By: Christel Silver Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
Mold is an organism and like most living organisms, mold (mildew) needs food and water. It grows anywhere there is water, high humidity or damp conditions. Mold cannot grow in the absence of moisture.
The most common mold has a musty, stale or earthy odor. It usually grows in damp places, such as bathrooms. Mold begins growing indoors when spores come in contact with wet surfaces or substances.Watch the outside walls of your home regularly for any cracks where water or moisture can come through.
I had a listing where there was a crack – covered by bushes – right in front of the sprinkler head. Small amounts of water were regularly sprinkled at the crack. Black spots were noticed at the baseboard on the outside wall. It was too late! Once mold is established, it can be very difficult to remove successfully, so prevention is the key.
What can you do to prevent mold?
Check the condition of grout and tile on shower walls, floors, and around bathtubs. Repair and seal damaged grout to prevent mold from being absorbed. Make sure all the ventilation fans work. Check for roof leaks that allow water to enter attic spaces or build up under roof shingles or tiles. Most roofs in Florida will have some mold, as the air has mold also. When a mold test is done the inspector compares the mold concentration outside the house with the concentration in different rooms inside the house to determine any existence of mold. Look for signs of leaks in bathrooms, kitchens, utility sinks, and laundry areas and Air Handler condensation lines. Have any leaks fixed and dry the area as soon as possible. Showers, which typically stay damp for some time, may be more difficult to keep free of mold.
But do all you can do to keep it dry and keep mold out. Diligent cleaning, opening a window or using a ventilation fan are good efforts to keep mold out.
Here are some more tips: Add mold inhibitors to your household paints, do not carpet bathrooms, remove and replace flooded carpets. And keep the humidity levels as low as possible.
If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, you should arrange for a mold test by a licensed mold inspector and order its removal by contacting a professional at Certified Mold Inspections. This is a costly and difficult task, as any effected drywall needs to be removed and replaced.
Why is it important to keep mold out? Exposure can cause a variety of health problems. But not every strain of mold causes a health issue. Depending on the strain of mold, it can cause various allergic reactions, respiratory problems, heart problems, or extreme fatigue.
If you can prevent mold and mildew in the first place, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and headaches.
About Christel Silver
Christel Silver is a full time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. he National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) President appointed her (2010-2014) and again for 2018 as the President’s Liaison to Germany. Christel is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), and a certified speaker teaching CIPS classes. Fifty percent of her business is in the International arena. For more information, visit www.silverhouses.com.