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Mold Basics – A Refresher Course

In keeping with our recent posts on the basics of water damage, we now offer a similar fundamental course on the basics involving mold, which is easily the most common byproduct of any sort of water or flooding issue.

Mold can be found pretty much anywhere, both indoors and outdoors, with thousands of species found throughout the world. Mold serves as nature’s recycling system, breaking down dead organic material. Mold spores may be encountered and inhaled every day with little or no ill effect. It is when these spores are encountered in high concentrations that they become a physical threat.

The threats of mold can range from the slight to the severe, with mild allergic reactions giving way to more severe neurological disorders, respiratory problems, and in rare cases, even cancer. Those affected by mold exposure may also experience skin irritations, watery eyes, sneezing, and breathing problems.

If mold has established itself in your home, then it is all but certain that you have a water problem, or at the very least, higher than average moisture issues.  Common molds found indoors include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Trichoderma. Large mold infestations can usually be detected visually or through obvious musty odors.

Many people spend a lot of money to have their homes tested for mold, but it isn’t really necessary. Mold presents itself through a musty odor, as well as greenish black, fuzzy growths on walls or piping. If you suspect you have mold, in all likelihood you do.  No matter what type of mold is present, you should clean it up and make efforts to prevent further mold growth. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, the presence of mold in the home does not imply a health risk.

The key to prevent mold growth is to control the level of moisture in the home. This can be done by fixing leaky pipes, roofs, and windows, maintaining indoor humidity below 50%, perform regular maintenance on HVAC systems, and eliminate any carpet in bathrooms and basements.

Showers, laundry rooms, and kitchens should be well ventilated, and any flood problems should be promptly taken care of.

Any mold that is found should be removed immediately, since it will not go away or get better on its own. The mold will continue to grow and progress until it has been properly remediated. Professional mold removal services are provided by Restoration Local.

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