Mold Removal and Dry Rot Repair Tips

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Mold Removal and Dry Rot Repair Tips

Mold and dry rot aren't the household guests you want sticking around. In fact, you don't exactly want them to come over in the first place. But, one thing leads to another and they're more persuasive than you'd expect. Then they deplete your home's value, condition and potentially lessen your home's life span.

Where Does Mold Grow?

Mold can grow just about anywhere that moisture can be found. However, in order for mold to stick around it needs more than just moisture, but it needs food. Mold loves organic materials such as carpet, wood, cardboard, and paper. Unfortunately, mold also destroys whatever comes between it and its meal.

Whether your air conditioning unit is leaking, water is leaking inside and onto your windowsill or your carpet never fully dried from the last flood in your basement-- mold will survive and stick around as long as the environment permits.

In addition, mold can significantly decrease your home's indoor air quality-- a worsening concern to many highly recognized organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency. Mold in garage can increase household allergy symptoms and produce an irritating smell most homeowners refer to as "must." In some instances, mold can even be toxic-- as is the case with black mold.

If you wipe it away you've only temporarily gotten rid of the mold and you haven't touched the problem. The problem is the moisture.

What is Dry Rot?

Dry rot doesn't grow on a surface as mold does, but it's actually considered to be a condition. This fungus spreads throughout the wood at a torrential rate, rotting the wood from the inside out thus replacing the wood's strength with severe frailty. This makes it one of the most feared wood decomposing conditions around the world.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, its been approximated that each year 20 billion feet of timber is destroyed by brown rot, dry rot's alias. This becomes even more remarkable when compared to fire damage. There's more wood destroyed by dry rot than there is wood damaged by fire each year!

Dry rot is a serious force that many homeowners may have been fortunate not to encounter, but needs to be prevented.

Mold and Dry Rot

Although dry rot is seemingly far more destructive than the effects of mold, both are destructive and require moisture. However, against popular belief, neither mold nor dry rot will form in excessively wet environments. They won't grow in flooded basements because they don't grow in water but thrive in moist environments. Thus, a humid room or "muggy" space becomes most ideal.

Many homeowners find mold in two areas of the home: the bathroom and the basement. Similarly, the most common place to find dry rot is the bathroom. These two rooms are known for their moisture and even the unexpected leaky pipes or water "issues."

The bathroom can easily develop a water problem when the faucet or shower begins to leak, the toilet overflows with water, the shower water is too hot and the room maintains this muggy temperature.

The basement is commonly humid because of the increase in relative humidity caused by the entrance of humid outdoor air into the cooler basement air. This transfer can increase the basement's relative humidity by 2.2 percent per every one degree. And, of course, the basement can also experience the effects of a heavy rain storm or broken pipe or hot water heater.

So, what can be done to prevent or eliminate mold and/or dry rot?

Prevention & Repairs

Moisture control, moisture control and more moisture control.

Remember when we learned that wiping mold from a surface doesn't actually remove the problem? Well, that's because the moisture levels haven't been lessened. They may not have even been considered.

The best way to prevent mold growth or dry rot infiltration is by waterproofing your basement and fixing leaks and making other repairs very quickly.

In addition, dry rot can also result from a failing foundation because the wood comes in contact with the soil. This then provides just enough moisture for dry rot to take over.

Proper Mold Removal

Mold can thrive in any environment that has moisture, food and darkness. That is why you may find it in bathrooms and basements. Mold spreads by releasing spores into the air that land and grow into more mold and release more and more spores. The spores can be dangerous for you and your family and some can even cause severe breathing problems. If you find mold in your home, you need to kill it as which as possible.

To kill mold, you must first protect yourself. Make sure that you use a respirator or a filter mask. Next, spray the mold with a mixture of white vinegar and water. A fifty-fifty mix in a spray bottle will work just fine. You simply want to wet down the entire mold population that you are going to kill, to stop it from releasing its spores. Next scrub the area with pure white vinegar and a stiff scrubber. I know that the vinegar has a strong smell, but it will dissipate in a day or so.

Now that you have killed the current mold population, you need to make sure that it isn't just going to come back. Install high-efficiency lights in the area that you can keep on at all time. A compact fluorescent or the new multi-bulb super LED bulbs will work great and not cost you much to keep on all year. You also need to remove the moisture. If you have found the mold in a bathroom, install a ceiling exhaust fan to suck out all of the wet air.

If the mold colony is in your basement, you need to seal the water out. This may involve painting walls with a moisture barrier and installing a sump pump. Finding out where the moisture is coming from is the key to stopping it. I was able to keep most of the water out of my basement by installing new gutters and drain pipes!

If you have found mold growing on dry-wall, you may need to remove the dry-wall in its entirety. The mold may have penetrated the dry-wall and killing it on the surface will only keep it away for a short period of time. This is expensive when it happens, but replacing the dry-wall with moisture resistant dry-wall will make sure that you never have to deal with it again.