Tis the Season for…. Mold? Protect your Holiday Decorations
Ahh, the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season invoking fond memories, traditions, and good cheer. Enjoying the excitement of transforming your home with bright lights and treasured holiday décor, the last thing you want to unpack from your stored decorations is MOLD!
Some typical storage places for your holiday decorations like garages, attics, and crawl spaces are usually damp, dark, and humid spaces with virtually no ventilation which is the perfect place for mold to grow and thrive. Mold that grows on items in your garage may go unnoticed and unknowingly be transferred inside your home, promoting mold spores to spread and adversely affect your indoor air quality causing negative health issues to your family, pets and visitors.
Mold grows rapidly on organic surfaces such as wood products, paper products, cardboard, and items like carpet, fabric, and upholstery, among many others.
Instead of bringing all your boxes or bins in your home at once, open each in a location outside the home with good ventilation and inspect the items thoroughly. If you smell a musty odor or visually detect mold growth, you should avoid bringing those items inside as you do not want to transfer mold spores.
If it is possible to clean specific decorations or you suspect mold growth, a diluted bleach mixture can be used however use this carefully and on the appropriate items as not to discolor or harm the integrity of the decoration. Always use a mask and gloves as not to inhale or touch any potential mold spores and make sure you are in a well-ventilated area.
Some Pro Tips for Storage:
- Holiday Linens: Wash and dry completely and place in plastic Ziplock bags and place inside a clean clear plastic bin with an airtight lid
- Ornaments: Invest in a plastic container with separators or spacers and seal with an airtight lid
- Miscellaneous Items: Wipe clean from dust and debris, making sure they are completing free from moisture and placed in clear, airtight bins
- Using clear bins or containers helps you to identify what is inside so you do not have to open containers, possibly exposing any mold spores to the open air until you are ready to inspect items outside your home before using
- Store bins in a location that stays dry from moisture or water exposure
- Keep clear from storing near water heaters, pipes, or hoses
- A dehumidifier can help to keep at the proper level, ideally below 30% – 50%
- A ventilation fan or circulating fan to promote airflow
Taking steps to prevent mold growth and making sure not to transfer mold spores from items such as holiday decorations into your living space is important to maintain clean indoor air quality in your home. If you suspect mold growth or want to have peace of mind Coastal Air Assessments can help.
Our comprehensive Mold Assessment involves a thorough examination of a property to determine if a moisture issue is occurring that could harbor mold growth or if mold is already present.
This includes the following areas of a home that are known to be common points of entry for moisture intrusion:
- Exterior Components
- HVAC System & Ductwork
- Plumbing System
- Attic & Crawl Spaces
- Beneath Cabinets & Appliances with water hookups
We will also collect air samples from inside the home to be tested for mold spores that could be contributing to poor indoor air quality. If potentially toxic molds are discovered, you will be given a protocol to follow for hiring a mold remediator. A full report of our findings will be delivered within 24 hours, including photographs and video of our findings, as necessary.
In addition to a Mold Assessment, we are also able to test for other airborne particulates that are known to negatively impact indoor air quality. We can conduct the following testing services:
- Volatile Organic Compound (VOCs) Testing
- Silica Testing
- Allergen Testing (for allergens other than mold)
The air samples that are collected will be tested at a laboratory for these specific contaminants. You will then be presented with a full analysis of the laboratory findings, typically within 24 hours. This makes us different from many others, whose test results take far longer to be delivered.
At Coastal Air Assessments, we work our way from the outside in, first identifying potential issues at the exterior of the home that could be causing poor air quality inside the home. Our Mold Assessments and Air Sampling Tests are timely, accurate, and a true asset for Florida homeowners. Contact us today for your free consultation.