As spring kicks into gear, so do higher levels of rainfall and humidity—and with it an increase in allergens and mold. April is a fairly wet month here in the D.C. area, and we’re currently slightly above average for precipitation year-to-date. The extra moisture increases the chances for the accumulation of toxic mold in the home.
Dangers of Mold
Molds are a type of fungus that thrive in mild, damp, humid environments. It can grow on many different surfaces, and in the home it can often accumulate behind walls, under carpets, on pipes, on wood, on shower curtains, in your air conditioning ducts, in musty basements, in piles of damp clothing…anywhere that moisture and humidity are concentrated. Favorite places for mold to grow include around leaky roofs, leaky pipes, clogged roof drains and places with high levels of humidity condensation or standing water.
Not only can the mold itself do physical damage if left unchecked—the tiny spores it releases into the air can make you sick. It might just feel like a lingering cold, but if you’re particularly allergic or have asthma, your respiratory symptoms can become serious.
Protecting Your Home from Mold
The best way to prevent the growth and spread of toxic mold in the home is to control moisture and humidity. The following steps should help:
- Use a dehumidifier in your home to control humidity levels.
- Repair leaky roofs or pipes.
- Clean out your roof gutters and drain pipes.
- Keep your home well-ventilated. Open windows from time to time to keep a fresh flow of air.
If you do observe toxic mold, use a scrub brush, commercial cleaner or bleach solution to remove it, wearing protective gloves and a respiratory mask. Better yet, have it cleaned professionally. If you feel symptoms and suspect mold is a culprit, have your home inspected and tested.
If you rent your home, your landlord is generally responsible to provide a mold-free environment. If you experience mold sickness because a landlord was negligent, we may be able to help you. Call our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys to learn more.