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Mold

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Good Afteroon Friends!

     With all this rain please keep a watch out for mold also. Please always feel free to contact me with any questions and remember me for all your Home Inspection and Constructions needs. I am also now doing mold testing and remediation.


Mold Basics


The key to mold control is moisture control.


If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.


It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.


Why is mold growing in my home?


Mold growing outdoors on firewood.

 


Molds come in many colors; both white and black molds are shown here.


Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.


Can mold cause health problems?


Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.


Magnified mold spores

 


Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth


This provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information consult a health professional.


How do I get rid of mold?


It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.

 


Mold Cleanup


Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself, follow the guidelines. However:


If you already have a mold problem - ACT QUICKLY. Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause.

 


Leaky window - mold is beginning to rot the wooden frame and windowsill.


If there has been a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers more than 10 square feet, consult a professional like myself.


If you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold (it is part of an identified moisture problem, for instance, or there is mold near the intake to the system), consult a professional like myself. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold - it could spread mold throughout the building.


If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, then call in a professional, like myself, who has experience cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated water.


If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before starting cleanup.


Mold Cleanup Guidelines


Tips and techniques


The tips and techniques presented in this section will help you clean up your mold problem. Professional cleaners or remediators may use other methods that I haven't covered here today. Please note that mold may cause staining and cosmetic damage. It may not be possible to clean an item so that its original appearance is restored.


Fix plumbing leaks and other water problems as soon as possible. Dry all items completely.


Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely.


Absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. Mold can grow on or fill in the empty spaces and crevices of porous materials, so the mold may be difficult or impossible to remove completely.


Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold


Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces. Clean up the mold and dry the surfaces before painting. Paint applied over moldy surfaces is likely to peel.


If you are unsure about how to clean an item, or if the item is expensive or of sentimental value, you may wish to consult a specialist. Specialists in furniture repair, restoration, painting, art restoration and conservation, carpet and rug cleaning, water damage, and fire or water restoration are commonly listed in phone books. Be sure to ask for and check references. Look for specialists who are affiliated with professional organizations


* Take things that were wet for 2 or more days outside

 


* Things that have been wet for 2 days have mold growing on them even if you can't see it.

 


* Take out stuff made of cloth, unless you can wash them in HOT water. Also take out stuff that can not be claened easy (like leather, paper, wood, carpet).

 


* Use bleach to clean mold off hard things (like floors, stoves, certain toys, countertops, flatware, plates, and tools).


Follow these steps:


* Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners. Read your labels carefully

 


* Waer rubber boots, rubber gloves, goggles, and a N-95 mask.

 


* Open windows and doors to get fresh air when using the bleach and for air out.

 


* Mix no more than 1 cup of bleach and water mixture

 


* If the surface of the item is rough, scrub the surface with a stiff brush

 


* Rinse the item with clean water

 


* Dry the item or leave out to air dry


Bathroom Tip


Places that are often or always damp can be hard to maintain completely free of mold. If there's some mold in the shower or elsewhere in the bathroom that seems to reappear, increasing ventilation (running a fan or opening a window) and cleaning more frequently will usually prevent mold from recurring, or at least keep the mold to a minimum

 

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