If You Got Mold Avoid These 5 Mistakes!
If you Got Mold and are wondering what you should do next, this article will answer the following questions:
- Why does mold grow?
- Where is mold growing in my home?
- Why should I be concerned about mold?
- What should I do if I got mold?
- What are the five mistakes I need to avoid if I got mold?
Why Does Mold Grow?
Mold is everywhere; it has a purpose in our eco-system as nature’s recycler.
It’s main purpose in the outdoors is to consume dead organic material.
Indoors, however, mold is a problem and will begin growing if the following ingredients are present.
First, a food source. Most homes present an ample food source for mold because they are made of dead material that mold loves to eat: high cellulose materials such as paper and wood, drywall, wallpaper, carpet, ceiling tiles, dust, and dirt.
Second, the right climate: mold flourishes when the temperature ranges from 5 degrees to 38 degrees Celsius.
Third, and most importantly, a moisture source. Without moisture, mold can not thrive and grow. If you smell or see mold, then you have a problem because there is a moisture source in your home. Moisture is usually caused by leaks in pipes and/or the roof, sewer backups, flooding, condensation, etc.
Where Is Mold Growing In My Home?
If you smell a musty, mildewy, or urine-like smell in your basement or other areas of your home, then you could have mold. Visual clues of mold include water stains on the ceiling or wall, visible growth, discolored carpet, and buckled floorboards.
Areas in your home where mold growth is most commonly found include:
- Bathrooms and Kitchens. Check under the sink for leaks and mold.
- Appliances. Refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machines also leak, so check behind and under the appliances for mold.
- Roof. Water stains on the ceiling indicate that you have a roof leak, meaning there could be mold growing
- Windows. Condensation leads to mold on the windows.
- Basement. Basements tend to be damp areas of the home, this is one of the most common areas you will find mold. A dehumidifier can reduce moisture.
- Closets. Leaky pipes, high humidity, and other sources of moisture can result in hidden mold in your closets. If there are boxes in the closet, move them and check the walls and floor for mold.
- Crawl Spaces. Moisture in your crawl space will cause mold to grow.
Why Should I Be Concerned About Mold?
If you got mold, you should be concerned for two reasons.
- Reduced Property Value! Excessive mold growth will reduce the value of your property. As mold grows, it continues to feed which could impact the structural integrity.
- Health! The other reason you must be concerned is the negative health impact that mold has, particularly because it has been linked to sinusitis, asthma, and other respiratory conditions.
What Should I Do If I Got Mold?
There are two key reasons you need to contact a professional.
First, if you disturb mold, it could spread by releasing spores. You want to prevent this from happening.
Second, you could have toxic mold growing in your home. Tests can verify this. Molds like Aspergillus and Stachybotrys are toxic because they produce myctoxins which can depress the immune system, leading to many illnesses.
The key lesson is that you do not want to disturb the mold if you have it in your home because you do not want the mold spores to spread further. Containment is essential particularly because you do not want the spores to get in your HVAC system which will contaminate your whole home.
What Are The Five Mistakes I Need To Avoid If I Got Mold?
If You Got Mold DO NOT Clean It With Bleach!
Bleach is ineffective on mold, particularly on porous material and will make the situation worse because the application of bleach requires dilution with water. This will make your mold problem worse because you are adding an ingredient mold needs to grow.
If You Got Mold DO NOT Ignore or Neglect It
As mentioned earlier, the core problem with mold is that it can impact the structural integrity of your home because mold is like a parasite and will continue to feed until it is removed. This is one of the reasons that moldy wood rots.
The other reason you should not ignore your mold problem if you got mold is the potential health problems mold causes.
Mold is a significant concern if you have children because studies have shown that a little mold can cause illness.
Studies have also shown that healthy individuals, constantly exposed to mold, will eventually get sick because mold has an impact on your immune system.
The next three mistakes are listed because we understand that not all readers of this article will call a professional to remove mold because of concerns about cost.
That being said, we encourage you to contact MSZ if you have a mold concern so that we can provide you with a professional assessment. It is better to be safe than sorry!
The only time we will recommend that you tackle your mold problem yourself is if the area of concern is small, less than 100 square feet.
If you got mold and decide to remove it, be sure to fix the underlying moisture source that is causing the mold.
If You Got Mold DO NOT Remove Contaminated Materials Without A Containment
One of the primary concerns of professional mold removal contractors is to prevent cross contamination.
This is accomplished by setting up containment barriers in the area that the mold removal will be done.
If You Got Mold DO NOT Ignore Safety Measures
Mold is a biological agent that can make you sick. This is the reason that you must not take your safety for granted.
Understand that because mold spores are not visible, they still can enter your body through your skin, lungs, and eyes. With this in mind, always wear personal protective equipment (protective tyvek suits, gloves, and respirators) when you are removing mold.
If You Got Mold DO NOT Clean It With A Vacuum
Do not, under any circumstances, use a normal household vacuum to clean the area.
Professionals use HEPA vacuums because mold spores are extremely small and pass through most filters; HEPA filters prevent this negating concerns about cross contamination.
If you use a normal vacuum this means you are simply spreading the spores and contaminating the area further.
If you got mold and have questions, we are here to help. Call 1-403-978-7978or contact us via e-mail.
— MSZ Restoration (@mszrestoration) September 30, 2015