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How to identify and prevent mold in your home

Mold spores exist in almost every home no matter how spotless you keep it. They can travel through windows and doors or be carried on your clothing or the fur of your pets. Because mold thrives on moisture, these spores will grow into mold if they land on a spot that is constantly damp. It can grow on carpet, clothing, food, paper, and even in places you can’t see, such as the backside of drywall, areas inside walls around leaking or condensing pipes, and above ceiling tiles. Mold feeds on paper, cardboard, carpets, drywall, fabric and anything made of wood. Taking nutrients from these materials allows the mold to grow and spread.

Mold becomes a problem if it is allowed to grow and spread unchecked, which can lead to respiratory problems in those with suppressed immune systems, who suffer from allergies or have asthma. Severe indoor mold infestations can also affect otherwise healthy people. Once you have located the mold, you can assess the seriousness of the problem.

Here are some common tips to help prevent mold in your home:

Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can’t grow without moisture so clean up wet or damp areas right away. Heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you’ve experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can’t be completely dried (for more info on water damage and removal, call CPR any time at 330-733-5570). Even everyday occurrences need attention: don’t leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower.

Direct water away from your house. If the ground around your home isn’t
sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep
into your crawlspace or basement, causing dampness and eventual mold growth.

Monitor humidity indoors. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from somewhere like Home Depot or Lowes. You’ll also be able to detect high humidity by simply paying attention to potential problem areas in your home, like condensation on windows, pipes, and walls.

Prevent moisture with proper ventilation.  Sometimes our daily routine can actually lead to and encourage mold growth in the home.  Make sure daily activities such as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry aren’t inviting mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture areas in your home.

Keep an eye on your plants.  The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house. Instead of getting rid of your plants, try adding a bit of Taheebo tea, which is wildly used in alternative cancer therapy and used in antifungal applications, to the water you give to your houseplants. The oil of this tree, which withstands fungi and helps stop mold growth in plant soil It can be purchased at your local natural food store.

If you spot mold, clean it from hard surfaces with commercial products or a bleach solution of one cup of bleach in one gallon of water. Do not mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners because the toxic fumes will quickly create a health hazard you everyone living in your home. If you would like a professional to inspect your mold and begin the remediation process, call our 24-hour number at 330-733-5570 to schedule your appointment with a certified mold technician.  

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