Mold is a primary concern for many homeowners. The main reason for this is it can arise abruptly and for a variety of reasons: A damp bathroom, leaky pipe or the dreaded flooded basement.

Generally, there are two types of issues you can encounter with mold: Minor issues like mildew in your bathroom or major issues like drywall saturated with water from a flooded basement. In either case, the goal is to tackle and resolve the issue as quickly as possible. A failure to do so could result in significant property damage.

Given all this, the biggest concern with mold reaches much farther than unsightly mildew or even extensive property damage. The biggest fear is the health risks associated with mold that can affect you and our loved ones: Mainly allergies, infections, and upper respiratory issues. For these reasons, it’s important not to drag feet and tackle the issue head on.

As soon as you notice the onset of mold, follow these steps to mitigate any property damage that may be caused and more importantly, to protect the health of you and your loved ones.

1) Bathroom
Ground zero for mold is generally the bathroom, making it the most important room to monitor. The grout lines in your shower are the most common place to find mildew. For this reason, it’s important to keep your shower clean; you will find that mildew accumulates in this area weekly.

Mildew can be easily removed by scrubbing it with diluted bleach (6 parts water, 1 part bleach). It should come off generally easy, but be meticulous and remove all visible mildew. Once you are confident it has been removed, rinse and dry.

A good strategy to greatly reduce the presence of mildew in your shower is to keep a squeegee handy. Anytime you take a shower squeegee all the water off of your walls. Coupled with a good bathroom fan, this strategy can greatly reduce the presence of mold and mildew in your shower.

2) Walls
If you have mold in your drywalls, the good news is, like in the bathroom, it’s generally easy to eliminate. The bad news is it may be part of a larger issue like a leaking pipe.

First thing’s first, identifying the problem. If dark circles are forming on your wall, the odds are almost certain that it’s mold. Once you have identified the problem area, it’s important to tackle it immediately to prevent it from spreading.

Always protect yourself when removing mold. Since mold is generally detrimental through inhalation, the most important first line of protection is a safety mask. A pair of gloves and safety goggles to boot will ensure you’re fully protected.

Once you’re protected, make a diluted bleach solution (6 parts water, 1 part bleach) and use a stiff brush to scrub the mold off. Once you are confident you have removed all the mold, rinse the affected areas thoroughly and dry the area as best as possible.

If you notice mold recurring in the same areas after thoroughly removing it, then your problem is deeper and it’s important to seek professionals to diagnose and eliminate the problem. Remember, time is of the essence.