Considering mold affects over 50% of households in the US — a number increasing thanks to the rising sea levels and increase in bad weather — we’d class it as a big deal. Mold isn’t just unsightly to look at – it’s dangerous too. If you haven’t seen mold before, it shows its face in the form of black dots clustered together that sometimes join if the mold spreads enough.
Mold isn’t the type of thing you keep as a lodger in your home, that’s for sure. Keep reading to learn more about mold and how it finds its way into your home – and how you can deal with it.
What Exactly is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungi – more specifically, a collection of organisms found almost anywhere – and they love a damp spot to set up camp in. Although the mold found in homes typically shows itself in the form of black spores, mold can be green, purple, white, or orange.
Mold is typically found outdoors on trees, leaves, and bushes. It survives and thrives through moisture – its spores traveling through the air using droplets as their aircraft, searching for a damp spot to live in. Once they’ve found a spot, the spores multiply continuously until the characteristic black patches form. All of this happens rapidly. Mold can multiple by the thousands per day, causing those horrible black spots to spread like the plague.
Mold will grow anywhere it can. You wouldn’t necessarily notice a house had a mold problem before buying it as it can pop up anytime. The most common areas are the floorboards or carpet, walls, appliances, and even furniture. It’ll settle anywhere there is recurrent moisture sitting on a surface long enough for the mold to grow.
Does Household Insurance Cover It?
Once mold has infiltrated the walls or floorboards, for example, it becomes a problem. Not only is it horrible to look at, but there are also potential health risks. Mold in small amounts is typically harmless – we do encounter it every day without realizing it. However, mold in close quarters becomes a problem. Bedroom and lounge walls, for example, are dangerous spots for mold to grow.
Just like the spores traveled to find the damp spot in the first place, they travel continuously in the hunt for another place to settle in. That means that if mold grows in the bedroom, the occupant is breathing in mold spores every moment they’re in the room. Here are some of the health risks linked to continuous exposure to mold:
- Initial allergies
- Memory loss
- Skin rashes
Fear not – mold is pretty easy to get rid of. But the question is, will insurers help you? Mold coverage is not guaranteed, but some insurers will cover mold removal if it has caused structural damage. For example, if you need to have new plasterboard for the wall because the mold won’t be removed by other means, some insurers will cover that. Check with your homeowner’s insurance provider to find out.
How To Get Rid Of It?
Low levels of mold are easy to handle without the help of professionals. One trick is to create a solution of one-part bleach to four-parts water. The bleach kills the mold and should help to remove the unsightly black marks. If you catch it early — as soon as you first start to see spores appear — the mold should easily remove. You’ll soon realize if the mold in your home is a little more stubborn.
In that instance, you might need to call the help of professionals.
Mold removal services use specific equipment to assess and remove the mold infestation.
How To Keep It Away For Good?
Mold isn’t the type of problem you want to return to, yet most households that suffer from mold will repeatedly suffer – especially houses prone to dampness or leaks. One way to keep it at bay is to check for damp spots and keep your eye on areas you know are prone to mold. The bathroom is the best example.
Mold typically grows in the bathroom because the steam from hot showers or baths causes water residue to stay on the walls. Not everyone wipes the walls down, leaving damp to collect and giving mold the chance to grow. Simply wiping the walls down and keeping an eye on areas prone to damp spots could prevent mold from growing.
Regular cleaning and disinfection, especially of appliances, can also help prevent mold. Most standard household disinfectants kill mold spores, so daily cleaning might be enough to keep it at bay. This combined with improving the airflow so that mold spores have less chance to settle – can be effective at prevention.
Mold isn’t the best thing to have in your home, but it is pretty easy to deal with. With a combination of preventative measures and professional intervention when needed, mold in houses can be a problem of the past.
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