Winters in Canada tend to be long, cold and above all damp. As many Canadians have already discovered, this can easily lead to mold forming in living and storage spaces. And not only does that affect the aesthetic of your home, but it can also be potentially dangerous for you, your family and your possessions. Not to mention, you may have a harder time selling your home or insuring it when it’s infested with mold. Either way, the skills of handling mold in your home are something you should definitely learn and practice!
The first step of handling mold in your home is knowing more about it
So you’ve decided that it’s time to deal with mold as a potential problem in your home. Whether it’s because you’re remodeling, having trouble selling the place or simply for your own piece of mind, it’s time to get down to business. But where do you start? That’s simple enough: the first step is always learning more about the issue!
Mold: what is it and where to find it?
Mold is a type of fungus with many different species. Depending on the kind of mold, it can be different colors and have different textures. It can also grow both indoors and outdoors. Like all other kinds of fungus, it spreads through spores which are present virtually everywhere and practically impossible to destroy. But that shouldn’t worry you! Spores will only grow if they land in their preferred moist, warm and humid environment.
We often bring up mold when talking about storage units Ontario, but mold is also common in houses and apartments. It usually starts out as black or brown spots that resemble discoloration. Then, it spreads. You will commonly find it in wet and humid rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and attics.
Why is mold bad?
Aside from being an eyesore in your home, mold can cause damage to the walls and woodwork if left to run wild. And it also has adverse effects on your health, the severity of which depend on your sensitivity to mold.
Before handling mold in your home, make sure you know what you’re dealing with
Before you break out the gloves and chemical cleaners to start handling mold in your home, you should know exactly what you’re dealing with. Where is the mold? How bad is it? What type of mold are we talking about?
Pay attention to changes to your health
The first signs of mold may be subtle changes in your health which are easy to overlook. You may experience some health issues such as:
- coughing, sneezing, blocked airways, and other difficulties breathing
- headaches and dizziness
- worsening of the symptoms of asthma and allergies.
These may be indicators that it’s time to start handling mold in your home so pay attention!
Look for visible signs of mold
If you suspect mold in the home, look for its visible signs. You may notice musty odors, condensation on walls, deformed floors, discolorations to walls, wallpapers and ceilings, and black or brown spots.
Get a mold test
Finally, the best way to accurately determine if you’re dealing with mold and of what kind is to do a mold test. You can get a DIY testing kit in stores or online. Professional testing by an experienced mold professional, however, is always more reliable.
An isolated problem: handling a small amount of mold in your home
Handling a minor amount of mold in your home can be done without professional help.
Start by protecting yourself with rubber gloves and goggles. Then, use an N-95 respirator which you can buy at the local hardware store. Follow up by cleaning and scrubbing the affected area with one of the following:
- warm water mixed with some detergent for mild cases
- a solution of one cup bleach to a gallon of water (never mixed with anything that contains ammonia!) for more severe surface cases
- baking soda dissolved in water for penetrating into corrosive surfaces and killing the mold underneath the surface as well
Finally, remember to dry the area thoroughly as moisture is your biggest enemy when dealing with mold.
Leave it to the professionals if it gets out of hand
Much like you wouldn’t move to another country without the help of movers Ontario, you shouldn’t try tackling a serious mold problem on your own. If you suspect the issue is getting out of hand, contact local mold removal professionals. Handling a major mold problem is a complicated process that requires the trained and experienced hands of someone who knows what they’re doing!
Handling mold in your home by preventing it
As ever, the best way of dealing with a problem is not having it at all. This is why you’ve probably already gotten tips on how to prevent mold in storage units if you’ve ever needed one: preventing and avoiding mold is much easier than dealing with it once it appears.
Identify the sources
The first thing you want to do is figuring out why mold has appeared or might appear in your home. Moisture and humidity are mold’s best friends so look for:
- leaky pipes and other plumbing leaks
- poorly sealed windows and doors
- foundation cracks
- roof damage and leakage
- poor ventilation and excessive condensation
Resolving these issues will prevent conditions for mold from forming. And if you don’t deal with these root causes, no amount of dealing with the mold that does appear will help to prevent it from coming back.
Control the moisture and humidity
The final step to handling mold in your home is continuously controlling the moisture and humidity. It’s actually easier than it sounds! The most important things are fixing any leaks and cracks that may cause moisture and ensuring a steady air flow around the home by frequently opening doors and windows to air the rooms out. Air conditioning units and fans can also help keep the air dry. If you suspect humidity is too high, using a dehumidifier once in a while may be a good idea. These few easy steps will make it significantly harder for mold to form in your home at all!