- 07 Apr
Everything You Needed to Know About Mold Removal Part 1
AMold. At some point or another, everybody will encounter mold. Mold is a serious threat to health and homes. It grows nearly everywhere, in our homes, our lawns, our offices, it’s even in some of the foods we eat. Evaluating the mold situation in your home however, is crucial to safe and complete mold clean-up. Some mold problems require a mold specialist to remove, while others can be removed with the proper equipment and knowledge.
So Why Does Mold Grow There?
Mold can’t grow without water. It is a moisture problem. Hence, that is why it often finds it way into bath tubs or on bath tiles. To control the mold, you must first control the moisture problem. Moisture comes from leaks, storms, burst pipes, improper construction, condensation, drainage backups and improper water flow. Mold must have something to grow and feed on too. Surfaces like carpet, drywall, cloth or wood have potential for mold growth. Poor air circulation traps spores in one area and prevents the moisture from drying. Areas like crawl spaces and attics frequently feel mold because of the insulation and wooden beams.
Four Factors of Mold:
1.The Fungal Biomass – this is the mold you see. Mold comes in every style, texture and color the only way to know what kind of mold is growing is with a mold test kit. Because of the vast variety of molds, the appearance and color of mold can be difficult to differentiate.
Stachybotrys is usually brought up whenever you hear about black mold or toxic mold, and even though most molds are black and produce toxins, Stachybotrys is not always black, but sometimes gray, brown, or green. Stachybotrys has the ability to produce mycotoxins that are very toxic, suspected carcinogens, and immunosuppressive. Exposure can occur through ingestion, dermal exposure and inhalation. Long term exposure has shown that Stachybotrys and Chaetomium can lead to autoimmune disease.
Penicillium fungi are commonly found in food, cellulose, grains, paints, soil, wallpaper, carpet, interior fiberglass duct insulation, and decaying vegetation. This fungi is linked to common illnesses like urinary tract infections, ear infections, and pneumonia. Penicillium infections are commonly shown in immunosuppressed individuals.
Fusarium is a common soil fungus and inhabitant on numerous plants. This fungus is frequently in humidifiers and has been isolated from water-damaged carpets and a variety of other building materials. Human exposure may sometimes occur through the ingestion of contaminated grains and maybe through the inhalation of spores. Fusarium are frequently involved with eye, skin, and nail infections.
Cladosporium is one of the most commonly isolated from indoor and outdoor air, it is found on decaying plants, straw, soil, paint, textiles, woody plants, food, and the surface of fiberglass duct liner in the interior of supply ducts. These fungi are the causative agents of skin lesions, nail fungus, asthma, keratitis, sinusitis, and pulmonary infections. More commonly, it is a more causative factor for intrinsic asthma.
2. The Odor / Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – organic chemical compounds that have high enough vapor pressures that enter the atmosphere, meaning that they are in the air we breathe. VOCs are a by-product of mold growth. When mold digests organic matter, like drywall for example, it releases VOCs into your home. When the mold grows and releases spores into the air, those particles can contribute to the moldy smell, so if you can smell a moldy or mildewy odor, there is mold contaminating your air.
3. Spores – Mold spreads by creating reproductive cells called spores and sending them into the environment. Mold spores are too small to detect with the naked eye. They are everywhere around us and you cannot avoid being exposed to them. Mold spores travel through the air, attaching to people’s skin, shoes, shopping bags, clothing and other belongings. Spores can also enter your home through open doors and windows, through your ventilation system, air conditioning and heating system, or onto anything that comes from outside.
Once spores enter your home, they can settle into carpets and other surfaces. While you cannot keep spores out of your home, regular home cleaning and maintenance frequently can prevent mold issues before they arise. Mold spores need moisture to start growing, digesting and destroying inside your home. They can grow on nearly any surface too, like the ceiling, wallpaper, paints, carpet, wood, insulation and more. They grow best with lots of moisture from a leak, flood or humidity. While there is no way to get rid of all molds and mold spores inside your home, you can control it by keeping your home as dry as possible.
About the Author
My journey as a Cleveland home inspector began 15 years ago when I was buying real estate properties in Ohio. Because they were my investments, I wanted to make sure I was getting a great deal, so I decided to learn everything I could about general home inspections.