With the excitement of Spring, many of us take a closer look at the condition of our homes, even if we do not have a home for sale. Upon deeper inspection, we may find areas that need an extra bit of care. If you happen to notice mold in your home, do not panic. Instead take a deep breath (outside) and a few minutes to educate yourself!
While mold can be dangerous to your health, with symptoms ranging from breathing problems or congestion and watery, red eyes to aches and pains and even memory loss, it is also an issue easily solved. Mold can grow in areas of constant moisture, as a result of flooding, a leaky roof or plumbing, or improper ventilation in rooms that are moist.
If you discover mold while your home is for sale, a professional inspection and treatment should be done. If not, then you must first determine the source of moisture to begin your plan of attack. If the area is large, you should consult with a professional for proper treatment methods. If however the damage is slight or only affecting a small area, you may want to attempt the repair yourself.
After applying the appropriate protective gear (mask and gloves), you need to remove all porous materials such as ceiling tiles, drywall, carpeting and wood. Non-porous surfaces such as cement, metal, tile or glass can remain. Allow the area to completely dry over a 2-3 day period and use fans if necessary to help in this process. Then, with a non-ammonia detergent and a stiff brush, scrub the entire area, rinse and dry. Once dry, disinfect the cleaned surface with a solution of bleach and water (use one cup of bleach for every gallon of water). Allow the area to dry completely and then, retexture, paint, or decorate as needed.