In general, mold is a living micro-organism that is all around us and occurs naturally in our environment. There are many different colors of mold, as there are colors of a rainbow. Mold works for us in many ways, such as in leaves decaying, composting, and in the development of beer, cheese, wine, and antibiotics, including penicillin. However, some molds are toxic and very unhealthy for us.
To thrive, mold requires moisture, food, and a suitable surface to grow on.
There are 2 basic areas where mold can affect people in their day-to-day activity – Health and Dwelling.
Based on their health effects, molds can be divided into 3 general groups:
- Allergenic – Allergic or asthmatic symptoms
- Pathogenic – can cause problems for people with decreased immune systems.
- Toxins – Also none as mycotoxins, can cause serious health effects in almost anybody.
Everyone is affected differently by mold. The seller of a home may have lived with mold issues for years without ever feeling any effects. The new buyer moves in and one or all of the family members are immediately affected by the mold.
Besides the health effects, mold can damage interior finishes and the structure of your home.
Mold in dwellings is caused by moisture or water penetration left untreated. If there has been water damage, roof or plumbing leaks, or flooding, mold could be hiding and you don’t know about it. Undetected and/or untreated mold can eat through building materials and cause serious structural damage.
Warning Signs !
Here are just a few of the most common warning signs.
- Visible mold
- Musty odor
- Evidence of water; damage, staining, penetration
- Poorly maintained HVAC systems
- Construction defects or deterioration
- Dryer vented indoors
- Inadequate or no bathroom/kitchen ventilation
- Surfaces with a hairy covering
- Soil around foundation that remains damp or wet
Do you have mold or mildew in your bathroom / Kitchen or basement?
Well there is a good bet that it isn’t mildew. Let’s call it what it is. You see mildew grows on living plants typically. So it is not likely that you have mildew. Ok so if it’s mold what do you do about it. Another great question. Over the past few years since the media uproar on mold the biggest problem with the presence of mold hasn’t been is it there although for some it is. Instead it’s been when people miss handle it and create a bigger problem by trying to clean it up with the wrong products and the inappropriate procedures. So let’s get a few facts known so you can make the best choice.
- Do not clean with Bleach! Bleach is a topical agent only and it contains approximately 70% water which we now know is a fuel for the growth of mold. The word “Topical” means that the bleach cannot get down to what you might call the roots of the fungus. So even if you have wiped the surface off with bleach you haven’t killed the plant so to speak. This is why people get the mold coming back.
- Once mold has gotten into sheetrock it cannot be effectively cleaned. It must be cut out properly and discarded.
- When ever working with mold it should be treated as though you have an environmental hazard that can easily become airborne such as asbestos.
- In a real estate transaction have the mold tested and conditions evaluated by a qualified mold and moisture intrusion specialist. Then have it cleaned by a qualified mold remediation contractor when needed. Then a final test to prove that cleanup was successful. This helps assure that it was done properly and prevent liability in the future.
When you have questions and are not sure of your situation or what you should do call us.
Contact us today for your free initial consultation.