While mold can occur any time, once spring hits we often get calls about mold. Most of the time customers are seeking our advice when it comes to mold growth in their bathrooms. The problem is, mold can be stubborn – you can clean it up, only to have it reappear – time and again!
So what do you do about mold in your home or office? The solution lies in understanding what mold requires to live. Mold needs food to grow, PLUS the right environment. That’s often the case with bathrooms – they stay humid and have a “food source” – such as dirt, drywall or wood trim. This combination can provide just the right setting for mold to grow and recur.
Mold or mildew—which is the same thing—might clean easily off flat surfaces like walls and ceilings, tile and grout. In truth, the particles that turn into mold are actually in the air around us every day. When the moisture level is high – let’s say after a flood in your bathroom or basement – mold growth will start quickly – and it will continue to grow as long as the moisture level remains high.
There is no practical way to eliminate all of the mold spores in an indoor environment. But there are many ways to help control moisture and mold growth in your home or office. The basic rule is: if you can see or smell mold, take steps to eliminate the excess moisture, and to clean and remove any mold. It is very important to quickly address any moisture sources before health problems develop.
Here are some suggestions for owners of homes or businesses.
- To get rid of moist air after showers, install a ventilation fan that ducts to the outside. Include a timer so it shuts off automatically.
- If you have surface mold, remove it with a household degreaser, such a little dishwashing liquid in warm water. Afterwards, treat the area with bleach to sanitize it and let it dry thoroughly.
- For mold that you spot in tile and grout, completely remove all the grout and silicone sealants. Replace the grout, apply a recommended sealer to the new grout, and reinstall any silicone sealants. A grout sealer impedes mold growth.
- Fix leaks in pipes and any damp area around tubs and sinks so mold spores don’t have a growing environment.
- If you rebuild or remodel, or have moisture-prone areas, consider water-resistant building materials such as tile, stone, deep-sealed concrete, waterproof wallboard or a mold-inhibiting additive that you can mix into a primer coat of paint.
- Prevent seepage of water from the outdoors into your house. It’s important to have rainwater from gutters or the roof drain away from the house. The ground around the house needs to slope away to keep the basement and crawl space dry.
- Ventilate any crawl space as much as possible to allow for thorough drying.
- Reduce the moisture in the air with dehumidifiers, fans and open windows or air conditioners. Try to keep the humidity in your home below 40%.
- Reduce potential for condensation on cold surfaces by insulating.
If mold becomes a more extensive problem, you may need the help of a professional mold remediation company, such as Restoration 1 of West Denver. We understand and apply industry standard approaches to remediate mold completely, while being as safe for your home and your family as possible.