Mold growth is a problem nearly everyone faces from time to time. Because mold really does affect all of us, you and others must have a decent understanding of some basic facts about mold. With that in mind, there are 10 important things you need to know about mold.
Health Effects of Mold Exposure
Research is ongoing in regard to the health effects of mold exposure. There is evidence that mold can cause serious health problems for some people. The potential health effects associated with mold exposure include everything from allergic reactions to asthma to other respiratory issues. There is also increasing evidence that prolonged exposure to mold has resulted in significant neurological problems for some people, conditions that are persistent and pervasive. In addition, there is research that suggests some people with preexisting conditions have ended up with fatal conditions following prolonged mold exposure.
Eliminating All Mold and Mold Spores Is Impossible
Mold spores are ubiquitous. What this means is that mold spores literally are everywhere. In addition, even when a person is diligent in trying to address mold growth, mold can germinate and grow in places not readily accessible. The bottom line is that there is no easy, practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in an indoor environment. The key to preventing a real mold issue in an indoor location is to control growth in the first instance. You must also control moisture. If you have a more significant or persistent mold issue, the surest course to take to effectively take on this type of situation effectively is to engage the assistance of a mold remediation specialist.
Remediating Mold Is a Two-Phase Process
If you have a mold problem in your home, business, or in some other indoor environment, you really must undertake a two-step process to eliminate the problem. First, you must clean up and eliminate any growing mold on the premises. You must also make certain that you eliminate any and all sources of moisture. You need to be sure to focus on even small amounts of moisture that might exist or regularly accumulate in your home or other building. Mold needs only a very small amount of moisture to germinate and then flourish.
Remedy Source of Moisture
As was just noted, you need to eliminate sources of moisture in your home or other indoor location. As was also noted a moment ago, only a small amount of moisture is needed for mold to germinate and grow. You need to repair anything in your home that results in even a small accumulation of water. This can include:
Mold thrives in a more humid environment. Thus, not only do you have to eliminate moisture in your home or other indoor premises, you must also address humidity. The ideal humidity level inside a property is between 30 to 60 percent. You may want to make the investment in a dehumidifier if you have persistent issues with humidity in your home, office, or other indoor location.
In addition to investing in a dehumidifier, there are some other simple steps you can take to control humidity levels in your home or other location:
- Vent bathrooms and kitchens
- Ensure that dryers and other moisture-generating items vent outside and not into the attic
- Increase overall ventilation
- Use exhaust fans when cooking, washing dishes, or cleaning
- Use exhaust fans when showering
Dry Damp Furnishings and Carpeting Quickly
If you encounter a situation in which upholstery or carpeting becomes damp or wet, you need to remedy the moisture situation immediately. You absolutely must make certain that damp upholstery or carpeting is thoroughly dry within 24 to 48 hours. If you have a particularly significant problem with wet upholstery or carpeting, you will want to consider hiring a professional to remedy the situation. If the dampness persists for longer than 48 hours, the condition may reach the juncture that it cannot be remedied. In other words, upholstery and carpeting in that type of situation will need to be removed and thrown out.
Clean Mold on Surfaces Immediately
If mold grows on a hard surface, you should clean it off immediately. This can be done with water and detergent. You then need to make certain that it is thoroughly dried. If absorbent surfaces have become contaminated with mold, you may need professional assistance. You may also be in a situation in which an absorbent surface needs to be replaced and thrown out.
Condensation can also provide a foundation for mold growth. For example, cold surfaces can result in condensation that provides enough moisture for mold germination and growth. Examples of these types of surfaces include:
- Exterior walls
- Storm doors
Condensation can be addressed by warming these surfaces. Depending on the surface at issue, this can be accomplished through adding insulation or eliminating air leaks.
Eliminate Cause of Perpetual Problems
If there are areas in your home or other structure that has persistent and perpetual problems with mold, you need to make permanent decisions regarding those locations. For example, if there is a room with a persistent mold issue, do not install carpeting or remove it if it is present. You need to be as proactive as possible when it comes to the battle against mold in your home, business, or any other location in which you continue to have an issue with this fungus.
Remember: Mold Can Grow Almost Anywhere
Mold can grow almost anywhere. Moreover, mold spores literally can be found everywhere. Mold does need some type of biological matter to germinate and grow. With that said, this can be only a trace amount. As a consequence, mold can grow on foods, beverages, wood, paper, and many other types of substances.
As has been mentioned throughout this article, a key to preventing problems with mold is to be proactive. You need to incorporate the strategies noted in this article as part of your comprehensive effort to prevent mold growth.