With the arrival of spring comes the seasonal spring cleaning.  But while decluttering and downsizing is something you can focus on once in a blue moon, something you should work on all year is the lookout for mold.  According to this EPA guide on mold and moisture in your home, it is actually impossible to eliminate all mold, but some easy steps can help prevent the spread of unhealthy or even dangerous levels of mold. 

Mold is everywhere around us, and breathing in even significant amounts can go completely unnoticed unless someone is allergic or extremely sensitive to respiratory irritation.  However, when you add in moisture and organic material like paper, wood, natural fabrics, or food waste for mold to grow, you create the conditions for rapid mold growth, which can quickly become very noticeable.  When this happens, the appropriate response will depend on the severity of the problem.  If the contaminated area is less than ten-square feet, then it is usually safe to handle it on your own.  However, a larger area should be treated by remediation experts.  No matter which approach you take, it is important to take steps to protect yourself and your property from further contamination, and make sure the problem does not recur. 

The best way to prevent mold from regrowing, or growing at all for that matter, is to make sure you have proper ventilation in all rooms of your home.  This calls specifically for exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms, to draw off excess humidity.  Making sure your heating and air conditioning system is in good repair can also be extremely important if you notice moisture buildup. 

If you are a residential tenant in California, your landlord is obligated to deal with mold growth as part of the implied warranty of habitability.  It is vital to address problems like plumbing leaks, floods, or other maintenance issues that create excessive moisture within twenty-four to forty-eight hours to avoid the spread of mold.  As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: but landlords who fail to heed this age-old advice might end up facing a ton of liability.