Mold inside a home can be a serious problem that leads to major damage as well as potential health problems for everyone living in the house. To combat this issue, you must be able to identify mold, determine the cause, and remove it.

For sellers, this process can mean the difference between being able to sell their home or not. For buyers, being able to identify mold and determine the damage it has caused may prevent you from making a big mistake.

What Mold is and How to Identify It

Mold is often found in hidden parts of your home, such as in the attic, in the basement or even between the walls. Your only indication that you have mold may be a musty odor.

If you do see mold, you may not recognize it for what it is. Mold comes in various forms and colors. It can be black, which is the most well-known color, or it can be a grayish brown, grayish green or even white. If mold gets behind vinyl wallpaper, it can even be orange, purple or pink. (Signs of Mold in House)

Another way to identify mold is to recognize signs of water damage. If your home or the house you are considering buying has had water damage, mold is a likely problem. You will notice stains on the ceiling, walls or floor. Peeling paint or wallpaper is another indication. Walls that bulge or seem warped imply water has been absorbed in at one time. (Signs of Mold in House)

Determine the Cause of the Mold

To know what caused the mold, you will look for signs of water damage. Many times, the issue is nearby, such as with mold on a wall behind a leaking pipe. However, the water leak may be hidden inside the walls. A plumber would be able to find the leak and repair it.

In other cases, mold comes from structural issues, such as a cracked foundation, which allows moisture to come inside the home. You will see this occur in homes with basements. (Signs of Mold in House)

Remove the Mold

Large areas of mold will require professional mold remediation to ensure it is properly removed and to avoid future contamination or spreading to other parts of the house. If you catch the issue while it is still small, then you can take care of the problem yourself.

It’s important to wear a mask and gloves when working around mold to prevent it from getting into your lungs and onto your hands. Moldy carpet must be removed, and grout lines in tile cleaned thoroughly. The most common cleaner for mold is a bleach/water mixture.  Bleach kills mold and is easy to purchase. (How to Remove Mold)

Tile is an easy source to clean, as long as you make sure to get in the grout lines. Other surfaces are more difficult, such as plastic and wood. Mold can eat into them, causing irreparable damage. You can buy mold cleaners that kill the mold spores and help prevent their return. For walls and ceilings, it’s recommended to paint over the area once you’ve cleaned the mold. Primer prevents the mold from seeping through, and it kills any spores left behind because it locks out air necessary from growth (How to Remove Mold).

Remember that mold will return unless the cause of the moisture is dealt with. If you are not confident that you have taken care of the problem, then have a professional check. For people looking to sell their homes, they must disclose the fact that they have mold if they know it exists. Buyers should beware of a home with indications of previous water damage or mold growth. They can request a mold test to ensure they aren’t buying a potential mold problem (Mold in Homes).

Do not allow mold to ruin your dream home!Take care of it now, because the power is now!

Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA

President and CEO