Mold Remediation: Everything You Should Know About Mold
Mold is a common problem many homeowners deal with, especially during the hot summer and autumn months. Heat and humidity provide mold with a perfect combination to take hold and grow in numerous places throughout homes, especially in spots where there’s a flow of water available. What can you do to prevent mold from growing in your home or business? Worse yet, if you’ve found mold, what are your options for mold remediation? Read on to learn more.
What Is Mold?
Molds are types of fungi that grow on all sorts of items, including food, clothing, and porous building materials including wood, drywall, and insulation. If you’ve ever forgotten about some old leftovers in your fridge, chances are you’ve come face-to-face with mold.
Some mold is beneficial (think penicillin), but when indoor mold is growing in your home, it’s time to find a mold remediation expert — and quickly! After all, you want a healthy home for yourself and your family.
How Do You Know if You Have a Mold Problem?
In general, mold is visible on surfaces and can come in many colors, including black, green, gray, and brown molds. Many people describe the smell of mold as musty, but it can also be stale, earthy, or pungent.
Sometimes health issues will arise in home occupants with no clear cause. Breathing problems, coughing, and sneezing among family members and pets could be indications of mold growing somewhere hidden in your home. If you suspect hidden mold in your home, it’s best to contact a mold abatement expert.
How Do You Prevent Mold?
If at all possible, it’s best to stop mold from growing in the first place. Preventing mold is better than dealing with it, after all. Mold spores are all over the place, indoors and outdoors, but they won’t take hold unless they have a moist, humid environment to grow in.
• Keep indoor humidity less than 50 percent.
• Run exhaust fans and/or ventilation fans when cooking, washing dishes, and taking hot showers.
• Check often for water leaks in the kitchen, bathrooms, and other water-connected appliances. If there are any leaks, fix them as soon as possible.
• Ensure that any drip pans in your ventilation or HVAC systems are clean and dry.
• Make sure your dryer vent exhausts outside your home, if possible. Humid, warm air flowing onto wood or drywall is a perfect place for mold to take hold.
• If there is a liquid spill, clean it up as soon as possible. For example, if you spilled a bottle of water on a carpeted floor, soak up as much of that water with towels and then angle fans to continue to blow-dry the area. The last thing you need is water soaking into the underlayment or baseboards, as those are perfect places for mold to grow.
What Do You Do if You Have Mold in Your Home?
If you’re unlucky enough to have found an area of mold in your home, it’s best to call a mold expert near you like the PROs at COIT to come and take care of the problem. While some molds are relatively harmless, others can cause numerous health problems. Mold cleanup can be complicated, so let the mold experts determine what is necessary to eliminate the mold to keep you and your family safe.
In the meantime, here are additional tips:
• Turn off fans and HVAC systems. The last thing you want to do is continue to spread the mold spores around your home!
• If possible, close off the room where the mold is growing. If it’s a bathroom, shut the door and don’t use that room if at all possible. The more you can contain the mold to one room of the house, the easier (and more effective) the mold remediation will be.
• Determine where the water leak is coming from, if possible, and turn off the water to that area. For example, if mold is growing near a leaky water intake behind a toilet, turn off the water spigot to stop the flow to that area. Remember, mold needs a humid and damp environment to grow. By stopping the flow of water, you should be able to slow the growth.
Can You Clean Up Mold Yourself?
Although you can clean up mold yourself, it’s advised that you contact a mold remediation specialist like COIT because you never know what sort of mold you’re dealing with (unless you’re a mold specialist yourself). Mold removal can prove tricky, especially if you don’t have the correct safety equipment. The last thing you want to do is spread more of the mold spores around your home and business, potentially endangering your family or employees.
Know that if you scrub off mold from drywall, it can come back if the source of the water leak isn’t fixed. Unless you fix the source of the mold growing in the first place, you won’t be able to get rid of the mold entirely and the mold can come back worse than before.
The Pros at COIT Cleaning and Restoration are trained to handle mold clean-up and ensure that your family or employees are breathing clean air. Call us IMMEDIATELY if you suspect there could be mold in your home or business.