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Everything You Need to Know About Mold
Everything You Need to Know About Mold
February 27, 2021
In 2015, a documentary called MOLDY shed light on how mold infested America’s homes actually are. According to the film, more than half the homes in the US were infested with mold. It also showed that 28% of the population had genes that made them susceptible to mold-related health issues.
According to the film, environmental mold is a greater threat than lead paint and even asbestos. Since it can form in the smallest corners of the home, it’s extremely threatening to even the most careful and health conscious people. It can form anywhere from improperly installed showers, leaking roofs and crawl spaces with poor air circulation.
In this piece, we will explore how dangerous mold is and different ways of mold biohazard cleanup you can employ.
Common House Building Materials Attract Mold
In the US, common building materials for homes include wood and drywall. Unfortunately, these materials are built to grow mold. That’s why such a large majority of homes in the US are thought to be partially or completely infested with mold. Any water damage or moisture build up in homes can result in mold making a home in your house.
The smallest damage which results in a leak in a water line or moisture vapor can result in mold buildup. If you let it build up, nothing less than a full mold biohazard cleanup can rid your home of this infestation. Toxic molds bloom very quickly and are aided by the damage that allows for moist or wet conditions to prevail.
What Causes Mold in the Home?
Mold can occur in your home anywhere as a result of two things: damp spaces, and small cracks or crannies. Molds are caused by spores that get into the home via small cracks and other types of damage. This could even be the result of a leaky roof or broken tiles. The spores then make their way into a corner and, as a result of moisture, being to bloom.
Spores don’t need cracks to get in though. They can also enter your home via doors or windows. You can track spores on your clothing and shoes, and your pets can even bring them in. Heating and air conditioning vents can also attract mold.
Growing conditions need to be dark and damp for mold to grow. You know how they say that sunlight is the best disinfectant? Well places with a lot of sunlight don’t usually grow mold so there’s a lot of truth to that saying.
If you want your home to be mold free, it doesn’t hurt to monitor leaky pipes, sinks, bathtubs, basements, etc.
How Does Mold Damage Your House?
Mold doesn’t just cause health problems; it can also damage the structure of your home. Your house is more likely to suffer structural damage as a result of mold overtime if you don’t clean it up.
While mold won’t directly damage your home, it will make way for fungi. That will damage the internal structure of the home and can result in walls and floors cracking. So don’t let the situation get that far and call for mold facility disinfection.
Mold affects you like any bacterium does. Your body simply reacts to its intrusion as a foreign substance. However, the levels of danger you’re in can vary widely.
How Do You Know There is Mold in Your Home?
Mold begins as a small spot on a wall or on the floor. However, it can quickly spread. If you notice this and aren’t sure whether it’s just discoloration or mold, there are a few signs to help you out:
• It has an earthy smell.
• You can see warping of the material that the mold is forming on. That clearly
shows the intrusion of moisture.
• Mold grows, stains don’t.
• It’s growing in little light, but a lot of moisture.
• Bleach can lighten the mold’s color in a minute, however cannot remove
How Does Mold Make You Sick?
While a small infestation doesn’t make you sick immediately, there are telltale signs of your body reacting to it:
• Lung Irritation
• Coughing and sneezing
• Irritation in your eyes and a sore throat
• Runny nose and congestion
• A skin rash breaking out
However, if you have allergies already, you may be at a higher risk. Your condition may compromise you further. If you have any allergies, asthma, a compromised immune system, or cystic fibrosis, you can’t afford to wait. Get a mold biohazard cleanup crew to address the situation immediately.
You may have seen different types of mold growing in nature or on food at times. Evolution has created incredible diversity in nature, and unfortunately, that extends to molds as well. That doesn’t mean that you’ll find thousands of different species in your basements or attics though.
Here are the most common types of molds you can find in your home:
This type of mold is either white, green, or grey. It also comes in dark spots and has a powdery look. You may have seen this mold grow in the corners of walls. It doesn’t need a lot of ventilation and thrives in walls, basements, and even dry food items.
Penicillium can be green, yellow, or blue. It can be found in basements, inside insulation, in carpets, or where there has been significant water damage. As you may have guessed, this mold produces the antibiotic penicillin. That doesn’t mean you can play microbiologist with this mold though. Let the professional mold facility disinfection crew handle things.
This mold is usually colored green, black, or brown. Hence, if it reminds you of trees, it’s probably Cladosporium. The trick with this mold is it can grow in both cool and warm conditions. It can be found on wooden floors or walls, or carpets, and on fabrics, and even in air ducts.
Here are some of the less common molds you may find in your home. These don’t grow in homes very often, but at times can fester given the right conditions.
