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How to Recognize Mold and Termite Problems

Date Added: February 10, 2010 07:13:08 PM
Author: Paul Mroczka
Category: Maintenance

Unfortunately, homeowners find that mold and termite problems are not unusual. If left unchecked, they can compromise your health, devalue your home and even destroy your abode. In this article, we’re going to consider how to prevent these problems and how to determine if you do have a situation that needs to be addressed.

Termite Prevention

 

With termites, you want to keep your house as protected and isolated as you can from the surrounding area. The fact is your home is a huge, tasty buffet for termites. The best prevention is to deny them access.

  • Never keep firewood stacked against your home. Termites could be in that wood and with the wood stack, you’ve given them a bridge into your home.
  • When outside, firewood should also be elevated off the ground to prevent termites from infesting it and then moving onto the bigger prize—your home.
  • Bring firewood into your home just prior to using it.
  • Don’t allow wood landscaping timbers to be used around your home. They may look good, but they can be a haven for termites.
  • Any dead or decaying wood around your home should be removed.

 

termite damage

                      Exterior termite damage


Termite Warning Signs

 

  • The presence of small pellets that look like coarse sawdust on the windowsills or around the house.
  • During the spring or summer, the presence of flying insects around your home during the day and clear wings found on the windowsills are indicators of termite activity.
  • Mud tunnels on the foundation walls of your home, crawl space or garage.
  • Wood in your home that looks damaged and has mud coming out of it.


Mold Prevention

 

Mold can be extremely dangerous and difficult to control. Once it’s established, it can spread throughout the house and destroy the viability of your home. Here’s how to prevent it.

  • You should know if your home has ever had mold in the past. If it has, the conditions for mold may still exist.
  • Your basement or crawl space should have proper drainage and a vapor barrier.
  • If your home has a basement, you should run a dehumidifier to keep it dry.
  • Close foundation vents in your home to keep humidity levels down.
  • Clean up any dampness immediately and take care of any leaks, including those in your roof and basement.
  • Keep your basement or crawl space as dry as possible.

Mold in basement

                                  Mold along wall and floor


Mold Warning Signs

 

  • A cloying, thick smell in your home, especially in the basement or crawl space.
  • Windows or doors that are sticking or warping.
  • Visual signs of mold, including white or dark films or discoloration developing on walls, doors or in corners.
  • Various physical reactions by family members that cannot be explained by the presence of a cold, flu or an infection, including coughing, sneezing, sore throat, headaches, teary eyes, and running nose.


An Ounce of Prevent Through Inspection

 

If you have concerns about termites or mold, then you should call a specialist to check out your home. But prior to the presence of any warning signs, it’s a good idea to have your home inspected each year for termites and mold. Doing so will give you peace of mind, afford you the best chance of controlling any problems and help you maintain the integrity of your home.

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