Mold Remediation Tips: How To Control A Mold Outbreak
As a homeowner, you know that caring for a house comes with a great deal of responsibility in order to maintain value and upkeep over time. Unfortunately, in homes large or small, there are lots of things that can go wrong. Among one of the most common challenges homeowners face is the presence of mold. Finding mold in your house is a cause for worry, and should be addressed immediately. When left untreated, mold outbreaks can cause damage and even pose a health risk to occupants of the home. To best equip yourself in the fight against mold, learn what it is, its cause, mold remediation definition, and mold remediation tips.
What is Mold?
Molds are actually a very natural part of the environment and are found in many places in the outside world. In the proper environment, molds are effective in breaking down dead matter, such as decaying trees and dead leaves. What exactly is mold? They are a type of fungus, and they are comprised of microscopic spores that can’t be seen by the naked eye. There are thousands of different types of molds, and they can appear in a variety of colors. Most often, they will take on a green, blue, or black appearance. The nutrients from which the mold feasts are what determines its colors. Additionally, the age of a mold colony and surface on which it grows influences the color.
When inhaled, mold can have harmful effects on the respiratory system, causing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, sneezing, itchy eyes, sore throat, and more. Contact with mold can also result in skin rashes and hives that require treatment from a medical professional. Those with existing conditions such as asthma should pay particular attention not to enter mold-prone areas.
Types of Household Mold
While there are a number of different types of mold that can be found growing in the damp areas of a home, a few of the most common are:
Black Mold: One of the most common types of mold found in a household is the infamous black mold. Black mold is classified as a toxigenic mold, that can elicit allergic reactions in humans when inhaled. In most cases, black mold will be black or dark green in color and will feature a slimy texture. It is attracted to surfaces including cardboard, woods, and wicker.
Alternaria: Alternaria is the most common type of allergenic mold, that can be found in areas of the home including leaky sinks, showers, and bathtubs. Alternaria is usually brown or dark green in color and has a velvety texture. Following water damage in a home, it is likely that Alternaria will appear.
Chaetomium: In addition to black mold and Alternaria, Chaetomium is another type of mold often found growing in water damaged homes. This type of mold has a cotton-like texture and ranges in color from brown to grey to white. Chaetomium is a common inhabitant of basements and leaky roofs. It can be identified by its musty odor.
What Causes Mold Outbreaks?
Humidity: Humidity a common cause of mold outbreaks, as mold needs moisture to grow. Following particularly humid weather, it is not uncommon to start to see mold growing in your house. Those that live in particularly humid areas, such as individuals with homes on the coast, are likely to experience recurring issues with mold. Humidity can also be created from humidifier machines and drying clothes indoors on clotheslines.
Poor Ventilation: A poorly ventilated room means moisture can start to pool and puddle. This, in turn, feeds mold growth. Spaces such as kitchens and vacuums, where high amounts of steam are produced, are especially susceptible to mold growth when ventilation is poor.
Flooding: Mold growth is also common following the flooding of a home. Basements, in particular, are at risk for flooding, whether due to cracks in the foundation, burst pipes or backed up sewer. Where there is standing water for a period of time, mold will follow. Making it more difficult to control the growth of mold is the fact that it can take days or even weeks for your home to fully dry.
Mold Remediation Tips
Mold remediation is defined as the removal, cleaning, and sanitizing of areas and surfaces that have been contaminated by mold. While it is impossible to remove all traces of mold, through mold remediation, you or a professional can restore mold levels to normal, natural levels.
If you’ve found mold growing in your house, do not despair. Use the following mold remediation tips to control a mold outbreak.
Contact a specialist. While you may be tempted to tackle a mold problem on your own, the safest option is to contact a specialist equipped to handle the mold remediation process safely and efficiently. They will conduct a full examination of the extent of mold growth, and develop a plan of action to remove harmful overgrowths.
Area containment. Once the problem areas have been identified, the specialist will contain the areas to prevent the travel of mold spores into other areas of the house. During this step, the specialist will also take dehumidifying measures to remove as much moisture from the space as possible.
Removal of contaminants. The specialist will now begin the process of removing mold, using various treatment products. Once done, they will safely dispose of the mold. The specialist will help to identify sources of moisture that might have caused the mold growth to begin with and offer recommendations for repairs.
Final testing. After the mold remediation process is complete, the specialist will conduct a final test of the space to ensure normal mold levels have been restored.
Following these mold remediation tips will help you quickly address mold issues, and prevent future outbreaks. Black mold removal and removal of other common household molds is a delicate process, but one that is necessary for the safety and well-being of your family. Contact a mold specialist today to discuss black mold removal, how to protect your house from water damage, or other questions you might have.