Controlling moisture levels in your new home has the potential to create a healthier environment for you and your family.
When making a list of desired features for a new home, buyers are consistently looking for modern kitchens, neutral decor and ultimately a space to make their own. One thing often not spotted on the walk through, however, is the mold that can be hiding in the crevices of the house, ultimately impacting health and creating what could be a costly problem in an already huge investment.
So what should you do as a new homebuyer if you find mold in your home? ESTATENVY connected with Lyle Nearby, franchise owner from light environmental cleaning services AdvantaClean, to find out the causes, effects and solutions to the terror that can weaken walls and immune systems.
Mold is something that impacts almost every household – in fact, according to a study from the University of Arizona, 100 percent of homes have some form of the fungus. The common causes vary but most can be associated to similar areas of the home.
“The most common areas are the non-conditioned parts of the home like crawl spaces and attics,” said Nearby. “Those spaces have a high chance of developing mold growth because mold thrives on porous, organic surfaces. Materials like sheet rock, wood, certain fabrics, anything that can harbor as a food source can be defined as a threat.”
According to Nearby, the right source and surface is the first of three things mold needs to grow. The second is the right temperature, which in most cases means anything above 60 degrees, and the third is moisture.
“Really of those three things, the only element you can work to maintain is moisture,” said Nearby. “Temperature is going to fluctuate but you can always have a moisture control system in place if you live in an environment with high levels of humidity.”
AdvantaClean offers a number of solutions to control moisture, including vapor barriers, encapsulation and attic or crawl space ventilation systems. Implementing solutions prior to recognizing the cause of the problem can help save time and money in the long run.
“There are a number of visible and non-visible warning signs that your home has become a harbor for mold and the first is smell,” according to Nearby. “If you’ve noticed a change in your health like asthma, a sinus infection, rashes or trouble breathing or if the mold starts to colonize, spreading to other areas of the surface, it’s time to have it looked at.”
What can you do once you’ve identified the problem? For one, don’t try to solve the problem yourself.
“A lot of people think they can get rid of mold on their own by bleaching it, but bleach actually makes the problem worse,” said Nearby. “Bleach does not breech porous surfaces, the chlorine in bleach only reduces the visibility of mold. The moment the liquid penetrates the surface it adds moisture, actually feeding the mold and heightening the problem. It may look good for a day or two but in the long run it will look much worse.”
The second tip is to call a certified indoor air quality specialist or someone who tests for mold to identify the source.
As a light environmental company, AdvantaClean concentrates on indoor air quality. They act as a solution and can remediate the mold and help identify the cause. Even if the issue is source removal and not remediation, AdvantaClean works with contractors that can help tackle the issue. The goal is to help people work and live in a healthier environment, which for homeowners should be the ultimate selling point for a new home.