Maintain the health of your home with spring mold and mildew intervention

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Perhaps the most important item on your spring cleaning list this year is lurking in a musty corner of your basement or on the back of your house. Though most of us prefer not to think that we share our homes with mold and mildew, the reality is that mold can strike any home, new or old, in any area, dry or arid. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asserts that all types of mold have the potential to cause some health issue, making mold a structural and health liability for your home and everyone inside it.

Mold and mildew are types of microscopic fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. There are more than 3,000 different types of mold, the spores of which are invisible and float through the air, attaching themselves to surfaces, and creating damage before we are able to even see the problem. Mold can quickly permeate and ruin wood and wallboard, ultimately causing permanent damage.

In addition to the damage to the structure of your home, the health concerns of mold are even more disturbing. Exposure to damp, moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, including asthma and other respiratory symptoms in otherwise healthy people. Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present.

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The average cost for professional mold removal is $2,000 to $3,000, while extensive problems can cost as much as $30,000. Though these extensive mold issues will need to be addressed by a professional remediator, visible areas of mold or mildew may actually be treated at home with a simple process.

A variety of mold and mildew cleaners are available for purchase at home improvement retailers and are extremely effective at cleaning mold-affected areas. Once the area has been cleaned and thoroughly dried, it is important to not only use a mold and mildew cleaner, but also follow up with a mold growth inhibitor, like Zep Commercial(R) Clear Shell(TM). This product differs from others on the market because it uses Chitosan, a by-product of recycled crab shells, which creates an anti-microbial shield to effectively combat mold and mildew growth without exposing the user or environment to harsh ingredients like butyl, bleach or phosphates. This active ingredient also helps eliminate the foul, musty odors from mold and mildew. And is safe for virtually every surface in the home.

Once you’ve cleaned the mold and protected the area, it’s important to take steps to ensure that your home is shielded from future mold issues. This includes fixing leaky pipes, roofs, and windows, maintaining low indoor humidity and performing regular HVAC inspections and maintenance. You should also avoid placing carpet in bathrooms and basements and make sure you properly ventilate shower, laundry and cooking areas.

Though mold and mildew can strike any time of year, this spring is the perfect time to take care of the problem. A little bit of elbow grease can go a long way toward the health and safety of your home and family.

Zep Commercial Clear Shell is available at home center retailers and hardware stores nationwide. For more information on mold and mildew removal, visit