Mold & Indoor Air Quality
Mold and mildew are simple, microscopic organisms that can grow virtually anywhere if they have adequate moisture, nutrients and appropriate temperatures. Depending on the particular mold or mildew, growing colonies can be almost any color from white to black. Most household molds and mildews are black, grey, or charcoal colored. Spores of dozens of kinds of mold and mildew are present at all times in indoor and outdoor air. These spores can settle, germinate and grow wherever good growth conditions are found. They can grow on soil, plants, dead plant materials, foods, fabrics, paper, wood and many other materials. Most molds are not harmful. In fact, molds have important roles in the environment and in living systems. In soil molds play a crucial part in decomposition of organic matter and in making nutrients available to plants.
Molds and mildews can be very destructive to materials on which they grow, and are usually unwelcome and unhelpful in homes. They cause staining, decomposition (rotting of materials) and objectionable, musty odors. Where colonies are extensive they can also produce enough spores, and by-products to be harmful to health. Many of the by-products of mold and mildew are irritating to skin, eyes and respiratory tracts. Some molds produce true allergic sensitization and allergic reactions in susceptible people. Some molds produce toxic by-products that could be harmful to skin, and poisonous if ingested or inhaled in quantity.
Should I be concerned if I have mold or mildew in my home?
Yes. Mold and mildews are harmful at least to the materials on which they grow, and they usually produce objectionable odors, stains and discolorations. If mold conditions are allowed to exist for long in a wood structure, the wood can quickly become weak and rotten. Fabrics and paper can be seriously damaged or destroyed in days by damp, moldy conditions. If molds grow extensively, they may produce enough airborne irritants to cause coughing and cold-like symptoms. Allergic persons may react to very small amounts of mold.
What are some conditions that cause or aggravate mold?
Flooding, leaking water pipes or fixtures, backed-up or faulty drain plumbing, leaky roofs, use of humidifiers, extensive use of hot water indoors (laundering, cooking, bathing) without adequate exhaust venting for steam, damp basements or crawlspaces, houseplant water or aquarium leakage, indoor clothes drying, and unvented combustion appliances are all important sources of indoor moisture, and can encourage mold growth. Heavy condensation (“sweating”) of windows, exterior walls or other cold objects indicates excessive moisture and inadequate venting.
Should I test for mold or have mold samples from my home tested?
Generally it is not necessary or helpful to test molds found in homes. Usually damp areas in homes will have a large number of molds growing together. Even though many molds produce toxic or potentially toxic substances, merely finding such a mold in a home does not mean that the mold poses a serious or extreme hazard to people in the home. There is very little known about the health significance of most household molds. If one has a specific mold allergy and needs to know if that particular mold is present, then testing may be helpful. General tests to determine total numbers of molds or spores in air samples may be useful in determining if there is a significant but unidentified indoor source of mold. There are private testing firms that offer such evaluations commercially
What is the Mold Mitigation Process?
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate the “typical” process
Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
Professionals will carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. They use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.
use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. They may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.
specialized filtration equipment allows their Professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.
Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears
Expert’s Guide To Mold Removal Services
According to national knowledge, mold removal isn’t the type of situation that is limited to homes in certain climates or that have dealt with major issues like floods or burst pipes. In fact, experts mention that nearly 50% of all U.S. homes are dealing with some sort of mold issue. Part of the reason for this is that people don’t fully understand what mold removal services entail. For example, a lot of store-bought cleaners may recommend applying them to the affected part of your home and being done with this. But what does this do about dead spores? Mold in unreachable parts of the home? Nascent mold that isn’t grown enough to be detected? Here is some expert advice in order to handle proper mold removal.
Mold Removal Services Explained
For a start, let’s reiterate some of the consequences of ignoring mold removal services. While health issues are one of the biggest reasons that people invest in mold removal services, it’s important to note that not everyone has the same degrees of reactions. This is due to the different types of mold out there, as well as individual variations of symptoms for different people. Those who are most likely to see a severe impact are those with sensitivities to mold or a history of respiratory issues. Some suggest a link between mold and other health problems, like lethargy or even mental health, but the evidence here is not as strong.
