This uncharacteristic rain, we have been getting this season, has created the ideal breeding ground for… you guessed it… MOLD! All the excess moisture allows the perfect opportunity for mold to thrive, so take some care to prevent mold growth in your New Jersey home.
Avoid Water Damage and Prevent Mold
Prioritize controlling your indoor moisture/humidity levels. If it is still raining, you can’t very well do anything about the moisture levels outdoors. So, control the control-ables. Be sure that the rooms in your New Jersey home are well ventilated and have good air circulation. Pay close attention to rooms where moisture and steam tend to build up (i.e your kitchen and bathroom). Check that all exhaust fans are providing sufficient circulation, especially since most windows are often closed to shield the rain. Dehumidifiers can be great assets to homes that suffer from poor air circulation and ventilation. (See our quick tips to avoid mold and mildew in your home)
- Check your attic: In this rainy weather, if unchecked, even a minor roof leak can result in major moisture and mold issues. Inspect your attic for signs of moisture or water damage. Look in the corners and around the vents. Make sure to take note if your exhaust fans exit into the attic—check those areas for moisture frequently. Attic mold growth can be rather common, especially in damp weather, due to the lack of habitation in attics.
- Clean your gutters: Ensure that your gutters do not get backed up. Take time to clear all your gutters of debris and anything that can obstruct drainage. Backed up gutters can lead to water damage around the roof. The backup can also potentially result in ponding around your foundation, which will create major issues down the road if left untreated.
- Inspect your roof: While you’re up there, check the condition of your roof. Take note of missing or discolored shingles, soft spots, and any other visible damage. Also check soffits/eaves for signs of water damage, rot, and mold.
- Manage the drainage around your foundation: Rain runoff should be draining away from your New Jersey home. Otherwise, you risk water collecting and lingering which will lead to major water damage and mold issues. These issues, if left untreated, will grow to be extremely costly. If you do not manage water drainage and allow ponding around the foundation, you run the risk of potential condensation build up within your basement or crawlspace. Where there is moisture, there will be mold.
- Take a look in your crawlspace: Not to jinx it, but now that the weather seems to be clearing up, take this opportunity to grab a flashlight and look inside your crawlspace for standing water or evidence of residual moisture. While lower areas are more susceptible to standing water, it is important to thoroughly inspect the crawlspace in its entirety. If the your crawl space is on a dirt floor, the crawl space is predisposed to moisture concerns. Rainy weather will only heighten the risk of mold development. Typically, installing a vapor barrier in the crawl space can help control moisture levels.
It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to grow and root itself into your home.
If there is any sign of major water collection within the property—contact a professional IMMEDIATELY to begin emergency structural drying right away. Major mold development in the home poses various potential health threats. Mold spores can produce mycotoxins that are dangerous to people; mycotoxin-producing molds are infamously known as “Toxic Mold.” The effects of mold exposure is dependent upon the individual. some people are more sensitive than others. The negative health implications of mold can range from mild allergy symptoms to severe respiratory symptoms. Addressing mold growth before it gets the opportunity to further develop helps to avoid a costly mold remediation.
Unaddressed water intrusion can cause serious property damage that not only effects property value, but more importantly, it effects the overall safety of living in the home. Aside from the threat of major mold exposure, water damage poses a considerable threat to the structural integrity of the building. Water intrusion weakens building materials and can lead to wood rot. As a result, you may be left with a structurally unsound home, which puts you and your family at risk.
When looking for evidence of potential water damage or potential mold threats, it may not be something as obvious as a large pond of water staring back at you. Damp areas can be just as threatening, don’t just dismiss it. You can only see so much at the surface, so please, contact a professional to conduct a mold inspection and assessment if there seems to be any prolonged dampness or any indication of a potential mold growth.