This is a fuzzy type of mold that is white, with black sports. It can grow in wallpaper, and near windows and air conditioners. You can also find it in bathrooms and kitchens.
This is the oft-referenced and derided black mold. It has a greenish-black hue and grows on things that have a high cellulose content. So you can find it on paper, gypsum and fiberboards, and wallpaper.
This has a creamy white appearance and is nearly unmistakable. However, it turns green when it releases spores. It’s found in bathrooms, kitchens, wood, windows, etc.
Pink with black spots, you’d think this mold is making a fashion statement. It is found on walls, in wood, and in grout.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can keep your home mold free with these recommendations:
Look for Water Damage
The first thing to do is to look for water damage in moist places. The kitchen, basement, bathrooms, and piping are all good places to start. You can also look for places where your walls have become moist or your floors have become wet unexpectedly. There may be a leaky pipe inside that’s causing the problem.
Address Repairs Immediately
Any place in your home that allows spores to enter like a crack or a chipper corner needs to be repaired immediately. Any leaky roofs, windows, pipes, etc. need to be repaired too. If your home floods, or suffers rain damage, you need to clean and dry it post-haste.
Keep Humidity Levels Low
To keep humidity levels low, the simplest thing you can do is air out your home and keep it sunny. Make sure you let plenty of sunlight in and ventilate places where moisture can build up. This goes double for bathrooms, laundry areas, and cooking areas.
Buy a dehumidifier if you can’t air out certain areas. Check the humidity levels more than once a day. They should stay at 30-50%. An air conditioner can also do the trick here. It allows for increased ventilation in the home during the humid months.
You can also use exhaust fans to ventilate bathrooms. Just make sure that any exhaust points far outside your home. If it’s facing a wall, it will only cause mold build up there.
Keep Fabrics Away from Water
Don’t ever put large carpets in bathrooms or basements. Consider using plastic or polymer mats instead. Carpets absorb a lot of moisture and can become breeding grounds for mold.
Removing mold in the home is not an easy process. The more it has grown and made a home in your home, the harder it is to remove. The problem is not just disinfecting, but to remove every inch of mold that is present in the home. Otherwise, it can just grow back again.
Remove Moldy Items/Fabrics
Get rid of any fabrics or items that have been infested with molds. Fabrics are particularly hard to disinfect. Carpets usually hold on to small spores or bits of mold and can always present problems in the future. Insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, wallboard, etc. all may have to be replaced.
You may have allergic reactions to any mold still remaining in the home if you don’t remove these items. Even dead mold can be bad news for anyone with a compromised immune system.
Clean Up and Dry Your Home
If your home has been flooded, then you should clean up and dry out your home within 24-48 hours. Any longer and you risk mold making a permanent home in nooks and crannies. Use a wet vacuum to remove any remaining dirt. Then scrub any surfaces than can be cleaned with soapy water and a bristle brush.
You should make sure that any hard surfaces are specifically cleaned. Flooring, molding, wood, and metal furniture, or any countertops and sinks are prime real estate for mold. Make sure you don’t miss anything. If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. Call a professional mold biohazard cleanup crew if you’re inexperienced.
Use Chemical Solutions
You can treat mold with 3 basic chemicals that are found in the home.
Hydrogen peroxide acts an antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal chemical. It’s found in a lot of medicine cabinets and works perfectly for mold treatment. You can use it on kitchen counters, bathroom fixtures, tubs, etc. You can even get rid of mold on hardwood flooring and certain walls.
Put a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Test one surface to see if discoloration occurs or not. If it doesn’t, then continue cleaning mold off that surface. Make sure you test surfaces before you go ballistic on the mold growing there.
White vinegar is mildly acidic. It can disinfect and deodorize surfaces. It can also kill 82% of all mold species so it’s a great weapon against mold infestations. Pour vinegar into a spray bottle and spray it onto moldy surfaces. Leave for an hour, and then clean.
Baking soda is a great weapon against black mold. It is safe for your family and pets, yet it destroys mold. Add a ¼ tablespoon of the stuff to a spray bottle filled with water. Shake until dissolved and then spray the moldy area with the solution. Use a scrub brush to remove the mold.
Call A+ Renewz for Mold Biohazard Cleanup
Having problems with mold buildup in your home? Call A+ Renewz. We provide a complete service package that disinfects your home from top to bottom until it’s mold free. We take care of mold wherever it’s made a home in your lovely abode and completely obliterate it.
Our services are not only thorough and fast, but come at a great price. Our teams are always ready to take on a challenge and are waiting for your call. So what are you waiting for? Call A+ Renewz today!