How to Prevent Black Mold Growth
Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, can cause a vast array of physical ailments including breathing difficulties, coughing, disorientation, eye damage, and brain fog, just to name a few. Due to its extremely toxic nature, it is essential that you learn how to prevent black mold growth in your home so that you can protect the health of you and your loved ones.
In order for it to become a problem, black mold first needs something to grow on (carpets, showers, wood, or just about anything else in your home will do), and moisture. Mold typically takes 24 to 48 hours to grow, so limiting the amount of time a surface is exposed to moisture and humidity is the most efficient and easiest way to prevent black mold growth. Opening windows throughout the day and turning on your bathroom’s ventilation fan after showering are effortless ways to keep your home properly aerated and thus greatly reduce the chance for mold to grow.
If you notice any recurring water damage or prevailing water leaks in your home, get them inspected and repaired immediately. Ignoring water that is pooling up or constantly dampening various surfaces in your home is asking for black mold to grow and quickly become a rampant problem. While it is understood that not everyone has access to emergency funds for water damage upfront, it is important to realize that allowing mold to become a problem will be more costly for your wallet and health down the line. Just take a deep breath, set aside some money from your next paycheck or take out what you currently have in savings, and get it taken care of now.
If something spills on the carpet, you come in soaked from the rain, or a considerable layer of snow has built up on the wall around your window and is beginning to melt its way inside, take care of these things immediately. Remember that moisture is one of the main culprits of mold growth, so it is important to nip it in the bud as soon as possible, in all circumstances. It can be tempting to head straight for the shower first or convince yourself you’ll get to it in a few minutes, but even that is risky. When you take care of problem areas immediately, you are able to more effectively remove more of the moisture, and you also eliminate any possibility of you accidentally forgetting about them (we are all human, after all).
Black mold can be scary and have damaging health consequences if left to its own devices. Luckily, preventing black mold growth is as simple as following the tips presented here. By limiting or preventing moisture altogether and promptly addressing water damage, you can help ensure you and anyone else in your homestay healthy and safe.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help prevent your house from getting black mold. We can inspect your A/C unit, check for plumbing leaks, look for visual warnings of black mold and handle any issues you may have.
Why You Need a Home Duct Inspection
When your HVAC system is functioning properly, you likely will not even notice it. However, when your system is not working as it should, it can quickly become apparent. One component of your home’s HVAC system that is usually hidden out of sight can often be culprit for poor indoor air quality. Due to the fact that this component goes unnoticed, other systems are typically blamed first when energy bills escalate or it suddenly becomes unseasonably warm or cool in your home. If your home has not undergone an inspection recently, it might be time to schedule one.
The ductwork system in your home is susceptible to accumulating debris over time. When this happens, it can result in seals loosening and tape falling away. Eventually, the ducts can even become damaged. If you have noticed any of the following in your home, it may be a good idea to schedule an inspection of your ducts:
- Uneven airflow – could indicate fallen ducts and air leaks
- Loose ducts that make noise
- Accumulation of debris around the diffusers
- Uneven temperatures – could indicate insufficient insulation in the ducts
- Musty odors
- High energy bills
Duct and A/C Inspection
Not only can poorly insulated ducts result in poor indoor air quality, but they can also cause wasted energy and higher utility bills. A comprehensive inspection performed by an experienced HVAC professional can help mitigate this problem. If you are uncertain whether your home may be in need of an inspection, you may perform a preliminary inspection on your own. You will need a flashlight and proper safety gear before getting starting. Keep the following in mind while performing an inspection of the ducts in your crawl space or attic:
- Be sure to inspect all ductwork that is visible, looking for signs of inadequate or damaged insulation. Any insulation that is damp or wet should be considered damaged due to the fact that it will no longer be able to maintain the all-important R-value.
- Use a smoke pencil to identify air leaks that may be present along the duct seams. This inspection should be performed while the heating or cooling system is actually running.
- Look for any fallen or disconnected ducts.
- Once you are back in the living space, remove some of the diffusers, the air filter, and the return grille. Look for mold accumulation or debris in the walls. A flashlight may be necessary for this task.
- Perform an inspection of the evaporator coil for mold, debris and mildew. If you notice any signs of this, you can typically expect the same to be present in your home’s ducts.
To learn more about a professional inspection or to schedule an inspection, contact us.