Be proactive when dealing with mold and mildew

Published on Sunday, 30 August 2015 05:43 - Written by Michele Agbayani Mills, Tyler Better Business Bureau

Mold - it’s not a fun subject, but it’s a serious one - even in the summertime. Flash flooding from summer storms can cause standing water around buildings. Flooding and leaks are the leading causes of mold in homes, and recent studies show that approximately 50 percent of all homes have been affected with moisture problems leading to mold issues.

Without a doubt, the best strategy is prevention. Left untreated, mold infestation remediation can be as cumbersome and costly as a complete home renovation.

Mold can irritate the eyes, the skin, the throat, nose and lungs. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung conditions may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed to mold. It can also damage and stain walls, roofs, carpets and flooring, costing homeowners both time and money.

In 2014, BBB received 107,446 inquiries nationwide related to mold and mildew inspection and removal.

BBB, along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are advising homeowners to be proactive when it comes to dealing with mold and mildew and take these measures to keep mold at bay:

Keep Humidity Low

The lower the humidity in the air, the lower the moisture, resulting in a decreased chance for mold. The EPA recommends a humidity level of 30 to 50 percent. Open the window or run the exhaust fan when showering and vent all appliances that create moisture.

Give Your Roof Some Love

Make sure to keep your roof in working order. A leaky roof leads to a moldy house. Make sure to keep your gutters in good stead as well.

Air Conditioners

Keep air conditioner pans clean and drain lines working correctly.

Increase Air Temperature

The EPA says increase air temperature. Some good options for doing this would be increasing your home’s insulation or purchasing a dehumidifier.

Keep Water Away from Foundation

Make sure the ground slopes downward away from your home. Water pooling around the foundation of your house is a sure recipe for mold.

Be Proactive

The EPA attests that there is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. The way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. If you notice a leak in your shower faucet or sink, repair it immediately to avoid the ideal habitat for mold. Clean and dry any wet or damp surfaces within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth. Vent all bathrooms, kitchens and other moisture-generating sources to reduce indoor humidity and prevent mold growth.

If your home is already a victim of a mold attack, it’s important that you choose your contractor wisely. Check with at least three contractors before deciding on one, and make sure you are comparing apples to apples, not just the cost.

If you are unsure but have some indication that your home has been affected (odor, water damage, stains), ask a Certified Mold Inspector for assistance. They have the proper know-how in pinpointing the exact location of undetected mold problems.

Remember, before making any purchasing decisions, go to bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, please call the BBB Hotline: 903-581-8373.