mold smell

It’s vacation time, and when you put the key in the door of your beach house or mountain cabin, the last thing you want to smell is the musty odor of mold and mildew, but it happens to owners and renters alike. So what can you do if you walk into a moldy mess?

“The first thing to do is open the windows and get air flowing,” Robert Weitz, Certified Microbial Investigator and principal of RTK Environmental Group says. Weitz said that this is a common problem because many vacation homes sit empty and closed up over the winter months, collecting moisture, as air conditioning or heat has been turned off for the season. “Mold is not picky – it only needs moisture and a food source, such as wood, ceiling tiles, carpet or sheet rock, to begin growing.”

Whether you hire a mold inspector or put up with it will probably depend on whether you are the owner or renter, how long you will be there, and whether you or your vacationers have allergy or breathing issues.

Short-Term Solutions:

–      Keep the windows open as much as possible if it’s dry out;

–      A dehumidifier can also help lessen the moisture in the air;

–      If you decide to turn on the A/C, change the filter first;

–      Wipe off any visible mold on walls, floors and tiles with a bleach/water mixture;

–      Allergy medication may help lessen symptoms;

–      Let the owner know that they have a mold problem;

 

The Best Solution:

–      Get an independent mold inspection to identify the source;

–      Pinpoint if the mold is toxic or not;

–      Have the mold properly remediated.

Remember, if you are the owner or plan to be there for an extended stay, mold could affect your health causing wheezing, asthma, and allergy symptoms. The home should be tested by a certified microbial investigator, who can then advise you as to the next steps depending on the outcome of the mold testing. Whatever the case, mold can become a big issue quickly, so don’t ignore it!