Mold problems are unpleasant; nobody can argue with that. But more importantly, mold is dangerous to physical and financial health. That’s why mold prevention and remediation is such a critical and pesky issue.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent mold from growing in the first place. When it does start to cause problems, there are effective ways to deal with it. Mold removal specialists are experts in preventing and removing mold, and they know more than the average person about how mold works. Here are five things mold removal specialists want their customers to know.
What mold actually is
“Mold” is a colloquial word for a group of filamentous fungi commonly found on food or wet materials. It’s a large group: it even includes the species that produces penicillin and the fungi that commonly appears on fruit, cheese, and bread.
Outside, molds lurk in the soil, on plants, and on matter that is dead or decaying. There are thousands of species of mold, and they come in a wide range of colors. Some mold species need wet surfaces; some can grow in conditions that are merely damp. Moisture, however, is always necessary for mold to grow. You can often detect mold from the musty odor it gives off. Live mold spores are like seeds, and they work hard to form new colonies where the conditions are right.
How mold gets inside
Mold occurs naturally outdoors—fungi are nature’s recyclers. However, the thing to know about indoor mold is that it requires moisture to grow. It only becomes a problem when there is dampness, high levels of humidity, and/or water damage.
So how do these unwanted conditions form in the average home? There are several common ways, including:
- Flooding from storms or surface waters, such as rivers
- Leaky roofs caused by ice dams or blocked gutters
- Rain coming in through window frames or exterior walls
- Leaking pipes
- Damp basements or crawl spaces
- Sewage back-up
- Condensation on cold surfaces
Any mold specialist will tell you that taking steps to avoid these situations—and addressing them quickly when they do arise—will greatly reduce the potential for mold growth and prolonged problems with mold in the future.
Why cleaning visible mold isn’t enough
Mold doesn’t only grow where you can see it. This sneaky substance also grows in hard-to-reach places: Behind your drywall, under your floors, even in your ductwork. That’s why it’s important that a mold removal specialist conducts a thorough inspection of your home or office before starting the cleanup process. If the mold is inside the walls, simply cleaning the surface is inadequate.
How mold can harm you physically
Small amounts of mold in your home or office are not a cause for alarm. Large quantities, on the other hand, are a definite health concern. The most common mold-related health symptoms (especially for those who are particularly sensitive to molds) are similar to allergies caused by pollen or animals. Skin rash and flu-like symptoms can occur, while asthma can be aggravated. In rare cases, people with a serious immune disease can get a fungal infection from indoor mold. Dizziness, fatigue, nervous disorders, and even impaired brain function can come from prolonged exposure to high levels of toxic mold. For many people, it’s not until after mold is cleaned up that they realize how much it was affecting them physically.
How to stay on top of mold problems
Knowing some basic information about mold can keep you, your family, and/or your coworkers physically safe. It also keeps you financially safe by preventing runaway mold problems that cost thousands to clean up. A qualified mold removal specialist will always work from desire to save you money and keep your home mold-free in the long run. Rather than attempt to run up your costs, reputable companies will always offer quality advice and strategies you can implement every day to stay on top of mold problems.
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