8 Things You Should Know About Mold Damage In Your Home
Sometimes talking about mold damage in your home can seem very intimidating. SERVPRO of Jackson/Lacey would like to provide some information to help you decide whether or not you might need a professional to diagnose your mold issues. Here are 8 things you should know about mold damage in your home.
1. Mold spores can be present even if there is no visible mold.
Its easy to say that you might have mold when you see large patches of green or black furry stuff growing in your bathroom or basement. But what if the mold is hidden? It might be hidden behind walls or in your ductwork but it can be growing. When mold reproduces it releases tiny spores into the air. mold is static so the way these spores travel is by some kind of movement like wind. Mold spore size can vary from 3-12 microns. Almost the same diameter as a piece of hair making it invisible to the eye. Only thru airborne mold testing can these spores be detected.
2. Humidity level can affect mold growth.
Most homes that have an heating and air conditioning system keep the humidity levels at 30-40%. Basements, crawlspaces, and bathrooms have a tendency to run much higher. Bathrooms especially after a shower can bring the humidity levels up to almost 100%. That's why a well ventilated bathroom can help prevent mold. Basements should always have a dehumidifier running. Most molds like to grow when the levels are above 60% humidity.
3. Any water intrusion can also cause mold growth.
Any water intrusion whether its a roof or window leak. Leaky sink, ground water intrusion in the basement or crawlspace just to give some examples. Water is a necessity for life. That includes mold. Mold needs moisture to grow. That includes any kind of leak of type of condensation.
4. Change in temperature causes condensation.
When the temperature of air is reduced to its dew point then condensation will occur. The condensed water is called dew and will form on solid surfaces. The dew point varies depending on the level of humidity in your home and the temperature. Higher humidity often means the dew point will be closer to the current air temperature and not require much of a change for condensation to form. this condensation is a perfect environment for mold to grow. Often this is seen more in crawlspaces and basements. Proper ventilation is a must to dry out this environment quickly.
5. Damp or wet materials left without being dried can cause mold in 24-48 hours.
So you might have a leak, condensation, or high humidity levels. You might have had a sink leak, water line break, water come in from rain. These conditions require your home to be dried out properly. Wet materials such as wood floors, carpet, wet drywall are all a place where mold can grow. Usually within 24-48 hours. It is important for these materials to be dried out quickly to avoid any kind of mold growth.
6. Mold can be hazardous to your health.
Myth or fact? Some people have no reaction at all to mold while others do. The Institute of Medicine found evidence to link indoor mold exposure to upper respiratory tract issues and respiratory illness in healthy children. People that have chronic lung issues are more prone to get infections from mold.
7. Mold can be in your ductwork.
Why does mold form in your ductwork? Well we have discussed condensation. Your ductwork has a tendency to get hot then cold and vice versa. This creates a dew point internally and condensation. Proper cleaning of your duct regularly is a must. One to clean out all the allergens that your filters might not have collected. And two to clean out all the mold spores that might be trapped in there. Ductwork is a great place for mold spores to use to travel to other parts of your home.
8. Who should do the clean up?
If you are concerned about mold in your home and how to properly remediate it you should talk to a professional. Especially is you might need testing done. Hiring an indoor environmental professional to test for mold will take the guesswork of mold that might be hidden or spore spores you might not be able to see. Also It is important to use the right products and procedures to treat for mold. Hap vacuuming and air scrubbers to collect those invisible mold spores. Do not use products like bleach. The active ingredient is Sodium Hypochlorite which is very effective in removing the discoloration but may leave the microflora that will enable the mold to return in exactly the same spot when conditions are right. If you would like to talk to a professional, contact us today.