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Tips From a Home Inspector

Mold is a problem that many homeowners have to deal with at one point or another. It can grow in your home and cause serious health problems if not treated properly. And in Washington State, mold is no stranger. Our abundance of rain and moisture provide the perfect environment for mold to grow.  But the weather isn’t the only thing that causes these pesky spores to sprout.  As homeowners, it is important to learn what causes mold to grow and what you can do to prevent mold in your home.  

What causes mold to grow? 

There are a few things that can cause mold to grow in your home. One of the most common causes is water damage. If water leaks into your walls, floors, or ceilings, it can create the perfect environment for mold to grow. Poor ventilation is also a common culprit. If you don’t have enough fresh air circulating in your home, it can create moisture and condensation which can lead to mold growth. 

How does a home inspector find mold in a home?  

A home inspector will look for mold when he or she comes to your property. Adequate ventilation is one of the most important parts of a complete inspection, so any visible signs of mold in the house are usually brought up during inspection. A South Sound Inspections home inspector would point out areas where water has damaged drywall and suggest how you can prevent further damage from occurring down the line. 

If I see an area with mold in my home, what should I do?  

If you see any mold in your home, it is important to clean the area up quickly. Remove and throw away all porous materials with more than a small amount of mold and clean the remaining surfaces with a solution of bleach and water. However, if there is any sign of water damage then it is very likely that mold spores have started to grow and spread so you should call a professional immediately. The last thing you want to do is leave hidden mold in your home because it can grow quickly, become very hard to remove, and cause damage to the structure of your house over time.  Even worse, it can lead to serious health problems for you and your family.

Simple things you can do right now to prevent mold from growing in your home:

  • Keep humidity levels low by using exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom when cooking or showering. These fans are the easiest way to help keep the humidity in your home below 50%, which is needed to prevent mold from growing.  Use an air purifier for any rooms that are prone to high humidity levels. An air purifier can help reduce the amount of humidity in the air and prevent mold from growing. If you have a room in your home that is always humid, consider using an air purifier to keep the humidity levels down.
  • Clean up spills as soon as they happen. If you have a spill in your kitchen or bathroom and leave it for too long before cleaning it up, mold will start growing and spread throughout the room. However, mold can grow anywhere, so it is important to clean up spills as soon as they happen. 
  • Avoid storing items near exterior walls where moisture can collect on them. If you store items near exterior walls, the moisture from the wall can collect on them and cause mold to grow. Try to avoid storing any items against exterior walls, especially if they are made out of wood.
  • Make sure all moisture has somewhere to escape the home. Improving ventilation both inside and outside can ensure moisture can escape from your house. For example, if an open window drain is blocked, it prevents water from flowing out when it rains heavily. Homeowners should check whether there are any problems with their gutters, HVAC ducts, etc., which may be preventing water or moisture from draining away quickly enough. If not treated properly, you could encounter problems such as damp patches on walls where mold usually starts growing

Mold can be a big problem for homeowners, but by following these simple tips, you can prevent it from growing in your home. Learn how our inspectors use infrared technology to help identify hidden moisture that can lead to mold and book an appointment with South Sound Inspections today!

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