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Mold is an insidious invader inside a home, often hiding unseen but wreaking havoc on the structure and causing health issues for the inhabitants. Mold grows indoors in the presence of moisture and organic material and is often found on wallpaper, ceiling tiles, carpets, insulation, wood, and drywall. If moisture is left unchecked, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Mold is present virtually everywhere in nature, but it shouldn't be present in your home. If you see signs of microbial growth or have reason to suspect there is unseen mold in your home, call ServiceMaster Restore of Lynchburg right away. Using infrared technology for detection and specialized chemical for remediation, our expert crew is always ready to help!
Mold is a fungus with many different species that can be found virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. It's believed that there may be up to three hundred thousand different species of mold. Mold reproduces by way of spores, which travel through the air to new locations where they will proliferate in the presence of water. Spores are hardy and can survive in conditions that are not conducive to mold growth until such time they find an appropriate environment for growth.
Mold cannot grow without some level of moisture. It thrives in the wet environments in a home created by slow leaks, floods, broken pipes, and excess humidity. In addition to water, mold needs to have an organic food source, oxygen, and a temperature between 40 degrees and 100 degrees Fahrenheit to grow. Organic food sources are abundant in homes because they can be found in many building materials such as wood and drywall.
The problems caused by mold are multifaceted and affect both the structural integrity of a home as well as the health of the people inside.
Once mold begins growing inside a structure, it will gradually destroy the materials that it's growing on including:
Mold presents a health issue for anyone who encounters it, but particularly for those with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Some of the potential side effects of mold are:
It's a good idea to keep an eye out for signs of mold, but that's hard to do if you don't know what you're looking for. Fortunately, there are some tell-tale warning signs that indicate you have mold in your home.
Although much is known about mold and proper cleaning techniques, there remains a lot of confusion and misconceptions surrounding the subject. The following are some facts about mold:
Mold can quickly become a serious problem, and, unless the area is very, very small, attempting to clean mold by yourself is not a good idea. There are many important things that need to be taken into consideration, from the chemicals used to clean the mold to proper containment so the mold doesn't spread when it's disturbed. At ServiceMaster Restore of Lynchburg our team has the knowledge, equipment, and expertise to properly assess and complete your mold remediation.
Anytime the moisture levels in your home are at 60% or higher, mold can grow. What’s frustrating for many property owners is that they don’t see a puddle on the floor or water dripping from the ceiling. When mold grows, the source of the moisture is usually hidden under floorboards or behind walls.
It could be. Because mold spores are microscopic and airborne, you’ll end up breathing them into your lungs. Depending on the type of mold and how well your immune system functions, you may develop some serious health symptoms that could end up being the result of mold. That’s why a mold remediation company takes mold removal so seriously. The space affected by mold is isolated and contained during cleaning so the spores won’t spread to other areas of the house, and the remediation team stays suited up in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the process.
For the majority of surfaces in your home, bleach won’t actually get rid of your mold problem. It’s the “iceberg effect.” Visible mold is usually a small percentage of the actual amount of mold growth. Bleach can’t kill mold on porous surfaces like wood, and while tile or fiberglass surfaces can be cleaned with bleach, often the mold has spread far deeper. The reason why mold remediation companies don’t recommend DIY cleanup isn’t because they want to make more money; they know, in their experience, that a mold problem is usually far more invasive than can be seen with the naked eye. Simply cleaning the surfaces can provide false assurances that you got rid of the mold, only to have it come back time and time again.
Sometimes mold remediation is included if the cause of the mold was a “covered peril” like a burst hot water heater or water damage caused by firefighters extinguishing a fire in your house. Gradual water damage - like from a leaking pipe or hose - will often cause mold growth, but your insurance coverage will usually not cover that by claiming that it was caused by poor maintenance or neglect. If your insurance company denies your claim, you should request an inspection from a mold remediation company who can help you document the source of the mold.
If the inspection/assessment process was able to pinpoint the source and cause of the mold growth, once that source is repaired, you can be relatively confident about the success of remediation. Ask if your restoration technician has the IICRC certification for “Applied Microbial Remediation.” You can also request a “post remediation mold clearance” from a third-party mold inspector to re-test the area for any remaining traces of mold before the area is treated with a sealer or encapsulant to resist future mold growth.