Cure house mold and get peace of mind by testing and getting to the source
Back when I was purchasing my first home, I looked at a very run-down house to fix up and move into. It was all I could afford at the time in Southern California, and this place was a real doozy.
It didn't take long to see it was residence to just about every kind of house mold you could imagine. I had no idea when the listing said "has mold", it really meant it.
Under every sink, there was black and brown mold on the walls behind the plumbing; the shower was white but with striking green streaks lining every corner and splotches of mold stains adorning the ceiling.
In the kitchen, cabinets wreaked of mildew so strong, it burned your nose to open them. The worst part though was in the front closet, where years of rain water leaks had supplied the perfect breeding ground for a mold farm.
While it was only 30 years old, we called it the "moldy oldie". Ah, deferred maintenance at its finest...
Now aside from all the mold in this house, the property did have"good bones".
But despite the attractive relatively lower price, I was allured to Phoenix where I bought a larger, brand new home for half the price!
In my new home in the desert, house mold was the last thing I worried about.
In fact, aside from a few rainstorms in late summer and some winter precipitation, it seemed like moisture of any kind simply disappeared instantly into the dry air.
The first winter in that new-build though, we had an above normal rainfall that brought a series of storms that dropped rain every day for more than a week. While I stayed dry as a bone in my home, my next door neighbors weren't so lucky.
When the air had cleared and springtime dawned, they both began to notice some breathing problems. Day or night inside their home, they coughed and wheezed inexplicably. It was clear something was wrong.
Suspecting some kind of house mold, they investigated and found most of a central wall in their house had become soft. Peeling back drywall revealed moist insulation and wall studs. That wasn't all though: they were covered in black mold.
A quick inspection on the roof revealed a sizable gap, where water had repeatedly flowed in and down into their home during the persistent rains. Fortunately, they were covered by their new home warranty; but unfortunately, they had to live in a hotel for three weeks during the mold remediation process.
The moral of the story then is that old or new, wet or dry climate, house mold can turn up in a variety of ways.
Since mold survives on moisture, it can essentially last forever. All that means is that if you have a house with mold, it ain't going away on its own. Only until you stop the problem that is creating the moisture supply will your house mold go away.
The concern with mold beyond just how it makes things look (or smell!) is the potential problems it poses for us humans and our pets.
Evidence is there that supports these negative effects, but just how much and what types are responsible for adverse health issues is debatable among experts.
The rule here is if there's even a chance of mold presence being really "bad" then check your home for mold, get it removed and fix the problems causing it!
It's one of those times where you can be your own expert and make the right call erring on the side of safety.
It's true that a small degree of mold is in our outside air all the time, and that we can never fully eliminate house molds inside. But we CAN ensure our home is not a breeding ground for it to flourish.
Since we know house mold and mildew thrives on moisture we can look at places that have regular moisture. Yep, bathrooms and kitchens do at times, but it usually isn't enough to be a problem to our health - just maybe our well-being and how we feel about our living space.
Dangerous house mold is caused when abnormal amounts of water is available and for a regular period of time.
This can be from undetected water leaks or even in places like musty smelling basements and crawl spaces where a small level of moisture penetrates your home constantly, i.e. evaporation from the Earth's soil.
How to Deal with House Mold
If you're concerned about mold, a visual check and home mold inspection can at least tell you some levels. House mold test kits can give you a general idea of the presence of and type of mold in your house.
Knowing how to clean house mold when you find it can give you peace of mind. As with any mold treatment though, you have to make sure you fix any truly damaged materials and eliminate your water sources for good. Cleaning alone, doesn't cure your mold problem.
It's the classic case, but if you can remove and stop bathroom mildew, then you can do anything when it comes to fighting house mold. Follow the previous link to learn how and get started.