Most homeowners don’t realize mold is everywhere and almost every home will get a mold infestation at some point. The key is recognizing potential problems and stopping them before they become too large. The staff at Tri-Star Insurance in San Diego explains how to detect mold and how to get rid of it.
Determining If You Have a Mold Problem
Mold isn’t always easy to spot. This fungus grows out of tiny airborne spores and can invade any place the spores land provided the temperature and moisture content are suitable. The most visible type of mold is mildew, which appears as dark spots, usually on grout lines in the shower or on a damp floor.
The most problematic molds are those that infest the areas behind a wall or underneath carpet because they are usually not noticed until they cause an odor or someone in the house becomes sick. Any infestations, small or large, need to be cleaned up right away before they can spread and become dangerous.
Safe Mold Removal Methods
Most mold problems can easily be resolved if they are caught early on. Before trying to remove mold yourself, know what you’re up against. Some forms of mold are highly toxic. Call a professional mold removal company or your local health department if you have any doubts about the safest way to proceed.
With infestations that produce a noticeable smell, wear a dust mask to prevent inhaling the spores and use protective clothing and gloves. If the mold is safe to clean yourself, an effective mold-removing cleaner includes one quart of hot water, a half-cup of bleach, and a little detergent. Be sure to use a detergent that won’t react with the bleach. Trisodium phosphate, a heavy-duty cleaner found at home improvement stores, is a good product for cleaning mold.
Use a stiff bristle brush and plenty of elbow grease. Let the bleach do its work to kill all the mold, and use industrial fans and dehumidifiers to completely dry the area. A mold removal company can supply these machines, or you can rent them yourself. The biggest contributor to mold is dampness, which means you need to formulate a strategy to ensure the area stays dry.
Mold and Homeowners Insurance
Some San Diego homeowners insurance companies have placed restrictions on insuring homes with previous water damage or those built using materials that tend to harbor mold. Familiarize yourself with your policy. Many policies will not pay for mold damage resulting from a maintenance-related water issue like a leaky pipe or drainage problem, but might pay for accidental water damage from a burst pipe inside the home.
If you’d like to learn more about mold damage and other incidents home insurance may or may not cover, get in touch with American Tri-Star. In addition to home insurance, we also offer affordable auto, health, and commercial insurance in San Diego. Give us a call today at 619-272-2100 and one of our knowledgeable agents would be happy to assist you and provide a free quote.