Water Restoration 101: The "M" Word: Mold
The “M” word or mold is dreaded by homeowners everywhere and can be dangerous to your health and very destructive to your home. After water damage of any kind, mold is often a primary concern, however, there are a few preventative measures that can help reduce the chance of mold and sanitize the contaminated area.
What you need to know
There are over 100,000 different types of mold in the world. Mold is a naturally occurring element that in nature helps break down dead organic matter such as dead trees, branches, and leaves. However, when it comes to your home mold is dangerous and can even become destructive. The key to understanding mold is understanding moisture control in your home. When mold spores land on surfaces that are wet they begin to grow and spread.
If mold becomes problematic in your home you should first fix the water and moisture problem, then proceed to clean the damage. If the moisture problem is not controlled, the mold will continue to grow back.
Mold and Your Health
Most of the time mold spores found in the air are virtually harmless, however, once they land on a wet or even a damp spot they can begin to grow and spread onto other surfaces throughout your home. Once this happens, mold becomes more harmful as it can produce allergens, irritants, and toxic substances that can cause allergic reactions when inhaled or touched, especially for those individuals who are very sensitive or allergy prone.
When suffering from an allergic reaction to mold, individuals often have fever-like symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, or a skin rash. Mold can also cause asthma attacks, and prolonged mold exposure has shown to have negative side effects on people’s eyes, lungs, nose, throat, and skin.
Reducing Mold Spores
It is impossible to eliminate all of the mold spores in the air, however, there are ways in which you can reduce the number of mold spores. Regular cleaning and maintaining of your HVAC and air duct systems, as well as using an air purifier are ways in which mold spores can be taken out of the air. Keeping your house closed up especially in times where pollen and mold levels are high can also help. Remember, mold spores will not grow unless they have a water source, so make sure to keep areas of high humidity dried out by using a dehumidifier.
The best way to prevent mold is to clean up any water damage within 24-48 hours of any damage.
Depending on the size of the affected area and the severity of the mold, you may need to hire a professional to eliminate the mold and properly sanitize the area in order to prevent it from forming again. If you choose to hire a mold remediation company to handle the job, make sure they have experience in cleaning up mold specifically. If the water damage in your home was caused by sewage or water that could be contaminated in any way, it's best to call a professional so they can clean and sanitize the area properly to avoid any health concerns.
For smaller jobs, you may be able to clean the mold yourself. Start by fixing any water leaks and cleaning up any additional moisture throughout your home. Make sure to dry items completely to prevent mold from forming in the future. Porous materials such as drywall, ceiling tiles, and carpet may have to be torn out and thrown away as these materials absorb moisture and are difficult to dry out.
When it comes to cleaning up mold, doing it the right way is crucial to preventing it from reforming and protecting your overall health. When in doubt, always consult a professional mold remediation company to ensure the job is done right.
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