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A Mold Specialist’s Spring Suggestions

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We wear many hats here at Indoor Science, but one of our most commonly worn is “mold specialist”. As we have discussed numerous times in previous blogs, the key to avoiding mold growth is to keep control of the moisture in your home. Moisture is the limiting factor for mold growth in most structures, so if you keep moisture problems at bay you will avoid mold growth. So, what are some specific things you can do as we begin to thaw out from a long winter?

As you start your spring cleaning around the home, don’t forget to address some important things outside your home too. Keeping gutters clean and free of debris will make sure the water from those spring storms is diverted away from your home and doesn’t end up pooling around the foundation. It is important to make sure downspouts are flowing freely, and are extended at least 6 feet from the foundation of your home. If your home has a catch basin, make sure there are no obstructions affecting flow into and out of the basin.

A Mold Specialist’s Take on Landscaping

If you have big landscaping goals this year, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind as you plan your dream yard. You should keep landscaping at least 12” away from the foundation, and you want to plant larger items like trees even further away. Take a look at how the land around your property slopes, you want to make sure things are sloping away from the foundation. This includes things near the foundation such as flower beds, but also on a larger scale you want to make sure the lay of the land is sloped away from your home. If your yard has a drain, make sure to clear the debris away and keep an eye on it from time to time.

Can Moisture Be Good?!

It may seem counterintuitive, but there are some steps you should take to keep moisture present. Placing mulch around your home can retain a small amount of moisture in the soil, if the soil around the foundation dries out too much it can damage the foundation. Over time these cracks and shifting could cause moisture issues. When watering your yard, make sure to give some attention to the areas that might not be landscaped. When soil gets wet, it expands. Uneven soil expansion can cause foundation problems which could turn into moisture and mold problems down the road. Major foundation issues can lead to issues that require much more than calling a mold specialist!

If you suffer from mold allergies, spring can be a real headache (literally and figuratively). The natural mold levels outdoors pick up drastically in springtime, and those spores will naturally work their way into your home. If you are looking for an air purifier to remove mold from the air, you should be looking for a model that has a HEPA-rated filter. There are many fancy technologies that manufacturers market as being the greatest thing, but for mold, the best solution is a good HEPA filter.

These tips are all great things to think about as you plan your upcoming spring chores, and are also things that you should keep in mind if you are looking to purchase a new home this spring. If you do unfortunately run into mold and moisture issues, you should call a mold specialist like Indoor Science to come and assess your situation.

Dylan McIntosh

Dylan McIntosh

Dylan McIntosh is a Senior Project Manager that performs indoor air quality assessments, industrial hygiene testing, and laboratory mold analysis. Mr. McIntosh holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from the University of Illinois - Springfield. Dylan is a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) and an Pan American Aerobiology Certification Board (PAACB) Certified Spore Analyst. In his words… “Throughout my life, I always had a dream of becoming an astronaut. That dream hasn’t worked out (yet) so I started a career in the next best thing, indoor air quality! In my free time I enjoy outdoor activities with my dog, cooking, and being involved with A Special Wish - Chicago; a local charity.”

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