7 Signs of Spring Mold in Your Northeast Ohio Home

If you or your children suffer from allergies or asthma, spring can be a pretty bad time for you. It’s a time of year for flare-ups that can be awful to deal with, especially if you’re just now diving into some spring cleaning.

Part of the reason for that may be built up mold and allergens that you’re only just discovering as the spring months arrive.

This can be especially bad for people with asthma, which is a chronic inflammation of the lung’s airways. The swollen airways suffered by people with asthma can make breathing difficult. Symptoms include wheezing, chest tightness, and more.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, “there is no cure for asthma, but once it is properly diagnosed and a treatment plan is in place you will be able to manage your condition, and your quality of life will improve.”

If you want to manage your condition, you’ve got to understand what triggers your flare-ups in the first place - and one of the major triggers can be mold.

But how do you know if there is mold in your home? Here are some warning signs or conditions that could lead to mold:

• You Can See it. Sometimes it’s just this obvious! You can see mold growing in your home, often in dark, damp spots. It can be in many colors, and none of them are good.

• Musty Odors. A musty, damp smell discovered while spring cleaning in the remote corners of your house – under cabinets, in closets, in the laundry room, etc. – could mean that mold has gotten a foothold over the winter.

• You or Visitors Get Sick. If visitors to your home get allergy-like symptoms while there when they never have before, or you start having chronic allergy symptoms, it’s possible you may have mold somewhere in your home kicking spores into the air. Watch for coughing, itchy eyes, runny nose, headache, dizziness and other symptoms.

• You Had Recent Flooding. If you had some flooding over the winter or more recently, it could have created a breeding ground for mold. Whether something minor like a washing machine that overflowed or major like Mother Nature’s wrath, such flooding can lead to mold.

• Areas With Poor Ventilation. When you’re doing your spring cleaning, you’ll come to realize that some spots in your home get poor ventilation, especially over the long winter. Keep your eye on those spots. They’re great places for mold to take hold.

• Areas of Humidity and Dampness. Spots like these in your home are a haven for mold, especially when the spring months start to warm them up.

• Unexplainable Drywall Damage. If your drywall is discolored, warped, bowing or peeling, it may be a sign that mold has set in. Such building materials have organic materials in them, and that is essentially mold food.

Once you’ve discovered there is mold in your home, it’s key to have it removed, especially for asthma sufferers. 

Dr. James Li, MD, Chair of the Division of Allergic Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine, says that “reducing exposure to asthma triggers is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent asthma flare-ups.”

For your good health and the health of your children, don’t let mold go un-addressed. Spring is the perfect time to eliminate it!

(Worried you might have mold somewhere in your home? We always offer a completely free Home Health Audit - sign up for yours here.)

5 Ways to Minimize Mold During Cleveland Winters

The winter months here in Cleveland are damp. Making matters worse is that our homes and businesses tend to be closed up tight during the winter, limiting ventilation and giving mold and mildew a perfect environment in which to thrive.
That’s bad for your home and bad for your health.
But there are ways you can minimize the danger and help keep mold from setting up shop in your home or office. Try these tips to ensure you remain mold-free during those long, damp Cleveland winters:

1) Keep Damp Areas Clean

Dampness is mold’s best friend. Any place that gets damp and sees little air circulation is a haven for mold growth. That spot where everyone throws their snowy boots? That leaky second shower that rarely gets used? The old window seal that gets damp? Keep them clean and keep them dry to minimize mold risk.

2) Have Good Ventilation

One of the reasons mold takes root and grows is due to lack of ventilation. This can especially be a problem in the winter, when our windows are always closed and we’re opening our doors as infrequently as possible.

To address this, ensure your home or office’s ventilation system is in good shape and is blowing good air. Have clean air filters, and replace them regularly. And if there are parts of your building that get little airflow, such as an enclosed laundry room or damp utility closet, consider periodically running a small fan there to help increase airflow.

3) Watch For and Repair Leaks

Leaky or drafty windows, and any appliances or piping that leak, can contribute to the risk of mold growth. This is true any time of year, even during cold winters. Watch for spots such as this and make repairs as soon as possible. If immediate repairs aren’t possible, monitor the area to keep it clean and dry.

4) Minimize Humidifier Use

Many homes or offices use humidifiers for comfort or health reasons. We won’t go so far as to say not to use them, especially if you’re using them for health reasons, but do keep a close eye on your usage.

When you begin to exceed 50% relative humidity in the winter, you can create light layers of condensation on windows, walls, and other areas – and that is prime real estate for mold.

5) Use Moisture Barriers

In areas like crawl spaces, use moisture barriers to help minimize spots where mold can thrive. Made of plastics and other materials, these barriers are spread on the ground and help prevent mold from getting a foothold underneath your home or business. They are affordable, too!
The good news about all the above tips is that they are EASY and affordable. In fact, most are free.
And if you do find that mold has found its way into your home or business, call in the experts. We always offer a completely free home assessment - just shoot us a note below to get in touch:

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