Q: Our home is a three bedroom, two bath ranch, on a poured slab foundation. We plan to install vinyl plank flooring in our third bedroom, which has two exterior walls. When we removed the carpet and the sticky strips, we noticed mold around the outside walls. We try not to freak out about mold, because our baby’s room is what we’re fixing. I sprayed it with mildew remover and wiped the area. Are there any other suggestions you would have, and should we have any future concerns? Nat
A: Remember that mold and mildew have been around since the dawn of time, and yes, it is a concern and should be cleaned and corrected whenever you discover it.
Yes, there are cleaning products designed to get rid of mold and once you spray them on the affected area, they disappear normally. Once you’ve sprayed the area, this will also prevent mold from returning.
Some things to consider, since you have a one story house built on a slab I will assume the level outside is close to the same height as the floor of the house. Normally when you have a slab on a grading type construction, the ground level is only 8 or 10 inches below grade and over time if landscape beds are installed around the house, this level height will increase over time. This condition will affect the bottom of the sheathing and wall conditions and moisture is always an issue. This can lead to lower bezel plate deterioration and sagging, so keep an eye out for these areas.
Make sure exterior gutters and downspouts are functioning properly, to ensure that rainwater is diverted away from the foundation of the house. Indoors, keep the humidity level low by using a dehumidifier if necessary.
Normally the humidity level is low in the winter, but during the rainy summer months the humidity levels will rise. Try to avoid furniture against exterior walls and don’t pile clothes, especially damp clothes, around walls.
Jeff Deahl is past president of the Builders Association of Northeast Indiana. Questions for the Square Corners column can be submitted to jeff@crafts man-design.com.