Mold Inspection and Detection

Mold detection can be a fairly simple process with the right investigative work. Here's how to locate it in your home and eliminate it for good.
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By: Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Do you remember when you were a kid and you would dust for fingerprints using baby powder and clear tape? Well, it's time to whip out those super-sleuth skills once again and do a bit of mold inspection.

It's true: Mold is everywhere. Imagine what it would be like if things did not naturally decay! However, that doesn't mean you want it lurking in your home. The first step toward mold detection is to simply use your nose. If you smell a musty smell in your attic, basement, bathroom or other living spaces, then chances are likely you have a mold problem.

Easy Cleaning Tips for Your Home's Exterior

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Washing Off Dirt and Debris

Some pressure washers come with an assortment of color-coded spray tips. Each one has a different spray, from the high-pressure pinpoint spray to a wider, low-pressure spray. Siding can be cleaned with a low-pressure spray tip. Pressure-washing is also useful for removing algae stains from fencing.

Cleaning the Deck

Pressure-wash your deck with a tip that produces a spray about the width of a two-by-four with medium pressure. The trick is to keep the spray moving. Don't rest in one spot for too long or it could permanently damage the surface. Then apply a wood preservative to help prevent water damage and discoloration.

Spotless Driveway

Pressure-wash the driveway, then help prevent future stains by applying waterproof sealer. Using an extender pole on a paint-roller handle, start in the middle of the driveway and roll the sealer to all edges of the concrete. Allow 24 hours before parking on surface.

De-Junk the Gutters

Removing debris isn't only a fall chore in some yards; many trees such as black locust, oaks and maples drop litter in spring and summer. While you're clearing the gutters, also check for cracks in the seams. Use an old chisel to scrape the old caulking out and dry the area thoroughly. Use new bead silicon sealing to keep water from getting behind the gutters and rotting the boards.

Remove Faded Flowers

Deadhead spent flowers in your planters and container gardens. Removing faded blooms does more than neaten things up; it directs the plant's energy away from making seeds and into producing more foliage and, in the case of many species, more flowers.

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Haircut for Herbs

Cutting back herbs keeps them from becoming leggy. It's okay to remove as much as half of the stem.

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Quick Fix to Beds

The fastest way to give a crisp, clean look to your garden beds is to add a fresh layer of mulch. Or, if the mulch layer is still about three inches deep, lightly rake the surface to get rid of that weathered, compacted look.

Photo By: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything ©2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Home for Gardening Gear

Corral your gardening tools and repotting projects into an attractive structure, like RMSer MeadowSweetDays' garden shed.

Check under and in between hidden areas, like underneath carpets, behind drywall and in between bathroom tiling. If you spot mold, then take the appropriate steps to scrub it clean and kick it to the curb.

If mold is undetectable, but you are confident it is present somewhere in your home, then you may want to consider a home testing kit. Calling on the help of a mold inspector is another option that will help to identify where mold may be hiding in your home.

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