Protect Your Home Against Mold
Protect Your Home Against Mold - What You Should Know
Why have we written an article about how to protect your home against mold? Because mold damage is a commonly undetected problem that could wreak havoc on your home and your health.
Mold is not only harmful to the home itself, but can also be harmful to the individuals who live in it. Molds are part of the natural environment inside and outside and they reproduce by means of tiny spores that float through the air, but are undetectable to the naked eye.
Molds play an important role in nature; however mold growth indoors should be avoided! There are some simple ways to detect and prevent mold, but some require professional testing to detect and identify. Let’s talk a bit more about what mold is and how it grows.
What Is Mold and What Makes it Grow
Mold is a type of fungus categorized as a micro organism which aids in the decomposition of dead organic material such as leaves, wood and even plants. Molds can be found just about anywhere and can grow on just about any surface if moisture is present. Molds can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, etc.
Mold grows on surfaces in different colors: black, blue, brown, and green. The color of mold is significant because it is one way to determine the type, which nutrient source it is influenced by, or the age of the colony. Mold spreads by extensions of tiny root hairs call hyphae. A small colony of mold can expand to cover many square feet of the host material.
What do we really need to know to protect our homes? What makes it grow? The answer is water: it thrives in humid, damp, and poorly lit environments with little air circulation. Mold cannot grow without water.
How Does Mold Affect Individuals and Property
Mold itself can be thought of as a symptom of an illness. The presence of mold is not necessarily the actual issue to be addressed. The real issues that mold points to are what need to be addressed along with the safe and permanent removal of the mold.
Mold is a red flag that there is a moisture issue in your home that may cause real concerns like dry rot, weaknesses in the structural integrity of framing and cabinetry, and potentially lead to issues like unwanted pests.
Most of us are not affected by exposure to low concentrations of mold; however if we get exposed to a lot of mold, or experience exposure over an extended period of time, it can be a different story. The disconcerting thing is that the research does not provide a definitive measurement for what is “a lot” of exposure when it comes to mold.
According to the EPA, molds produce allergens and in some cases, potentially toxic substances called mycotoxins, that cause allergic reactions. People who have existing asthma are likely to experience frequent and intense attacks if they are exposed to mold.
Reactions to inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Allergic reactions to mold are common and can be immediate or delayed, but the cause of these persistent symptoms is hard to diagnose…until mold is discovered in one’s home.
Research on health effects of mold exposure is ongoing, so this is something we should be aware of and start taking steps to protect our home and family.
So the next question is how do we prevent mold from growing in our home?
Protect Your Home Against Mold - How To Prevent Mold
The answer is simple. The key is to keep your home dry. As mentioned above, the only reason mold grows is because of water. Without water or moisture, mold cannot grow.
Keep in mind that mold spores are literally everywhere so you cannot really keep them out of your house. Most homes are built with wood and paper faced drywall where dust build up is typically present meaning the food source of mold is always present (mold thrives on dust mite fences, skin flakes and food particles.)
There are some ways you can keep your house dry like preventing excessive moisture levels in the air by using exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry rooms where moisture is often generated.
Also, to decrease the chances of mold growth limit the use of humidifiers. In case you really need one, make sure to measure the relative humidity inside your home. The relative humidity (RH) should be maintained between 30% and 50%.
Another way to prevent mold damage is to look for damp areas or wet spots. Leaks coming from the roof, windows, basement walls, plumbing pipes and supply lines can be sources of wet areas.
If a leak happens, you must immediately dry the area because mold spores can begin growing within just 24-48 hours after a water leak and begin to colonize in 1 to 12 days. Mold spores are hard to destroy, so mold will sometimes return even after the mold source is gone.
This is one reason why it’s a great idea to contact a mold remediation company for a permanent solution.
Those small recurring and continuous leaks within walls, ceilings or even floors that are hidden can present a challenge because mold growth might be really extensive even before you can detect it.
Homeowners should stay alert to dampness in visible areas such as underneath sinks, ceilings, near water heaters, and any areas where plumbing is located. For more information read how to prevent home water damage.
What To Do If You Suspect Mold Is Present
When you suspect the presence of mold in your home, always remember not to panic. Mold is everywhere. Mold grows faster than we think; it is not an easy task to check the different areas of your home but better do it now than be sorry when the mold has already spread and is harder to treat and remove.
You should inspect the potential areas of water damage in your home and clean up any spills or leaks as soon as possible. If leaks are present, make sure you have them evaluated in a very timely fashion. It’s important not only to stop the leak, but to also thoroughly dry any areas (floors, walls, etc.) that have accumulated moisture as a result of the leak.
Moisture levels in drywall, in between walls, in flooring, between floors and ceilings, and in cabinets are impossible to determine without specialized equipment used by water mitigation companies. Often times, water not addressed in these places can lead to mold growth.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency:
■ The key to mold control is moisture control
■ If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.
■ It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
If you suspect mold, you might want to give us a call. We are professionals who are knowledgeable and trained to help you deal with damages from water and mold growth. Only a company who specializes in water damage restoration and mold remediation in your local area should provide this service.
It is important that you seek assistance right away as soon as you see there is a potential mold threat.
We are the best, top rated water damage restoration and mold remediation company in the area. We specialize in removing water damage caused by pipe leaks, slab leaks, sewer backups, water heater failures, dishwasher, toilet, washing machines, and refrigerator leaks and a lot more. Stop mold growth before it affects your family’s health and damages your home!
Call us now at 951-368-2227 with any questions and for a free consultation. We make things easy and stress free.
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