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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Fall is upon us, Missoula! Time to break out the rake!

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

Multicolored, autumn leaves covering the ground. Raking fallen leaves early and often can help keep mold growth to a minimum in your yard.

With the sudden cold-snap we experienced here in the Missoula Valley, leaves have begun to drop from the trees at a rapid rate. Add in all that rain (and even snow!) that we’ve been getting, and your yard becomes a potential breeding ground for mold. That’s because freshly fallen leaves still have a fair amount of minerals and nutrients in their system, which promote mold growth under the right conditions. For the ‘right conditions,’ look no further than that perpetually shady, dew-covered spot under the tree in your yard or created by the shadow of your house. In other words, mold thrives in moist, dark environments.

However, there is a simple solution to preventing your yard from becoming an irritant to those with mold sensitivities: rake early, and rake often. If you don’t allow those leaves to sit and collect moisture, they’ll have less of a chance to grow mold. That also means bagging and disposing of leaves once they’re raked, instead of leaving large piles in your yard. If mold has already begun to grow and you’re worried about releasing mold spores into the air while doing yard work, you can always don a pair of gloves and an N95 respirator mask (found at any standard hardware store) before setting out.

Leaf mold isn’t all bad, though! If you’re a gardener, you can look into repurposing those leaves as mulch; this gets the leaves off your lawn and puts them to work for you. Or if you’re looking for other ways to keep your home mold-free this autumn, you can also make sure that all of your gutters and water drainage systems are draining away from your foundation, and clear those gutters of leaves and blockages.

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