A happy National Care About Your Indoor Air Month to you!
To mark this momentous occasion, we’d like to take a moment to talk about mold.
Before we begin, let’s get something clear: we’re not talking about the occasional jar of salsa that turns green and fuzzy in the back of the fridge. We’re talking about mold inside your home, resulting from excessive moisture—and creating unhealthful conditions for you and your family.
So how you know if you have a mold problem? Perhaps you see dark spots or discoloration on a door frame or inside the shower; that makes it easy to know you have a mold situation on your hands! But look for these other signs that your home is at risk:
- Cracked plasterboard
- Buckling drywall
- Warping floors
- Condensation on windows
- Musty odor
If you discover mold in your home, you can try to remove it yourself with soap and water or a bleach solution (one cup bleach per one gallon of water). Take appropriate precautions when working to remove mold; for instance, do not mix bleach with other household cleaners, be sure you have plenty of ventilation when using the bleach solution, and wear appropriate protective gear (protective eyewear, gloves, and perhaps even a respirator).
You may choose to hire mold remediation experts if your mold situation is too big for you to tackle yourself. Ask for estimates and references, confirm that the company has a valid license and insurance, ask about certification (for instance, from the Indoor Air Quality Association, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning & Restoration, or OSHA), and request a guarantee or warranty on their completed work.
Of course, the best way to deal with a mold problem is to prevent it from starting in the first place. Keep an eye on your indoor humidity levels (you may wish to purchase a humidity monitor, which can tell you how high your home’s humidity is—and, perhaps, clue you in to unwanted sources of moisture that will foster mold). Be sure your bathing and cooking areas are well ventilated. Look for standing water (or even just dampness) around windows, hot water tanks, sump pumps, and freezers and refrigerators. Check around the perimeter of your home for ground water dampness or foundation leaks. And if you do experience water damage in an area of your house, be sure that materials in that area are thoroughly dried within 24-48 hours.
For more than 35 years, Insurance Partners, Inc., has been providing quality protection for individuals, families, and businesses, helping people make sense of their insurance needs so they can look forward to a brighter, more secure future. If you have questions about your insurance coverage, contact us.