Mold problems can cause homeowners and business managers a lot of headaches, and other poor health reactions for everyone involved. Since certain types of mold can be deadly, one must take immediate action to purify a building and prevent further spread of this spore-bore invader. Mold prevention narrows down to one solution: moisture control.
Mold’s favorite hangouts.
Mold spores float in the air all around us but only set up house when they find the right environment for growth. Damp areas are real estate “open house” signs for migrant mold organisms.
They can multiply and feed off your building’s paint, carpet, woodwork, leather, or other composite and porous materials. Some surfaces will never be restored after mold has set in. Since black mold can cause fatalities if left unchecked, one cannot be too careful in remodeling and refinishing an area for greater mold resistance. Ceiling tiles, carpet, and other porous finishes may not be thoroughly cleanable and have to be removed entirely. Non-porous surfaces should be scoured with water and soap.
Prevent mold growth.
New interior finish products prevent mold growth. Certain types of drywall board, tape, and mud offer a design that will not feed mold. Combine that with new paints, stains, and other surface finishes that prevent the growth of mold and mildew and you will prevent further problems over the long term. None of these changes, however, will be sufficient if you do not solve the building’s moisture problem.
Simple measures will make a building more mold resistant. Examine all areas where water might be used. Water usage areas will eventually become water spillage areas. Water fountains will splatter, sinks can get plugged and overflow, and pipes may sweat and drip condensation on occasion. The area around a water fountain should be tile or other washable surface from the floor area and up the wall at least a foot above the water source. Install sinks on a drip-stop counter top with back splash and surrounded by vinyl flooring or tile. Bathrooms need smooth surface flooring and should be partitioned with metal or plastic partitions, not wood. If an area with a water supply needs carpet for sound or aesthetic reasons, lay out a rug that can be removed an washed when needed or in case of flooding. Wrap your metal pipes and other plumbing with insulation tape. This will stabilize the surface temperature of the pipes and stop water from condensation
Targeting mold trouble spots.
Water leaks of any sort make fertile ground for all types of mold and mildew. If you find wet spots in your ceiling, it will only be a matter of time before you have mold. Seek professional help to locate the source of trouble in your roof. Older metal roofs such as on schools or large buildings, the screws may need to be reseated to prevent leakage. You may need a total roof job if there has been damage or the surface has worn out. The sooner repair is made, the lest money you will have to spend restoring the interior.
Basements and earth-berm buildings beckon for water seepage. Check for foundation cracks or other obvious areas where water can be giving life to microorganisms. In some situations, a foundation wall will have to be excavated so drainage tile may be installed and the surrounding earth sloped away from the wall instead of toward it.
Check around your water supply areas inside. You may find slowly leaking pipes that help a mold colony thrive. Clogged drain pipes can seep around the joints as well. As much as a person might not want to think about a little leak, ignoring the problem does not make it go away. Neglected leaks from roofs, foundations, or plumbing will only create more problems.
In any building, uncontrolled humidity will create ongoing mold problems. Relative humidity must be kept between 30% to 60%. This can be controlled by heating in winter and air conditioning in summer. Additional help comes year round by running a dehumidifier in particularly moist environments. Install a humidity sensor or mold detector to let you know if changes must be made. Ionic air purifiers help as well, however since not all spores will be prevented this technology must be combined with a moisture stable environment.