With sensational news stories and misleading advertising, you can easily understand why so many people are misinformed about indoor mold. For most people the thought of having mold in their home or business is terrifying; however, mold is a natural part of our environment.
It is found everywhere: indoors, outdoors, in our homes, in businesses, churches, schools, daycares, etc…; furthermore, large concentrations of mold spores found indoors may cause serious health problems.
In as little as 48 hours, mold damage can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there's a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property.
Here are some facts about mold and the mold remediation process.
Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or on a pet.
Mold spores need three things to survive:
Moisture - mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water
Organic food source - drywall, wood, paper, etc.
The only thing that you can really control is the moisture or the humidity in your home.
Mold often produces a strong, musty odor - typically basements
Humidity above 45% can support colonization of mold growth.
Before mold remediation can begin, sources of water or moisture must be corrected, or the mold may return.
Mold can cause allergic reactions, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins).
Mold and Health
There is so much contradicting information and so many myths concerning mold and its effects on people's health that most people get confused, unnecessarily alarmed, and sometimes resort to potentially hazardous methods to deal with the problem. The potential health effects are far ranging and in many cases completely unknown depending on the type of mold and the individual's susceptibility and physical condition. Mold can cause allergic reactions, are irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure:
Hay fever-type symptoms
Runny nose and red eyes
Mental and neurological symptoms
Compromised immune system
Tiredness and discomfort
Other illnesses and health effects
Common Mold Misconceptions
Myth #1: Indoor mold is toxic. Fact: Not every species of mold is toxic, but the spores released by non-toxic species can trigger allergies in sensitive people.
Only very few species of mold are toxic. A mold species is considered toxic when it releases mycotoxins in the air. That is the case of the species known as "black mold". Contact with black mold can make most people very sick. However, not all species of mold who look black or have a dark color are toxic. All mold releases spores, and the spores have the potential to trigger allergies. Homeowners should just take steps to eliminate mold and prevent it from developing again.
Myth #2: As long as it's not "Black Mold" it's not a problem. Fact: All types of mold are bad indoors. They indicate the presence of moisture - and moisture attracts more problems than just mold.
Even nontoxic molds release spores that are known to trigger mild to serious allergy symptoms in sensitive people, and sometimes even pets. Mold is still the second most common cause of indoor allergies in America.
Myth #3: If it is mold, you can see mildew and moldy spots. Fact: If it smells like mold, it is mold. Even if you can't see any mold spots.
Long before you can see mold, it smells. Mold species usually have a musty odor, but the smell varies slightly from one species to another.
Myth #4: Bleach Kills Mold. Fact: Bleach is only safe and efficient in low concentration, small areas and when applied on non-porous, non-absorbent, and inorganic surfaces.
Organic and porous surfaces, such as insulation, drywall, fabrics, paper and upholstery, when moldy or wet for more than 48 hours must be removed and discarded.
Although bleach can be used to combat indoor mold problems, the misuse and misinformation about its use for this purpose is one of the most dangerous myths surrounding mold and the proper ways to treat it.
Bleach is also a very harsh chemical. When used improperly, in high concentration, large areas or in places with little ventilation such as basements, it can cause serious harm. Mixed accidentally with other common household cleaning products, such as ammonia-based cleaners, it can even produce nerve-damaging and potentially lethal fumes.
Bleach is also ineffective for treating organic, absorbent and porous surfaces such as fabrics, upholstery, drywall, insulation, and wood. The mold roots grow deep in these surfaces, and there is no safe, effective way to completely remove it. The E.P.A recommends that any such surfaces be removed and discarded, as even dead mold can trigger allergies.
What We Do
Reacting, not overreacting is the first step in approaching a mold problem. If a mold problem is discovered following a visual inspection, then, typically, an indoor environmental professional will take an air sample as well as surface samples to determine what measures should be taken to remediate the mold.
Furthermore, customized protocols can be developed for remediating the mold from the affected areas. The mold remediation process is accomplished by containing the areas contaminated by mold and creating a controlled environment where experienced and certified technicians can apply property-specific protocols for the removal of contaminated materials. Everything is done to ensure that the mold is remediated by using the least intrusive methods.
Understanding The Mold Remediation Process
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate the "typical" process:
Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
Property is carefully inspected for visible signs of mold. Since mold feeds on organic matter with high moisture content, it may be hidden from plain view. Redeeming Restoration utilizes various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.
Step 3: Mold Containment
Containment procedures are used in preventing the spread of mold spores. Furthermore, advanced containment methods such as negative air chambers are used to isolate the contaminated area. Physical barriers and negative air pressure keeps mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
Step 4: Air Filtration
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. By utilizing powerful "air scrubbers" and HEPA vacuums, Redeeming Restoration prevents the spread of mold spores during the remediation process.
Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
The remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the type of surface on which it is growing. Redeeming Restoration utilizes antimicrobial treatments and occasional fogging to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. In order to remediate heavy mold growth, it may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials such as drywall and carpeting.
Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
Redeeming Restoration cleans and sanitizes your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected. A variety of cleaning techniques are employed to clean and sanitize your belongings.
Step 7: Restoration
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Act now and call Redeeming Restoration! 315-335-6235