungal paint can also keep it at bay.