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Mold Maintenance in Southern California

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Mold is a naturally occurring microscopic spore that travels through the air. Mold may be found outside and inside the home. In fact, all homeowners and tenants have dry mold spores in their home and don't even know it. There are many types of mold spores, but contrary to all the mold hype, most don't pose a problem. Dry mold spores may sit dormant for years. Only when moisture in the form of water or high humidity touches a mold spore does the mold make itself visible.

In the hot, dry desert areas of Southern California, mold is not a real problem. Mold growth in the desert, however, suggests a leak may be present. More humid areas, such as near the ocean or other bodies of water, are naturally more prone to mold growth.

It is a good idea to periodically inspect your home for leaks to prevent or quickly stop mold growth. A large water leak, such as from the bursting of an old water heater, generally causes less overall mold damage than a small drip that has gone undetected for weeks or months. A slow leak that continues for any length of time will possibly seep into the drywall, behind the wall, under the cabinetry and into the carpet and padding. Twenty-four to forty-eight hours are all that is needed for mold colonies to begin and spread. It's better for your home and your wallet to catch and repair the leak early. Long-term dampness and the mold colonies that thrive on it can be time consuming and expensive to clean up.

Following are a few tips to help prevent mold growth in your home:

  • Repair cracked or missing grout or caulking in bathrooms.
  • Replace your water heater before it goes out entirely. Check the life expectancy of your current water heater and replace it if it's expired.
  • Install a powerful exhaust fan in the bathroom to vent stream, especially important in high-humidity area.
  • Have your air conditioner inspected regularly to prevent drips.
  • Have the toilet snaked to get rid of roots that may clog the line.
  • Keep debris and clutter away from water pipes, especially under kitchen and bathroom sinks, so leaks can be detected early.

Be aware and practice mold maintenance instead of mold cleanup.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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