The complete mold remediation guide as cited on Wikipedia.org
Mold remediation services are services that are used to aid with the clean-up, removal and prevention of mold in commercial and residential premises. Mold is a serious problem that can have disastrous effects for both your health and your property and using mold remediation is the best way to deal with it quickly and effectively so that you can rest assured the problem is fully solved.
Health Effects of Mold
The most pressing issue with mold is that it can be very bad for your health. Mold is caused by mold spores which are normally a component of the dust around the household. When these spores (which are essentially fungus) exist in large quantities, however, they can form visible patches on walls and in other areas and can cause all manner of health problems. The symptoms of mold exposure include but are not limited to:
- Congestion and running nose
- Eye irritation
- Scratch throat and cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin irritation
Many of these symptoms are similar to those of a cold or of an allergic reaction to pollen and thus mold exposure can often go unnoticed. Some of these issues can be caused by allergic reactions to the mold spores themselves, while others can be the result of mycotoxins that are produced by the mold. There is a specific term for mold that creates high levels of mycotoxins – ‘toxic mold’. ‘Stachybotryschartarum’ is one such example and can cause more severe problems if exposure is allowed to continue – even leading to neurological problems and death.
Mold is also well known to exacerbate asthma and eczema and even cause them in healthy patients. Damp indoor conditions can also cause these problems in themselves.
You can find more information on the health issues caused by mold here.
Damage to Your Property
Mold remediation is very important in order to protect your health and that of your family. What’s more, though, it can also damage your home. Mold is unsightly and when it is visible in large patches it can make your home look very unattractive. Mold can also stain and if it gets onto your curtains or your furniture it can completely ruin them. Clothes, board games books and more can all be at risk from mold. What’s more, mold and moisture can also cause paint to peel away from your walls and make tiles come loose. If it gets inside the foundations of your building it can actually compromise its structural integrity. Mold is incredibly difficult to get rid of – once it sets into your home it is unfortunately very likely to spread. Mold spores can travel through the air and will be able to live on any damp surface. The longer you take to get rid of the mold the more deeply set in it can become throughout your building. For the sake of the residents and your property, it is crucial to use mold remediation fast.
Causes of Mold Growth
There are many reasons that homes, workplaces, and commercial sites can find themselves dealing with mold issues. Molds are actually found everywhere and live both indoors and outdoors. They can grow on nearly any surface as long as moisture is present and they particularly thrive in dark, warm spots. As mold can grow on so many surfaces it should come as no surprise that building materials are able to sustain mold growth and thus mold spores are particularly ubiquitous indoors. They become much more prevalent however where the indoor area is damp, moist and dark and there are many potential causes for this being the case. In some instances, mold will be a by-product of more general water damage which in turn can be the result of a leak, seepage or even a burst pipe or water main. Storms and floods can also cause water to pool in unlikely places which can lead to hidden mold. In some cases, you can have large amounts of mold developing under the ground or within the walls – unfortunately mold colonies can live inside building structures. Look for signs of water damage if you suspect this is the case. Another potential cause of moisture and subsequent mold growth is that you lack ventilation which can then cause moisture that is naturally in the air to build-up. This is a particularly big problem in bathrooms and kitchens which can benefit from windows or some form of extractor unit or dehumidifier. Ventilation can also sometimes be a problem in basements, as well as behind cupboards and heavy curtains. Look for places where air is not able to circulate in your property and often you will find the tell-tale signs of mold. Where walls are very cold, this also increases the likelihood of them being moist and of them becoming moldy. Cold surfaces cause moisture in the air to condense on contact and this, in turn, causes the formation of small droplets of water on your walls and windows where this otherwise would not be a problem. Often moisture and mold problems are a result of families and homeowners failing to adequately heat their homes.
When you use mold remediation services they will begin with a mold assessment. Here the objective is to identify if mold is present, where it is and to what extent it has spread. This begins with a visual inspection looking for not only mold but also signs that mold is present. Where mold is visible confirmed there will be no need for further inspection to ascertain that mold remediation needs to go ahead. Sometimes this process will involve the need to move furniture, to lift carpet or even to look behind wallpaper, in ventilation ducts and wall cavities. Sometimes this can be somewhat invasive resulting in damage to the building but rest assured that no means will be used that are not completely necessary. Otherwise, sampling will be used in order to identify the type of mold present. This is only usually necessary where there is no visible sign of the mold and where the patient is symptomatic (meaning that they are showing signs of being affected by the mold). Trained technicians with expertise in mold remediation will use sampling methods to identify the precise species of mold as well as to calculate the concentration of mold spores in the air and the extent of the damage. Samples can be taken from the air, from the surface of walls or from large visible mold colonies. Meanwhile, probes and infrared sensors can be used in order to identify the source of water damage and to locate more areas that might be at risk from mold.
