July is here and the first weekend we have in the 80s in New Jersey is upon us. Many will be heading to their vacation home, shore home or cottages. As a mold inspector, I can’t stress how big of a problem mold can be in vacation homes. It is important that the public is aware of what to look for and how to prevent it.
Your vacation home sits closed up for weeks and months on end before it is opened up. Improper ventilation, use of fans, dehumidifiers or air conditioning leaves conditions such as stagnant air and moisture that mold thrives and grows in.
What to look for:
- A smell of must when entering. When you initially open that door for the season, do you smell a musty damp smell?
- Signs of mold on indoor furniture or porous surfaces such as wood, wallpaper, cotton fabrics, or drywall
- Signs of mold on deck furniture
- High humidity reading
Steps to prevention:
- Walk the perimeter of the home clearing gutters and downspouts
- Downspouts should also be properly pointing away from the home, use of extensions can help in certain situations
- When closing up for the season, set thermostat between 78-80 degrees to create a perfect temperature at which moisture is less likely to collect on surfaces
- Inspect and address any standing water or leaks from refrigerators, toilets, hot water tanks, washing machines, dishwashers, shower stalls or bathtubs
- Install a humidistat in order to override your thermostat when the humidity exceeds 60%
- Be sure to check all AC grills and remove any furniture or draperies that may be blocking the air from circulating properly
Prevention is important and can be the easiest way to keep the risk of mold growth in your vacation home down. However, if you aren’t lucky enough to be starting with a clean slate and are already finding signs of mold, its time to do something about it. Leaving mold issues unattended is a health risk to you and anyone who inhabits it. Contact us today in New Jersey at (201) 733-0091 or New York (845) 215-9258.