Think mold can’t grow in the desert? Think again. If you are a transplant in the Sonoran Desert, you may think you escaped this scourge of nature, but mold can actually grow in your Tucson home, even with the scant humidity we generally experience.
As most homeowners know, mold presents a danger to your health, especially if you are already in precarious health or have special sensitivity to mold spores. If you’ve lived here for a few years, your immunity to the spores could have even decreased since exposure is not as common as in damp climates. Because the wet season is here and gone again so quickly, it doesn’t occur to many desert dwellers to track down potential mold breeding grounds in our homes.
Here are some helpful facts you need to know about home mold removal and prevention:
How mold can occur at home
When moisture seeps into even the smallest crack in your roof, the wood structure can be affected over time. Caulking or weather stripping around doors can also harbor the right conditions to breed mold as condensation commonly gathers around these areas. Central air conditioning condensate lines can even contain mold, and the most volatile combination for mold growth is during the monsoons, which combines heat and moisture. It can take only 24 to 48 hours from the time a leak begins to when mold can settle into the fibers of your home’s building materials.
Where it comes from
Mold naturally occurs in the air and serves to degenerate dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and trees. Even though there is less of that here than in an environment containing more vegetation, there are still enough airborne mold spores to take care of waste that is created as natural materials break down. In other words, mold is simply a catalyst for natural decomposition.
How it can affect you
Don’t believe the myth that the only mold that is really dangerous is the black variety. An unhealthy mold population of any type in your home can damage your health. If you experience asthma, headaches, or chronic sinus infections, it’s important to see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment promptly.
How to combat it
A common myth surrounding mold removal is that straight, uncut bleach will do the trick. Bleach may appear to be killing the mold superficially, but the spores are not really destroyed completely. DIY mold removal is not recommended and attempting this can even cause a more significant hazard to your health. If a professional inspector discovers mold in your home, have mold removal experts see to the problem safely and effectively and then follow up with these preventative measures:
- Roof inspection and repair
- Have flat roofs restructured to knee roofs to prevents pools of water and replace missing materials and damaged flashing
- Windows properly sealed and restore caulking and weather stripping
- Repair holes on sides of your home caused by blowing debris or woodpeckers
- Have your air conditioning condensation lines unclogged
- Check hot water heater and sinks for leaks