In most cases water is the primary reason for mildew and mold formation, but in others finding the source can be a real challenge. The following tips aim to give you some insight into what you can do find it and eliminate it. We begin with the first one:
Inspect cracks and vents
If you have any mold growing on exterior walls, ceilings and more, you should check for possible leaks on the walls and the roof. You will likely have to measure the area covered in mold from its place to a point where you can keep track of it, like a door for example. You should inspect all window wells, vents and any other location where you see wood rotting. Check out for any downspouts as well if they are present. It is possible for water to seep into the house if the moisture around it is too much.
Dealing with condensation
In many cases condensation may imitate leaks, as it helps form mold in the ceiling. While there will be little to no signs of damage on the roof outside, it may be possible that bad insulation can be the issue there. Warm condense can be a problem, as it forms in the crawl spaces above your ceiling or in the attic itself. If you spot condensation, it will likely mean that your ducts are poorly insulated, thus missing a good barrier against vapors. The water will eventually saturate the entire ceiling, giving a chance for mold spores to thrive on its nourishing effect. Cold weather brings about a rather inverse effect, allowing moisture to form anywhere the air escapes outside, such as any unsealed places and spots around the home.
Testing of spots
Although you are likely to recognize any spots of mold on your walls and ceiling, sometimes hidden growths may look more like dirt than anything else. If you want to do a test on whether the spot you’re looking at is actually mold, you can use a mixture of bleach and water in a 1:16 ratio with a swab. Put it on the spot, then see whether it lightens or not. If it does or it comes back when you’re done, it is highly likely you’re dealing with mold. Stores sell mold test kits at affordable prices, which allow you to identify the type of mold for a more accurate way of dealing with it.
Using antimicrobial spray
Once the moisture is dry, you can clean up and spray the area so it won’t be back with a vengeance. If you are dealing with these issues in a large area, such as a basement, you may have to fog the room to achieve any effect at all. This will require a machine you may not have available, so outside help will definitely be needed to get the job done.
One of the most often seen causes of mold is condensation, thus you will need to eliminate the cause. This may often include opening a wall or removing the infested paint if the spores have dug in deep.
Seal grout and tiles
If you have to prevent mold around showers or tubs, you should first apply an antimicrobial treatment to the wall, then seal it up with grout sealant to keep the water from seeping into the grout itself.