If you've noticed a musty smell in your home, there’s a good chance you could have a mold or mildew problem. Knowing how to identify the signs of mold and what causes it to grow in your home in the first place is an essential skill for any homeowner.
In some cases, you can remediate mold on your own—however, calling in a professional team is the best idea to ensure your home stays mold-free. At Total Home Performance, we offer several mold remediation services that can help keep your home clean and safe from mold, like encapsulation, insulation, and dehumidification.
What Causes Mold & Mildew in a Home?
Mold is everywhere in the world and can commonly be found within any building. While some kinds of mold or mildew will have a minimal effect on your health, others can cause allergic reactions and lower your indoor air quality. Mold can also lead to structural damage when it’s not treated and allowed to spread.
Mold and mildew thrive in damp, dark places. Areas like your attic or basement are especially vulnerable to mold growth because the drastic difference in temperatures between the indoors and outdoors can create condensation and excess moisture in your home.
How to Identify Moisture Problems
Seeing mold or mildew is the most obvious sign of a problem, but since the unseen areas of your home are the most susceptible, it can be difficult to spot. Some other signs of mold to look out for can include:
- Musty odors in your living areas
- Increased asthma or allergy symptoms, like sneezing or coughing
- Recent water leaks or other moisture problems
- Dark stains on your walls or ceilings
- Peeling wallpaper
When to Call For Professional Help
While some mold issues can be handled with DIY solutions, it’s important to know when to call in professional help. Without extensive training on the best identification and remediation methods, you could end up dealing with the issue returning or worsening. You may want to call in the team at Total Home Performance if:
- The infected area is large (more than 5-10 square feet)
- You’ve tried cleaning the mold and it has come back
- Your home is humid and damp
- If the mold is greenish-black and feels wet or slimy—this means it could be black mold, which is dangerous to your health
- If there are any unusual respiratory illnesses in your home
Start Here: Moisture & Humidity Assessment
A moisture and humidity assessment is a crucial part in not only pinpointing where mold has grown in your home, but also to identify the cause of it. By finding the source of moisture in your home, our team will be better equipped to find the most effective and long-lasting solution.
Once the mold is removed, it’s important to address the source of the issue to prevent it from recurring. There are several ways to combat moisture and humidity problems, and the experts at Total Home Performance can find the right solution for your home and mold growth situation.
Solution: Crawl Space Encapsulation
If your crawl space or basement is the source of mold in your home, crawl space encapsulation is a great option to solve the problem and prevent it from happening again. By separating the lower level of your home from the outdoors and including it in your thermal envelope, you’ll be protecting it from moisture, humidity, and mold growth.
Activities like cooking, showering, and doing laundry can all contribute to high humidity levels in your home. Indoor humidity levels should ideally be kept between 30-50% and installing a whole home dehumidifier allows you to maintain that. A whole home dehumidifier will keep your home dry, take stress off of your HVAC system, and of course deter mold growth.
Solution: Insulation & Air Sealing
Insulation and air sealing may not be the first things you think of when it comes to mold remediation, but they are actually some of the most effective ways to prevent it from growing in your home. Air movement accounts for 98% of vapor movement within a building and air sealing helps to control any unwanted airflow in and out of your home. When combined with insulation to maintain the temperature between your living spaces, air sealing can combat mold growth moisture problems.
Total Home Performance: Your Moisture Control Experts on the Eastern Shore
As a Council-certified Microbial Remediation Supervisor (CMRS), our team possesses the required knowledge to conduct mold remediation and keep your home safe from future issues. With our expertise, you can rest assured and breathe easier knowing the mold problem is effectively solved. If you think you have a mold or mildew problem in your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to Total Home Performance and find solutions.