I work as a real estate investor, buying and selling homes, and one of the most common problems I see from day to day is mold in homes. I travel the country and purchase many of my homes through tax lien or tax deed auctions. Since these homes have been acquired by the state for failure of the property owner to pay property taxes, many of these homes have set vacant for a period of time.
A few of the homes I have been interested in buying have had some extensive mold damage and repairs can be quite costly. Homes in coastal areas along the Atlantic Ocean can be problem area for mold due to higher amounts of moisture. This was the case with a cottage I was interested in on one of Georgia’s barrier islands. I was planning to buy a cottage in the great little beach community of Tybee Island. Although the cottage wasn’t very old, the home owner never installed an exhaust fan in the main bathroom. Due to improper ventilation, the bathroom suffered from excessive amounts of moisture which provided a breeding ground for mold. As a result I had to pass on the purchase due to the expense involved to resolve the mold problem.
Below are answers to some of the more common questions people have concerning mold.
How does mold get into a house?
Molds typically enters a house through spores that move through open doorways, ventilation systems, open windows, and hvac systems which have outside air flow intakes. The mold spores will even attach themselves to people, pets, shoes, clothes, hand bags and other items that are able to carrying spores.
When spores reach a moist location, specifically those locations where there’s substantial moisture, they’ll affix themselves and grow. This can function as their breeding ground. Molds generally grow in moisture rich locations and those which are quite cool. The typical locations where mold grows is usually on roofs, basements, pipes and walls.
So how does mold grow?
Mold grows in various ways. Molds have small spores and these spores have the ability to reproduce themselves via sexual and asexual reproduction. In sexual reproduction, mold spores require another spore so they can reproduce. In asexual reproduction, an individual spore can reproduce alone without needing another spore.
Mold spores may reproduce just about anywhere. They are able to develop and reproduce in soil, roofing, and pots and also in the atmosphere. Molds grow quickly in locations which have high moisture and fairly poor lighting.
What kinds of health issues could I face if mold is in my home?
Molds create allergens, irritants and perhaps toxic substances which are hazardous to the body. Mold could cause cold like signs or symptoms such as watery eyes, sore throat, wheezing and light headedness. Allergic reaction to mold is typical and it can set off asthma attacks. In addition, contact with mold can aggravate the eyes, skin, nasal area, esophagus and lung area.
On what types of materials can mold grow?
Molds are not picky in respect to the surface they use to develop and breed; instead, they will survive almost anywhere provided the surface has excessive moisture. Dampness seeps through concrete wall surfaces and floors, woods and plastics along with other materials that can cause dampness can cause mold on walls, flooring, carpets and other surfaces.
The bathroom may be the most vulnerable location for mold development since it is usually damp. Soap scum, showers, ceramic tile and fiberglass are surfaces that are ideal for mold to develop. Basements, kitchens and laundry areas can also be popular spots for mold development. There isn’t any specific surface required for mold to develop. Any type of surface is prone to mold development if moisture exists.
How can I decrease the humidity inside my home?
Reducing the humidity in the home can be accomplished in several ways. There are easy options that do a good job to decrease the moisture in the home which is the primary reason for mold development.
Listed below are 3 effective easy methods for decreasing humidity in the home.
- Eliminate standing water.
- Dry out your house.
- Remove wet materials.
- Insulate your house properly
Mold is something every home owners needs to be aware of. Mold can not only have a negative impact on your health but, it can destroy your home if left untreated. The prevention and removal of mold is something everyone needs to take seriously.