Mold is a living microorganism that is all around us and occurs naturally in our environment. There are as many different colors of mold as there are colors of a rainbow. Mold has many helpful uses including decaying leaves, composting, and in the development of beer, cheese, wine, and antibiotics like penicillin. However, some molds are toxic and very unhealthy for us.
Mold is a common problem often developing along floors, walls and across ceilings. The micro-organism is a fungus that poses a real health hazard when left to proliferate in the home or business property.
Mold can develop in areas of rising damp with constant exposure to moisture. Signs of mold in a building may indicate the presence of a leak. To thrive, mold requires moisture, food, and a suitable surface to grow on.
How Mold Can Affect You
There are 2 basic areas where mold can affect people in their day-to-day activity – Health and Dwelling.
The Health Effects of Mold
Health effects can be broken down into 3 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.
Mold in Your Home
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.
The Most Common Warning Signs of Mold
- 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.
Best Practices for Dealing With Mold
- 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 mold people continually returns.
- Once mold has gotten into sheetrock it cannot be effectively cleaned. It must be cut out properly and discarded.
- When 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 overall conditions of your property evaluated by a qualified mold and moisture intrusion specialist (link to mold certified inspector). 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.
How Sherwood Inspection Services Can Help Curb Your Mold Problems
Purchasing a property with a serious mold issue can be an ongoing expense. It could also result in complete structural overhauls with the removal of walls, floors and structures where the fungus has migrated out of sight.
With reliance on our home inspectors in CT, we offer comprehensive solutions in the detection of mold and the risk of mold and mildew growth.
Incorporating the latest technology and a highly trained eye, the building inspectors for Sherwood Inspection Services will determine the presence of mold with ease and efficiency. Any findings of mold will be documented and recorded in our individual client reports. We provide every customer proof of the problem including the extent of damages and the potential cost for repairs.
Unfortunately, the initial development of mold and excess moisture is not easy to identify with a regular property check. It could be in the roof, attic and ceiling that is inaccessible upon a regular household or commercial property viewing.
For peace of mind you are not purchasing a property with mold problems, we at Sherwood Inspection Services assist with CT home inspectors that you can trust. We deliver on our promises and ensure that your requirements are met but more importantly, that your health and well-being are protected against future mold problems.
If you have questions and are concerned about your situation, contact us today for your free initial consultation.