An investigation into American homes showed that 21% of asthma cases could be attributed to dampness and mold exposure. Selling your possessions may be one of the most difficult parts of downsizing, but clearing out your home can be the most physically challenging. To make life easier, you should start the moving process around two months before to identify problem areas in the home. Dampness and mold are common problems, but there are some things you can do to clean it up before making your move.
Condensation is one of the leading causes of dampness, and is usually the result of poorly heated or poorly insulated homes. The majority of water in the home comes from activities like cooking and showering. You can usually spot the water build up at the bottom of windows, which can lead to dampness and mold growth on walls.
Mold and dampness often hides behind furniture; therefore, you may find some when you start the moving process. A dehumidifier can prevent the formation of condensation, and you can also use smaller heaters to heat any areas that are damp before moving.
Once dampness forms, it can be tough to remove. Those with moisture in their homes are more likely to be affected by common colds, rhinitis, eye irritation and sore throats.
Your walls are likely to feel very cold, and there may be an odor. Black mold may form around PVC window frames or silicone sealant around baths. Damp can also form on furniture, walls, ceilings, curtains and in kitchens. Poor ventilation can cause dampness as condensation builds up inside the home. Keep your home warm in the winter to prevent the formation of mold and dampness, and ventilate the house well in summer. Simply opening the windows to let some of the water build up escape can make a big difference. Should you find dampness before moving, use a mold spray to remove and paint the wall with damp seal to avoid it recurring.
Mold build up in the home caused by condensation can cause health issues for occupants. Some people with respiratory disorders like asthma may suffer from wheezing, coughing and more aggressive symptoms. Others may be allergic to certain types of mold. Humid homes can result in mold and dampness, but a good air conditioning unit can discourage growth. The CDC recommend that indoor humidity should be at around 30-60% to prevent mold growth, and air conditioning can help with milder cases. Stronger mold cases can result in excessive mold growth, even within your air conditioning unit. Keep your dehumidifier and air conditioning unit clean and free from dust, and replace the filter regularly. Do this before moving to ensure that the new residents do not have mold problems.
You are likely to have lived in your home long enough to know where the problem areas are. Target these before moving to ensure that the new home owners do not have to do the clean up job.