How to Test Your Home for Mold and What to Do About It

Petri dish with moldsBecause mold loves warm and humid places as well as areas with very little light, there are a few areas in your home that can develop molds, such as your bathroom, kitchen, and basement. As such, it is important to understand that, under the right conditions, mold can begin to grow rather quickly. In fact, you can experience a mold problem within as little as 24 hours. Because mold is known to cause a variety of respiratory issues, it is important to detect and remove mold as soon as possible.

Test for mold

A surface that is potentially harboring mold can often be difficult to distinguish from one that is simply dirty as both can appear blackened. A simple test you can conduct is to add a few drops of household bleach to the area in question. After dropping bleach on the surface, you should wait two minutes. If the blackened area has lightened, you most likely have mold. However, if the area remains dark, it is most likely just dirt. Because mold can cause a variety of health issues, if you have any doubt as to whether you have a mold problem, you can purchase a mold test kit.

Moldy carpet

Mold in your carpet can be the result of a variety of things, such as a flood or a spill that was not cleaned up. No matter the source, it is important that you soak up any water or moisture as soon as possible as doing so will help to reduce the likelihood that mold will grow. To clean any visible or suspected mold, the best carpet cleaner that you can use white vinegar. In fact, as vinegar is a mild acid, it is capable of killing 82 percent of mold species.

To kill the mold, you can simply pour vinegar into a spray bottle. You should make sure not to add water as doing so will dilute its effectiveness. Next, you should spray the vinegar directly onto the carpet. If you notice mold deep within the fibers, you can scrub the carpet with a toothbrush to ensure the vinegar reaches down into the rug. With the vinegar applied you should let it sit for an hour. After one hour, you should wipe the area with water. You should then be sure to blot the area, and if needed, you can use a fan or a dehumidifier to ensure the area dries completely. If the smell of vinegar lingers, there is no need to worry as it will dissipate over the next few hours.

Moldy surface

You can also use white vinegar to clean mold growing on any other type of surface. However, if you do not like the smell of vinegar, baking soda will work, too. For instance, you can simply mix one-quarter of a tablespoon of baking soda into a spray bottle filled with water. Next, you should shake the bottle until the baking soda dissolves completely. With the solution in hand, you can spray the area and use a scrub brush to help remove the mold. Finally, you should make sure to rinse the surface with clean water and dry it with a clean towel.

This article is presented by Chief Restoration Services of Branson, Missouri.

4 Warning Signs that Your Roof Needs to be Replaced

Your home needs to have a reliable roof at all times. When your roof gets worn out, it would be best to replace it as soon as possible, as a delay could result in more significant problems. To avoid abrupt failure, it is essential to inspect your roof for any signs regularly. Here are some telltale signs that indicate it’s time to replace your roof.

Woman holding bucket under leaky roof

  1. Roof Leaks

A leaking roof is one of the most obvious signs that your roof is near the end of its life span. To detect a leaking roof, check your attic from time to time, especially after a rainfall. You can also check outside the roof for ice dams. If you notice a leak at only a single point of the roof, then you can do a simple roof repair. There might not be a need to replace the entire roof.


  1. High Energy Bill

A poorly insulated roof could be the reason why your energy bill goes higher each winter. Most homeowners tend to insulate doors and windows in an attempt to cut down the energy cost, while the roof is the problem. With a poorly insulated roof, air can quickly come in and go out of your home. Consequently, the energy consumption goes up, especially during the cold months.


  1. Age

How old is your roof? Even if your roof has not shown any signs of failure, you might consider replacing it once it maxes out its lifespan. You might need to get a replacement for asphalt shingles if the roof has been in place for over 20 years. However, different roofing materials have varying life expectancies. For instance, metal roofing can last for up to 70 years, while wood shingles can only last 20 to 40 years.


  1. Cracked Shingles

Strong winds can result in cracked shingles, necessitating a roof replacement. Check the roof to see the distribution of the cracks. If only a few shingles are damaged, then you might consider replacing them. On the other hand, if there are cracks all over the roof, it’s a sign you need a roof replacement.


To detect any cracks on the roof, you can go to your attic and look up at your roof with the lights off. If you notice some light coming in, that means your roof has cracks or holes.


Getting a roof replacement can cause disruption. For instance, you might need to stay out of the house during the replacement. Therefore, it is necessary to make all the arrangements required before the actual day.

Home Winterizing Checklist

The winter weather can wreak havoc on your home. That is why it is important for you to take the time to winterize it. There are several things that you need to do in order to winterize your home.

Clean Your Fireplace And Chimney

If you have a fireplace and chimney, then you will need to make sure that they are cleaned before the winter comes. You will need to make sure that your fireplace and chimney are free of animals, debris, and creosote. If you struggle to do this yourself, then it is a good idea for you to hire a professional to do this for you.

Protect Your Pipes

If the temperature drops below freezing in the winter, then your pipes can freeze. The pipes can burst when they thaw out. However, you can prevent your pipes from freezing by insulating them. You will also need to have your pipes checked for leaks and cracks.

Clean Out the Gutters

Everyone likes falling leaves because they look pretty. However, they can clog up your gutter system. If the gutters are clogged, then you can easily pull away from your home when they become clogged with snow and ice. That is why you will need to clean out your gutters.

Maintain Your Heating System

Your heating system will be working hard to keep your home warm during the winter. You can prepare your heater by making sure that it has maintenance. You will need to call a professional to call a seasonal tune-up. Not only will this ensure that your heater works properly, but you will also be able to save money. You won’t have to pay as much for your energy bill. 

Make Sure That Your Home Is Insulated

You can prevent drafts by installing more insulation. The insulation should be placed on your basement, attic, exterior walls, doors, and windows. You will also need to replace weatherstripping.

Change the Direction of Your Ceiling Fans

Many people do not know that you can keep your home warm by reversing the direction of your ceiling fans. Reversing the direction pushes the warm air back down. You won’t have to rely on your HVAC system as much.

Check Your Outdoor Surfaces

The snow and ice can wreak havoc on the walkways, driveways, and steps. That is why if there are any cracks or unevenness in the outdoor surfaces, then you will need to repair them before the winter starts.