A Minnesota Guide to Sighting and Fighting Mold

The one thing any homeowner does not want to see is the sight of mold in any corner of their home. As Minnesotans, there is heavy rain in the summer months and fast thaws in the spring. Our homes are thus exposed to extra moisture. If there is any reason to believe that you have mold growing in or near your house, use a comprehensive strategy instead of trying to solve it head-on. We recommend the following guide to get rid and keep mold away altogether. 
 

1. Look out for warning signs. 


Avoid the problem of dealing with mold entirely by looking out for any warning signs that lead to it building and addressing them immediately. The longer you wait, the more you will potentially have to deal with later. The first sign is most likely dampness or water in rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen. You can feel moisture along floorboards, or it can also appear as a discoloration on the ceiling. This is often due to leaks from the floor above, but any water leakage will do for mold to start growing.
 

2. Check the attic.

Have you been in your attic recently? Even though attics are where we store our junk for years to come, it is important to look in this room and inspect it thoroughly every once in a while. What you want to look for is dampness, water stains, or actual mold that is forming. Particular places of interest should be the floor joists, roof decking, and underneath and behind the insulation. One of the mold’s favorite places to build is the paper backing on fiberglass insulation. Ensure this area is clear before you move on!
 

3. Inspect the roof and ceilings.

Once you’ve completed a thorough look at the attic, continue your inspection by going to the roof and ceilings. A leaking roof is an electric avenue toward a moldy attic. Beyond cracks or holes, properly check that the flashing is installed around vent pipes and air conditioning units. It benefits you in the end because it will direct drainage off the roof.
 

4. Invest in a dehumidifier. 

A good investment during these dewy and damp times is a dehumidifier, especially if it’s not already built into your HVAC system. Your humidity levels should always be kept below 50% since anything higher can create the dampness needed to produce mold. 
 

5. Slope away.

When talking about sloping around your home and surrounding buildings, you want it angled downward and away from the structure. If the ground is sloping towards the structure, the base can collect rainwater that comes its way and easily creates dampness around the structure where mold may grow. If you suspect that there’s a drainage issue within the community, contact your association management company to investigate. (Click here to read about community drainage risks).
 

6. Trim regularly.

Despite trimming during the warmer weather for aesthetic purposes, there are other reasons to be trimming regularly. If trees and shrubs become overgrown, the collection of dead leaves and underbrush creates a shady, moist place for mold to grow. 
 

7. Don’t wait; take action.

There’s no need to play any waiting games once you notice the slightest amount of mold forming. Call a qualified professional to manage the problem and provide you with a more in-depth examination of the problem. They will usually investigate with a digital hygrometer. This tool monitors the humidity levels in different areas of the home, and it detects which areas of the home would be most appealing to mold. Since there are different types of mold, they may also take a core sample of it so that they know how to best take care of the problem using a custom plan. If a professional association company manages your community, your association manager can provide you with many options for a qualified mold inspector. 
 
One of the most critical pieces of information to take with you from this article is that mold loves moisture - they’re the perfect match! Knowing how to identify these first steps is ideal for repairing the causes of moisture and being able to eliminate it as soon as possible. For more information on mold remediation and other helpful tips, contact FirstService Residential.
 

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