Mold is a common cause for concern. Not only does it present potential health issues, it can also be indicative of other issues within the home.
Every home has the potential for mold - if it can grow on your bread, it can grow on your walls. This isn't meant to cause alarm, but rather to show when an alarm should or shouldn't be raised. The objective of a mold-free home is unrealistic. Mold cannot be entirely eliminated, but it can be controlled.
Mold needs four things to grow:
1. Mold spores
2. A food source
3. Temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit
Small quantities of mold spores are present in the air of every building, food sources are present in every home, and no human is comfortable in temperatures less than 40 degrees or more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Ultimately, the best and really the only way to prevent mold from growing is to control moisture. Curing leaks, improving drainage, and drying things up are important steps in controlling mold.
Regular system maintenance, home repair, and home assessment are critical in controlling mold presence.
>> Check the drainage around the exterior of your home. Make sure the ground slopes away from your foundation wall to keep water away from your basement.
>> Gutters and downspouts should be kept clear of leaves and debris and any leaks should be repaired.
>> Ensure your attic is properly ventilated and that there are no exhaust fans discharging into the roof space.
>> Make sure there are no leaks in your roof or wall systems.
Professional Home Inspectors are building scientists rather than health scientists, and unless they have special qualifications, typically do not inspect for mold. Inspectors look at all building systems and components in a general Home Inspection, and identify readily accessible and visible moisture issues. Where mold is a concern, a professional mold inspection may be logical. Having an indoor air quality assessment performed will help in identifying excessive mold issues and provide advice on remediation tactics.
In most homes, good maintenance and common sense are the best weapons against mold. As Home Inspectors have been saying for years: moisture is the biggest enemy of homes. Mold may be one of the results of that moisture.