How Mold Can Affect the Value of Your Home
The presence of mold in your house not only can pose health hazards to your family but can also drive down the value of your home during a property appraisal. If you’ve discovered that there is mold in your home, you’ll need to act quickly. Mold tends to form on moist surfaces such as the drywall, wallpaper, carpet, baseboards, and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems (HVACs) that have been left unattended. As the mold grows and produces spores, it can become airborne once it dries out or is disturbed.
The Department of Health warns that individuals with allergies to certain types of mold may exhibit allergic symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, upper respiratory irritation, cough and eye irritation. Exposure to excessive amounts of mold can also cause an increase in the frequency or severity of asthma symptoms.
DIY or Call in the Pros?
First, you must determine if this is a situation you can remedy yourself or if you’ll need to contact a professional mold cleanup company. If it is every day mold growing on moist surfaces such as inside of a shower or bathtub, inside or around your kitchen sink, around the perimeter of exterior doors, or in your basement near your hot water heater, you can most likely clean it yourself. However, if the mold is found on larger areas of drywall, beams, or subflooring, it is a more significant problem and should be handled by a professional.
Removing Mold Yourself
The EPA urges individuals who are cleaning up mold to protect themselves with rubber gloves, goggles, and depending on the severity of the situation, an N-95 respirator. Also avoid using certain chemicals such as beach if you are prone to allergic reactions. To simply remove mold from the areas we mentioned that are subject to frequent moisture, mold testing organization Indoor Science Consultants and Technicians recommends the following methods:
- Bleach: Mix 1 cup of bleach with slightly less than 1 gallon of water, then either spray the solution on the affected area or apply it with a sponge or rag. You do not have to rinse the area.
- Borax: For a milder solution, mix 1 cup of borax with slightly less than 1 gallon of water. This method requires a brush application and additional scrubbing. Do not rinse the area but be sure to wipe it with a dry cloth.
- Vinegar: Spray straight vinegar to the area and then wipe dry.
- Ammonia: On smooth, nonporous areas such as sinks or tubs, combine and apply equal parts ammonia and water to the surface for 10 minutes, then rinse with water.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Spray straight hydrogen peroxide to the moldy area and leave on for 10 minutes before wiping the surface dry.
- Baking soda: Combine ½ teaspoon of baking soda with 1 gallon water and use it to scrub the area before rinsing with water.
- Tea tree oil: Mix 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil per cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray on and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping off.
An Ounce of Prevention
The safest way to safeguard your home against mold is by controlling moisture. Frequently check under your sinks and in your basement, and it’s a good idea to have your home inspected annually to ensure that your roof, plumbing, and HVAC system is free of excess moisture. Also install a bathroom exhaust fan to rid the bathroom air of excess moisture, humidity, odors and other pollutants.
For more information on how mold and other damage affects the appraisal value of a home contact Cliffco Mortgage at (516) 408-7300.