The first step with mold remediation as with water damage restoration will always be to stop the source of the moisture that is encouraging the spread of the mold. This might mean replacing a window for a double glazed window, it might mean fixing a flat roof that has water pooling on it, or it might mean repairing a leak or a flooding gutter. At any rate, fixing these problems will help to prevent the further spread of mold and will make it possible to treat the mold in the worst affected areas. This is very important as mold can grow on porous surfaces in as little as 24 hours. The area will then be dried which must be done carefully so as to prevent the spreading of dust and mold spores. Where the mold has set in under carpets, within the walls or in insulation, this might involve the removal of fittings and decorations. The next stages in treatment will often depend on the severity of the mold and the extent of the damage. For small amounts of mold, it will sometimes be safe to use a simple surface cleaner with a sponge or a cloth and a cleaning product. In the past, some methods of mold remediation have involved the use of fungicides and hot air, though these have been deemed unsafe for the atmosphere. In more severe mold infestations, professional services will use a number of different tools and procedures to remove mold. These include:
These are vacuum cleaners that collect water and which can remove water from the walls, floors, and all other non-porous surfaces.
These are ‘high-efficiency particular air’ vacuums which are often used at the end of the mold remediation process. These can remove dust and mold spores from the air. Re-mediators will wear PPE (personal protective equipment) to prevent themselves from being exposed to the captured mold and it will then be disposed of using tightly sealed bags.
Dry Ice Blasting
This method is used by some companies to freeze mold so that it may be removed from wooden surfaces and other materials such as cement. Soda blasting and media blasting can also be used. In other cases, some items may need to be permanently discarded. These include all kinds of porous materials including pillows, mattresses, dry walls and carpet pads. Mold companies will often handle this disposal on your behalf. Cleaning may also be necessary for your heating and air conditioning systems in order to prevent the further spread of mold spores throughout your building. Some mold remediation companies will also provide additional clean-up and restoration services in order to help you get back to normal. These include such services as fabric restoration, painting, carpet installation etc. These companies ensure that you are able to return to your home and your normally standard of living as soon as possible and they can be a huge benefit to families and business struggling with mold issues.
While mold remediation services can provide comprehensive treatment for mold in the home, it is always better to avoid mold problems rather than treat them where possible. There are a few things that you can do to prevent mold from gathering in your home and these things include:
Keeping your home adequately heated is very important to prevent mold. When your home is warmer, this keeps the walls warmer. In turn, this prevents condensation which means the surfaces won’t be damp enough for mold spores to attach and grow.
What can also help to prevent your walls and surfaces from becoming cold is to properly insulate your home. This is especially important for windows which will often be the main source of condensation.
Remove Standing Water
Standing water can easily lead to mold around the home. This can be caused by puddles pooling around your home but it can also be caused by overflowing gutters, by flat roofs that have become concave under the weight of water, snow or debris etc. You might even sometimes leave water standing in your kitchen or bathroom which you should avoid wherever possible.
Keeping your home well-ventilated is also one of the most important steps. This is particularly important in the bathroom which will have a tendency to become especially moist – look into investing in a bathroom extractor and keep windows open after you have washed. You should also arrange the furniture around your home in such a way as to allow the maximum amount of circulation of air. Pull sofas away from the walls and do the same for wardrobes and curtains. Likewise, open windows and avoid having too much ‘clutter’ generally.
Get regular maintenance for your pipes and for your home generally. The more you do this, the more you can avoid water damage and mold remediation. While it might be more expensive to get regular checks, it saves money in the long term.
Finding a Good Mold Remediation Company
When looking for a mold remediation company, make sure to check the website, to look at reviews and testimonials from previous customers and to try and find out the precise range of services they provide. If you think you will want carpet installation and fabric repair for instance, then make sure this is covered. This is very important for your health and for the integrity of your property – so make sure you do your research.
When you are in need of a mold remediation company in Southeast Florida, call Secure Restoration. We are proud to serve Lake Worth, FL – Greenacres, FL – Wellington, FL – Palm Beach, FL – West Palm Beach, FL – Royal Palm Beach, FL – Riviera Beach, FL – Palm Beach Gardens, FL – Jupiter, FL – Jupiter Island, FL – Hobe Sound, FL – Stuart, FL – Palm City, FL – Okeechobee, FL – Jensen Beach, FL – Port St Lucie, FL – St Lucie West, FL – Ft Pierce, FL – Vero Beach, FL – Sebastian, FL and Melbourne, FL with all mold remediation needs. If your home is in need of restoration, whether from water damage, fire damage or mold mitigation, we will work to restore it to its former glory. We have helped many homeowners renovate and repair their homes after a disaster has struck. You can count on us for prompt, efficient, and effective service. Call Secure Restoration today.
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