Utah is famous for its powdery snow, beautiful winters, and incredible variety in seasons and terrain. However, with all that impressive weather comes harsh freeze and thaw cycles, as well as unavoidable wear and tear on our homes and businesses. Indeed, melting snow and ice can compromise the integrity of our roofs, foundations, siding, and more. It also invites another sort of problem, one that can be both subtle and severe. Of course, we’re talking about mold.
Unfortunately, mold is an incredibly pervasive and common household problem. It’s one that most property owners will encounter at some point in the life cycle of a building. That being said, the severity and magnitude of the issue can vary substantially, and there are several basic things you can do to help protect your home or business.
We’re excited to share some of our professional recommendations with you today and to help you reduce the risk of a mold outbreak in your home – no matter the weather or season.
Seasonal Tips for Mold Prevention
Mold requires moisture to live and breed. As such, the first step of mold prevention is to immediately address leaks, spills, and other moisture build-ups. However, it’s easy to forget about the small details and areas we don’t see very often. That brings us to our second recommendation: have a seasonal inspection checklist.
Your list should include items such as your water heater, specifically checking for signs of discoloration or intermittent leaking. It should also include any areas of past moisture damage, warping on your walls or support beams, and checking for any mold or structural issues in the attic. Make sure to check the paint and siding of your property as well, interior and exterior, for blistering and staining. Finally, be on the lookout for separation of particle board and wood, check under your sinks and around appliances, and stay alert for musty smells. (Taken together with visual indicators, a musty smell may point to a mold problem.)
(Pro Tip: Windows and window seats are notorious for moisture buildup. They’re also some of the most neglected and easily overlooked areas. Be sure to weatherproof your windows, and check your caulking regularly. (Again, that’s another commonly overlooked step.) Also, be aware that most brands of caulk claim they will last ten or twenty years. But, in a place like Utah with lots of swinging temperatures, it’s often more like five.)
Prevention Through the Seasons
Naturally, melting and freezing snow can lead to water damage, leaks, ice dams, and more. In fact, moisture often migrates around roofing material and is a common cause of mold in attics. That means you’ll want to weatherproof your roof before mold becomes an issue. You can do this with more modern upgrades such as installing deicing cables and using a peel and stick underlayment rather than tar. However, simple things like upgrading your attic insulation, regularly removing snow and ice off your roof, making sure your gutters are clean, and using gutter guards can help prevent moisture buildup as well.
Sprinklers are another seasonal mold breeder. When starting up your sprinkler system, be sure they aren’t spraying the walls of your home or foundation and that moisture drains away from the home. Neglecting these steps may invite mold growth inside the wall itself, which often goes unnoticed until it’s caused significant deterioration of the structure.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask A Professional For Help
Generally speaking, the vast majority of homes contain some amount of mold. And while, most of the time, it is harmless – some types can make you ill. That’s why proper maintenance, keeping your home up to code, and ensuring effective ventilation are all critical to the health of both you, your family, and your property.
Of course, if you do discover mold in your home, you’ll want to ensure proper remediation and decontamination as soon as possible. We typically suggest leaving larger mold remediation projects to professionals. This is because certain types of mold are dangerous, difficult to kill, and spread quickly. Furthermore, some materials (like wood) require specific techniques to disinfect.
In those circumstances, or if you find yourself unsure of how to proceed, you may want to call a professional mold remediation and decontamination company. Your local health department may even have a list of specialists in your area. If you’re in Utah, then you’re in luck. AEI Decon is Utah’s Meth and Mold cleanup master. Call us for a free consultation, and we’ll help you sort out your next step (801) 888-6698.
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