Reacting To Mold In Your Home
Mold tends to run on a far more accelerated timeline than you think. In fact, if you can actually see mold somewhere in your home, then it’s likely already been growing in that spot for a week or longer. The initial growing stages of mold take only 24 to 48 hours, during which it is impossible to see with the naked eye. Because of the quick speed that mold can take hold, it’s important for you to have a plan in place if you happen upon mold. This will help your budget and your health, if you have a mold sensitivity. Here is the game plan to start with.
What To Look For In Mold Removal Services
At this point, it’s important to make a decision about who is going to handle your mold removal services. For mold removal/mold remediation, you’re not just paying to get mold out of your home, but also remove any trace remnants that could lead to growth in the future. This means you want to get the best quality possible. A good place to start is making sure that your mold removal services have certifications with bodies like the IICRC. This ensures that the technicians working on your home are properly qualified to do so.
What Goes Into The Mold Removal Process
Part of pursuing mold removal services is using the expertise, tools, and experience of professionals to help your home. With this said, it’s always a good idea to take a closer look at what exactly mold removal services do as a part of their job. This may help you prevent future mold problems and will also give you more of a leg to stand on if you’re not happy with the job your contractor does. While mold removal services take different forms based on the needs of the customers, here’s a general look at what you can expect.
What Is Green Mold and Is It Dangerous?
Mold comes in many textures and colors, but they all have a few things in common — they grow in moist areas, they feed on organic matter, and can pose a threat to your health. Green mold, in this sense, is no different. So, have you recently wondered what it is and if it’s dangerous? Here’s what you should know about green mold that grows in homes.
What is green mold?
Green mold is an umbrella term that refers to different species of fungi that grow in shades of green. It appears as soft and fuzzy or powdery and can have different hues of green. You may have seen green mold on fruits, bread, and many other foods. However, green mold can also grow in wet areas of a home.
Although many species of mold can grow green, the most common are Cladosporium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium.
Cladosporium is olive green and thrives on plants in particular, but can also grow on household surfaces like walls, cabinets, and carpets.
Aspergillus is the mold that typically grows on spoiled food like bread. It can also grow on nutrient-poor but moisture-rich environments like the basement.
Penicillium is famous for its antibacterial properties and is usually bluish-green. However, it can also emit mycotoxins that are toxic to both people and pets. Penicillium prefers colder environments like soil, but some also form on wet items in the home.
Is green mold dangerous?
Contrary to popular belief, black mold is not the only harmful type of mold for people and pets. While black mold may seem more dangerous, its green counterpart is just as likely to cause health issues. In fact, all molds — green, black, or other colors — can cause health problems, especially to sensitive people. Continuous exposure to mold can affect the respiratory system and trigger asthma attacks and allergens. So yes, if you see green mold, you should remove it as soon as possible.
If removing this kind of fungus seems daunting to you, it’s because it is. Mold can not only affect your health, but you can also risk doing a poor job, resulting in a more massive mold infestation. The best way to get rid of mold is to contact professionals
Guide to Mold Cleaning Products & Approaches
This document describes choices among common cleaning substances and methods used for mold cleanup of building surfaces and contents. This article series provides an easy to understand step-by-step guide for dealing with toxic or allergenic indoor mold and other indoor contaminants: what to do about mold.
The steps in this document will be sufficient for many building owners who want to do their own mold investigation, mold testing, mold cleanup, and mold prevention in their home or office
What to Use to Clean Off Mold from Building Surfaces, Contents, Items
Just below answer some of the most common mold cleanup questions posed by readers, followed by a detailed homeowner’s guide to popular mold cleaners, mold removers, mold killers, and other mold cleanup approaches.
What to use to clean off mold from all of the exposed hard, cleanable surfaces: to clean off a moldy surface, you could use simple clean water, soapy water, spray cleaners, or if you prefer, a commercial biocide (follow their directions) or a dilute bleach cleaning solution.
Water to clean mold:
After discussing mold cleaning with an expert mycologist, agreed that simple water and a scrubby sponge work fine for cleaning off superficial mold.
Soap and water to clean mold:
using any household cleaner or soap solution, works well where we want to leave a nicer looking surface.
Color of mold does not impact choice of mold cleaner:
it does not matter what color or kind of mold you are cleaning up – in most cases the cleaning methods will be just the same.
Type of surface being cleaned impacts mold cleaner choice:
the type of moldy surface or material being cleaned up matters a lot. Hard surfaces such as wooden objects or wood framing are easy to clean with any cleaning product and a scrubby sponge, rags, paper towels.