There are literally thousands of types of molds – and new species are being discovered on an almost daily basis. Of these many species only a small number pose any threat to humans – but unfortunately many of these dangerous molds are found in our homes – and can cause serious illness.
Let’s take a closer look at these molds – and how we can go about ensuring that our homes are safe from the threats posed by these organisms.
The Dangers Of Mold
There are at least five types of problem molds that choose to take up residence in our homes. These molds are responsible for producing toxic substances (mycotoxins) that can have serious effects on our health.
Here are the 4 most common types of mold…
Often found on fabric, carpeting, and even wallpaper. It thrives on damp and its spores can cause respiratory issues, especially in asthma sufferers.
Despite its medical-sounding name this mold causes health issues, it doesn’t solve them. It is another mold that can cause respiratory problems, but its spores can also cause itching and even severe allergic reactions. It is common on water-damaged material.
This is a mold that thrives in wet and humid conditions, so it’s primarily found in kitchens and bathrooms. Another mold that can cause upper respiratory tract issues – but it can also cause infections in those who have weakened immune systems.
Another mold that loves the damp. It is also often found in bathrooms and kitchens. Its spores cause the usual breathing issues and the possibility of causing allergies to flare up or infection.
Last, but certainly not least is the dreaded ‘Black Mold‘. This mold seems to show up in homes that have been subject to severe flooding, but it is quite happy to make a home for itself under your roof, without requiring a natural disaster to take up residence. This mold can be extremely dangerous. Along with respiratory problems those exposed to this mold complain of intense headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.
However, the damage that can be caused by mold is not limited to its negative effects on the human body, the presence of mold can cause severe damage to your home and assets.
Mold will degrade the surface on which it is growing. The mold that lurks unseen on fabric-covered furniture, curtains and drapes is busily destroying these valuable items. It can grow unchecked in pantries and where you store your winter jackets. Left unchecked it can affect the structural integrity of the home, reducing its value and causing safety concerns.
What Causes Mold Growth?
There are mold spores everywhere. The number can vary according to factors such as temperature and environment, but it is estimated that each cubic foot of air can contain up to 10,000 mold spores. And that’s indoors. These enormous numbers of spores mean that if mold is provided with the right conditions it will grow.
So, what is the leading cause of mold growth in the home? The answer is fairly simple. It is the warm, high-moisture environments, like the basement, kitchen and bathroom. However, there are a whole lot of other factors that contribute to unchecked mold growth.
These factors include the state of the plumbing – are there leaks that are undetected? Are textiles or fabrics being stored while still damp? Is an area poorly ventilated? If the answer to any of these questions is yes – then your home may have the perfect environment for mold to thrive.
Is there a difference between Mold Remediation and Mold Removal?
Although the two terms, mold remediation and mold removal are used somewhat interchangeably – they actually refer to two very different processes.
Mold removal refers to the physical removal of mold from the residential or business premises, in other words removing the mold from various surfaces and ensuring that the surfaces are free of mold – and that the mold does not simply reappear.
Mold remediation, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive approach to mold growth. It is a process that looks at the underlying causes of mold growth and how these can be rectified. A full mold remediation process will of course involve mold removal, but it will also focus on the potentially problematic high moisture areas. If there is a problem that is contributing to the growth of mold, they will ensure that it is rectified.
A professional mold removal specialist will undertake several steps in order to ensure that your home is restored to its rightful status as a healthy, safe and productive refuge from the worries of the world. You and your family will also have the peace of mind provided by an air quality test once any remediation work has been performed and the mold removed.
The Importance of a Mold Inspection
Of course, no plan of action can be formulated to deal with any residential or commercial mold issue unless the scope of the problem and its cause are identified.
This is the reason that mold inspection is absolutely vital if you should suspect you may have a mold problem. A professional mold team will inspect the property thoroughly to find out where mold is present. It is worth noting that mold can be found in areas of the home or business that are usually hidden from casual inspection. Take for example the back of kitchen cupboards or behind shelving in the basement. Professionals have long years of experience – they know where mold is usually found, and they’ll make sure that they locate the source of the mold growth.
Once these professionals have gauged the scope of the problem they will bring on board a team of environmental scientists and other specialists to develop a mold cleanup plan that delivers the best results.
Do you really need a Professional to Efficiently Remove and Remediate Mold?
The short answer is a simple yes.
Firstly, as mentioned above, mold remediation professionals have many years of experience when it comes to locating not only where mold is growing out of sight – but identifying why such robust mold growth is taking place.
You could also take the initiative and buy over-the-counter mold removal chemicals at your local supermarket, but that approach is not recommended. Those chemicals may clean surfaces, but they are not on par with professional products when it comes to preventing a recurrence of mold growth.
Of course, there is the fact that mold removal specialists have state-of-the-art equipment to ensure that mold removal is done quickly and efficiently. For instance, they will use a high-quality microfiber cloth to ensure surfaces are free of mold – and may also employ a specialized HEPA-filtered vacuum process.
Mold can grow out of sight – and you may never know it is there until the health of one of your loved ones is adversely affected by the allergens, irritants, and toxic substances released by the mold. Yes, you could attempt to deal with the problem using store-bought chemicals – but that is not addressing the root cause of the problem.
If you see mold, then do something about it, and make sure that what you do will result in the eradication of mold from your home. The way to ensure that your home is healthy – and that your assets are not managed by unseen mold growth is to call in the professionals. It will save you money in the long run, and allow you to sleep more soundly.
Here’s more information about mold: