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Mold! - The Most Important Things to Know About It

Aug 17, 2007
Molds are part of the natural environment...and is certainly a problem in houses in the Nashville, Tennessee area. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees. But indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores. These spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through the air. It may begin growing when the spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold...but none of them will grow without water or moisture. Some molds can be deadly. Take care to safeguard your home and family.

Ten things you should know about mold:

* Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory problems.

* The way to control mold is to control moisture.

* If mold is present in your home, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.

* Fix the source of the water problem to prevent mold growth.

* Reduce indoor humidity to 30-60% to decrease mold growth by:

1. Venting bathrooms and clothes dryers to outside.

2. Use air conditioners and de-humidifiers

3. Increase ventilation

4. Use exhaust fans

* Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings

* Clean mold off hard surfaces with water & detergent...then dry completely. Absorbent materials such as moldy ceiling tiles should be replaced.

* Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces such as windows, piping, exterior walls, roof or floors by adding insulation.

* Do not install carpeting in areas subject to moisture.

* Mold can grow on paper, wood, carpet and foods.

Many people are sensitive to mold. Symptoms can be nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing or skin irritation. More serious allergies will have more severe reactions. People with chronic lung illness may develop mold infections in their lungs. So, it's very important to be clean any mold that is present and be aware of the causes and eliminate them.

Nashville tends to be humid in the summertime...so it's always important to consider mold prevention.

Moisture Control is the Key to Mold Control

* Make sure the ground slopes away from the house so that water does not enter the crawlspace or collect around the foundation.

* Keep air-conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.

* Fix all water leaks promptly.

* Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering.

Many times you can smell mold and mildew. It may be hidden in places such as the backside of drywall, wallpaper or paneling. Or under the carpet...or inside ductwork. Just about anywhere! I've seen many laundry rooms that have major issues...mold visibly growing up the wall. Basements are likely places for mold to grow...sometimes undetected.

Minor clean up can be done with a mild bleach solution...about 1/4 cup to a quart of water. Repeat after a few minutes. Then apply a borate-based detergent and do not rinse. You will have to read the ingredient list to find borates. Always be sure to wear rubber gloves and goggles when cleaning mold.

Many species of mold are toxic...and these are known carcinogens. Severe exposure can lead to internal bleeding, kidney and liver failure and pulmonary emphysema.

Following these measures will prevent mold from ever being a problem in your home! We spend so much time in our homes and it's very important to safeguard our families from as many toxins as we can.
About the Author
Pam Rumley is a veteran real estate broker in the Nashville, TN area. She is a true Exclusive Buyer's Agent. There is never a conflict of interest regarding your real estate transaction. You can be assured of receiving 100% of her attention and loyalty - 100% of the time.

For more information, visit her comprehensive website, www.NashvilleRealEstateAuthority.com
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