Mold growth can cause structural problems to a home and also have negative health effects on those living in the home, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some of the potential negative health effects of mold include coughing, sneezing, asthma attacks, and other respiratory problems, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mold growth is caused by excessive moisture, according to the EPA. Molds also like to grow in dark places, since they will often die if exposed to ultraviolet light. Leaky pipes, a leaky roof, excessive showering, flooding, and leaky faucets are all possible causes of excessive moisture and mold in your home. However, sometimes the cause of excessive moisture and mold in a home is high humidity levels.
The first step of any home mold treatment is to identify the source of moisture that's causing mold to grow, according to the EPA. If you do not eliminate the moisture source, mold will only grow back after you eliminate it. To identify the moisture source, you must first determine if the cause is a localized water source or high humidity levels in your home. If you only have mold growth in a specific part of a room, such as the corner of a ceiling or part of a wall, then the problem is most likely localized, such as a leaky pipe in your wall. However, if you have mold growth in multiple areas or in multiple rooms, the problem is most likely high humidity levels. The best humidity level for preventing mold growth in a home is between 30 and 50 percent. If water is collecting on your windows, humidity levels are probably too high in your home. If you've determined that humidity levels are the cause, you can purchase a dehumidifier, use insulation storm windows, evaporative coolers, and use air conditioning. After you've eliminated the moisture source, you're ready to kill the mold. Mold can be cleaned with a simple solution of detergent and water.
If absorbent materials such as a carpet or clothing have mold growth, they should be thrown away and replaced, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health.
If an area of your home gets exposed to water, you should dry the area within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth, according to the EPA. This is especially the case when an area of your home such as a basement floods.
There are over 100,000 different species of mold, according to MoldUnit.com.
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