Mold is everywhere.
Mold grows in everything. It is a living organism that grows year-round indoors and out. Mold thrives in dark and moist environments and can destroy a home.
Indoors, you will find mold anywhere humidity or moisture levels are high. Mold demands moisture to survive, so it will commonly anchor in basements, under kitchen sinks, and in bathrooms.
You may also find it inside walls due to an unknown leak or in ceilings where water from a leaky roof has gone undetected.
Mold is typically considered a home maintenance issue. It is, therefore, not covered by most standard homeowners’ insurance policies. However, in specific cases where mold growth results from a catastrophic, covered event such as a broken pipe or flood, insurance may help.
But because most homes will eventually face mold problems that are not covered by insurance, it is wise to take preventative action.
The key to mold prevention is to eliminate moisture sources so that your home is inhospitable to mold colonies. Here are a few recommended practices to protect your home from mold.
- Look out for signs of growing mold, including dank or musty odors or watermarks in your walls and ceilings.
- Do your best to keep your home’s humidity level between thirty and sixty percent. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers are great tools to help.
- Maintain and make use of vents (preferably with a motorized fan) in bathrooms and kitchens.
- Clean your bathrooms regularly (we recommend twice a week), employing products effective at killing mildew and mold.
- Before painting your wall and ceiling, consider applying a mold inhibitor as a precautionary measure.
- Look for leaks in sinks and their pipes, hoses, and other exposed fittings, fixing and even upgrading when necessary. Don’t neglect major appliances that require plumbing, including refrigerators with automated ice and water dispensers, washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters, and toilets.
- Check on your roof before and after the rainy seasons, maintaining it as necessary to catch and prevent leaks.
- Clean your gutters frequently.
- Strip typically damp areas, such as bathrooms and basements, of any carpeting or other significant upholstery.
- Use a tray to catch water draining from your houseplants, and take care not to overwater.
Go the extra mile after a flood, burst pipe, or other significant water damage.
If you experience a significant water incident, then consider taking the following steps:
- Take extensive pictures and videos, and then contact your insurance agent to determine what help you are entitled to through your policy.
- Drain any standing water immediately. All manner of microorganisms, including mold, love breeding in standing water.
- Within 48 hours, make sure you completely dry any soaked fabric, such as carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, laundry, padding, or anything else. Consider replacing anything that won’t dry in that time frame.
- Bag up and dispose of any damaged paper debris, including newspapers, magazines, books, and instruction manuals.
- Eliminate the source of moisture. If it was a flood, improve drainage where possible, and think about investing in sandbags to protect your home. If it was a burst pipe, consider examining your plumbing infrastructure and replacing other weak or damaged pipes. If you don’t remove the source of moisture, you will continue to struggle with mold.
- Clean the affected space and surrounding area thoroughly, making particular use of anti-bacterial and anti-mold cleaning agents.
- Call Pure Maintenance of Santa Barbara for an immediate consultation to assist you in your mold remediation plan.