In order to understand how mold growth and remediation works, you need to understand a little about what molds are, where they are, and why they can be harmful.
To begin with, mold are living organisms that are a part of the Fungi kingdom. In the same family as mildew, they are sometimes confused with one another.
Mold growth can multiply in your home if the right conditions are present. If flooding, roof or siding leaks, plumbing leaks, damp areas, condensation areas, high humidity factors, or poor ventilation is present anywhere in your home, you could have mold growing and reproducing.
Mold can grow on damp leaves, in wet clothes, and just about anywhere there is moisture and organic materials. Surprisingly, you may not realize that your ceiling tiles, drywall, paper, or natural fiber carpet padding are organic materials that mold loves.
Facts About Mold
Mold spores aren’t harmful until they grow and start producing toxins. But there needs to be enough growth to become a contamination that can cause health problems or damage to the home. Here is a list of some facts you may not know about mold
- Mold is present everywhere all the time, in air and on surfaces
- Mold isn’t harmful until it grows
- Mold cannot grow if moisture is not present
- It doesn’t need a lot of water to grow
- Temperatures matter little to it’s growth
- It’s usually not a problem indoors
- Mold eats wood, drywall, ceiling tiles, paper, natural fiber carpet padding & more
Common Causes of Mold Growth
- Roof Leaks
- Unsealed windows
- Humidity indoors
- Sprinkler Systems
- Plumbing Problems
Mold needs just a little bit of moisture to grow, but it also needs organic material for food. It can grow on any organic substance. As we’ve said, many of your home’s building materials are made of organic matter that can feed mold.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
- Sinus and nasal congestion
- Upper respiratory infections
- Eye irritation
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Sore or scratchy throat
- Skin irritations, rash
When mold is inhaled, it can cause health concerns in some people. mold produces allergens that cause allergic reactions, can irritate your lungs and sinuses, and in some cases potentially toxic substances or chemicals known as mycotoxins are produced and can cause serious illness or death. Those who have weakened immune systems and those already with respiratory illnesses are at the greatest risk.
What To Do If You Think You Have Mold
Testing for mold is done when you believe you have mold growth. Above all, the moist or wet areas need to be dried thoroughly to get rid of it and the area needs to stay dry. Many times carpeting and the lower portion of the drywall and trim areas of the walls in a home are removed when a home floods, but other areas could need to be removed depending on where a leak occurs or what the issue was that caused the moisture. Fans are placed in all the areas needed so the building materials can thoroughly dry out.
If damages were caused by dirty water or if the water is from rain flooding, there could be sewage water contamination that needs to be specifically addressed. Don’t use fans if water is suspected to be contaminated. Where there may be mold, an experienced mold remediator needs to be consulted for leak detection and clean up.