Mold and Mildew Information

By: Peter Chicarielli
If you associate mold and mildew stains with the summer months, you'd be correct. The hot and humid weather provides a perfect environment for rapid mold and mildew growth. The winter however, despite cold temperatures in much of the country is not a mold and mildew-free season by any means.

In fact, the development of mold and mildew stains can actually be intensified during the winter. That's because people tend to lock-down their houses to prevent cold air from coming in and heat from escaping. The reduced circulation of fresh air results in a higher concentration of airborne spores which in turn, can increase the likelihood of mold and mildew stains on ceilings, walls or other surfaces.

In a warm house, mold and mildew will continue to grow in areas such as basements, attics and crawl spaces. Once the Christmas decorations are put away, emerging mold and mildew growth has a free, undisturbed ride until Memorial Day when the summer gear gets pulled out.

The worst-case scenario is mold that silently grows behind a wall, under flooring or above acoustical ceiling tiles.

This type of mold growth is usually caused by a leak that wasn't repaired properly, or if it was repaired, the surrounding area wasn't sufficiently dried or treated before covering it with new drywall, tile, etc. If any part of your house has water damage history, it should be inspected carefully.

There have been many newspaper articles and news reports about families being forced to move from their homes and school closings due to toxic mold. But despite the media hype, most of the mold people encounter is usually the harmless, gross-looking variety.

The jury may be out on what the health effects of certain types of mold are, but the fact is that there is usually a point of origin and mold growth is a fairly slow process. For those concerned about mold and mildew stains, here's a simple, four-step plan that should be followed all year long:

1) Inspect - Look for early signs of mold and mildew in places such as basements, shower areas, walls that house water pipes, ceilings, etc.

2) Repair - Fix plumbing leaks, drain clogs, roof leaks or poor bathroom ventilation that can encourage mold growth.

3) Remove - Treat emerging mold and mildew thoroughly with a powerful cleaning product such as InstaGone Multi-Purpose Stain Remover.

4) Restore - Once mold and mildew stains have been treated with an effective cleaning solutions such as InstaGone, let the area dry thoroughly, apply a mold resistant primer and repaint the area.

The use of long rubber gloves, non-vented goggles and a chemical respirator to limit your exposure to mold are recommended. If you have an area of mold larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, have severe allergies or have been experiencing symptoms such as headaches and difficulty breathing, it's best to avoid the health risk, and call a certified mold remediation specialist immediately.

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