Inhaling or touching mold may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, including sneezing, red eyes, skin rash and even asthma attacks in some people. Molds can produce potentially toxic substances: mycotoxins.
Mold growth may occur in your home if there is sufficient moisture because mold spores are everywhere. Be on the lookout for these common sources of moisture:
* Roof leaks
* Plumbing leaks, drainage problems
* Damp basements and crawl spaces
* Steam from the bathroom or kitchen
* Condensation resulting from poor or improper insulation or ventilation
* Wet clothes drying inside the home or a clothes dryer venting indoors
* Poor or improper ventilation of combustion
Small areas usually can be cleaned by the homeowner. For larger areas and more persistent problems, call in the professionals!
SHELLS ONLY Complete Home Improvements will do a thorough inspection of your home to determine the extent and source of the problem. In the bathroom, the solution may be as simple as installing a new ventilation fan. If the problem is water dripping behind the walls or into other areas we can solve those problems too, by using new construction, water-resistant materials, modern sealants and other methods. If the problem is in the plumbing, we can handle that as a full-service contractor with master plumbers on staff.
Basement mold can almost always be traced to water getting into the foundation or under the floor.
This can be addressed by a number of methods, including fixing cracks in basement walls and sealing the walls and floor with waterproof cement. We will check your gutters and leaders to make sure they shunt rain water away from the house. Another solution is the application of bentonite to act as an outside foundation moisture barrier. We will check that the landscaping/
Each situation is unique. SHELLS ONLY Complete Home Improvements will analyze the factors contributing to the problem, and design an effective solution.
Mold-Resistant Building Products:
New construction or renovation provide an opportunity to incorporate mold-resistant materials as needed, stopping it “at the source.” The pros at Shells Complete Home will help you stop mold before it even starts by recommending materials that are designed to combat mold growth. They will advise you on the products that work best, so you’re getting the maximum value.
Mold-Resistant Wood. In addition to keeping mold at bay, this product also resists termites, and some brands are certified not to release any harmful emissions.
Mold-Resistant Drywall. This type of drywall has fiberglass facing instead of the usual paper, reducing the “organic” component.
Mold-Resistant Drywall Tape. One brand even has an anti-microbial coating.
Mold-Resistant Paint. Many brands now contain a fungicide, or one can buy an additive that is sold separately. Please note that the mold must be removed before painting with ANY paint.
Mold-Resistant Caulk. The caulk is treated with fungicide to it helps retard mold growth.
Mold Clean-Up & Prevention Tips from the Pros:
* Check Shower Corners & Ceiling. If mold has begun to grow, you need to remove it immediately. Use a sponge or cloth with ammonia or bleach solution to wipe it down. Bathtub sealer along the tub edge can be a problem area, and may have to be removed and replaced if it can’t be completely cleaned. Watch out for eyes and skin; gloves are a good idea.
* Ventilate. Open the bathroom window when showering. Install and use air conditioners and dehumidifiers if feasible. Run the bathroom fan. Leave it on for a few minutes after you’re done showering to clear out the humidity. Periodically check that your vent fan (and fan cover grate) is clear of dust.
* Dry & Clean. Wipe down damp bathroom surfaces, particularly shower walls, tiles, glass doors, vanity tops and mirrors after using your shower or bath. Every few weeks, wash down the walls with an anti-mildew solution or diluted bleach. You can spray with undiluted vinegar, letting it dry on its own, which prevents mold and deodorizes the bathroom. Of course, if you have young children, store these harsh chemicals safely away when finished. Never mix chemicals with one another.
* Maintain Tiles & Grout. Mold often grows on the tiles and grout around them. Removing mold from tiles is usually not a problem. Mold growing in grout can be more difficult. Use an old toothbrush or scrub brush on the grout. Applying sealer to the grout can help. Worst case scenario: the grout may need to be scraped out and replaced. Like the doctor says: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
* Down the Drain. Pouring drain cleaner or a mold-killing solution could be all you need to prevent mold in a drain.
* Another Tip: Store bathroom items up high, ideally on a dry shelf, and remove unneeded items and clutter from the bathroom.
(Sources: www.CDC.gov, http://www.ShellsOnly.com)