You’ve probably heard about mold – lately, there has been a lot of talk how these microscopic organisms can affect your health, and what would be the best way to get rid of them. We’ve decided to write this article and help you get to know a little bit more about mold and how to combat it – read on!
What Is Mold?
Even though there are hundreds and hundreds of different sorts of mold on the planet, we can safely say that they all have two things in common – they are digesting the organic world that’s surrounds them, and they all need moisture in order to stay alive. These aren’t plants or animals – they are microscopic organisms that have enzymes and spores. Their enzymes are responsible for decomposing and digesting, while their spores are the ones in charge of reproduction.
They are a part of the fungi kingdom, which includes things like yeast and mushrooms. Not everything about these kinds of organisms is bad – without them, there would be no one to decompose fallen vegetables and dead animals. The problems arise once the mold appears where we don’t want it to appear, affecting the smell, look, and the overall structural integrity of one’s house.
How Can Mold Affect Your Home?
Since it needs to consume something in order to survive, the mold will be happy to start eating your house. Some types of mold will gladly attack the cellulose material that’s in your insulation and the wallpaper, while others make a short work of the glue in your walls. Other molds will be content with dirt and dust, which means that they won’t destroy your home but will certainly make it look and smell bad. If it appears on your basement stairs, it becomes extremely dangerous – it will make the stairs very slippery!
Since mold problems always go hand in hand with the longstanding moisture problems, we can safely say that the only way to conquer mold is to conquer the moisture problems. Let’s take a detailed look at some common mold problems, and which steps you should take if you’re having one of them:
Common Mold Problems & the Solutions
Problem: Warm environment causes the impermeable vinyl wall coverings to trap the moist air which moves from the warm exterior to the cold interior. Mold is slowly degrading the drywall and the adhesive that’s behind the vinyl wall covering.
- Solution: If this is happening to you, the permeable paper backings are your best friends. Apply them to your wall coverings, and they won’t be able to trap the moisture anymore.
Problem: You’re having leaky duct joints on your air-conditioning, and they are creating a moist environment which causes mold to appear.
Solution: Go to the nearest cooling and heating supply store and buy some flexible mastic, and use it to seal the duct joints.
Problem: The water-resistant drywall that you’re using as the tile backer is quickly degrading once it is subjected to excessive moisture.
- Solution: In this case, you will have to install the cement backer board. Its structure will remain solid even when there’s a lot of moisture in the air.
Problem: A washing machine that’s in a room that has no floor drain overflowed, or its hose connection snapped and the water soaked into the carpet, insulation, and the drywall.
- Solution: You’ll have to dry out everything as best as you can. Always provide a good floor drain near your washing machine, or install the overflow pan directly underneath it.
Problem: Your poorly constructed crawlspaces are promoting the mold growth, and the bare earth floors are transmitting huge amounts of excessive moisture.
- Solution: In this case, you can cover these bare earth floors with some poly sheeting. Make sure to cool, heat, and humidify this area just like you would any other area of your household.
Problem: Your poorly ventilated bathroom is causing the mold to grow everywhere around it.
- Solution: You can install a good bathroom fan that will exhaust the moisture, and remove the surface mold by scrubbing it with the 1/2 percent bleach solution. Once the area is completely dry, you can prime it with white-pigmented shellac (based on alcohol), and then use the paint that contains mildewcide.
Problem: Your reservoir-type humidifier causes the growth of mold, and distributes it through the air.
- Solution: Always clean and treat the reservoir of your humidifier with any type of antimicrobial solution, which you can find at most hardware stores.
Problem: The freshly cut firewood is starting to emit an enormous amount of moisture.
- Solution: The only solution for this is, actually, very simple – store the firewood outside!
Problem: A concrete basement that’s not waterproof from the outside is starting to be problematic. It allows the moisture to migrate through the earth and get trapped behind the layers of insulation, drywall, and the vapor barriers.
- Solution: You’ll have to thoroughly waterproof the exterior of these concrete walls before the backfilling. We advise you to install some 6 inches of gravel under the concrete floors during the construction – this will prevent the moisture from going through the concrete floors to your floor coverings.
Problem: The condensation pan that’s under the conditioner’s coil is harboring the mold.
- Solution: Before each cooling season, you’ll have to clean this pan with a bleach solution, and also make sure that your continuous drain is working properly.
Problem: The leaky shingles and flashings are allowing the rain to get inside the insulation, attic, and eaves. These areas are trapping the moisture and are pretty hard to inspect.
- Solution: Don’t forget to perform an inspection of your roof at least once a year. If you’re afraid of climbing, use binoculars.
These were the most common mold problems that the people are having in their houses; and the solutions for them – we hope that they’ll be helpful to you. Don’t forget that the good ventilation and the monthly inspections can prevent most of the mold problems.