Mold is a type of fungus that eats away at the material it grows on. Mold can be found in various places in your home, on wood, insulation, carpet, drywall, and even your clothes and upholstery. It takes as little as 24 – 48 hours for mold to form and grow in your home. There are several varieties of mold that can grow in your home, but Black Mold or Toxic Black Mold is probably the most well-known type of mold found. You have probably seen warnings regarding Black Mold on television or in print as Black Mold can have severe adverse effects on our health. It gets the name “Toxic” Mold as it produces mycotoxins. The effects of black mold are more severe than other molds, in some extreme cases, Black Mold has led to organ failure, cancer, and even death. So, it is no surprise that homeowners and tenants alike are concerned about preventing mold growth in their homes.
Your home is built of materials that mold can not only grow on but flourish. For mold to grow it requires two things moisture and organic material such as drywall, wood, or various other home building material. In most cases you are not able to eliminate these materials from your home, so to prevent mold from growing in our home we need to focus on reducing the moisture in your home.
There are multiple ways for moisture to get into our homes, many of these come from us. Simply breathing releases moisture into the air, cooking, bathing, and even drying clothes all release moisture into the air and eventually this moisture needs to escape the home or it settles in our home as condensation. To help prevent condensation, open up the windows in your home, even a few minutes a day will help bring fresh air in and allow for moisture rich air to escape. Using exhaust fans when showering and cooking will also help remove moisture from your home.
Water leaks are another main cause of moisture problems in a home. A leaky faucet, pipe, roof, or foundation can all lead to mold growth if the source of the leak isn’t located and fixed immediately. Some leaks are not easy to locate, like those from pipes hidden in walls, or the foundation of a home in a finished basement. Spotting mold growth may be your first indication of a potential leak. In these cases, it is very important to not only fix the leak but to remove and clean all of the existing molds so it doesn’t continue to spread. If you are not comfortable cleaning the mold yourself, you may need to turn to a water damage restoration specialist.
In the case of a flood in your home (most likely your basement) it is vital to ensure that all of the water is pumped out and away from your home and that your basement is completely dried out. If there is wall to wall carpeting, this should be removed and disposed of. Removing the carpet will allow for the floor underneath to dry. Using a dehumidifier will also assist in pulling any additional moisture from the walls and flooring. The likelihood of molding growing after a flood is high, as water can settle inflow traffic and unseen areas of your basement. We highly recommend calling a water damage restoration specialist to ensure all the water is removed properly and all potential mold hotspots are cleared.
Mold sounds like a scary, harmful villain, but with the proper precautions and understanding the conditions that mold flourishes in it are fairly easy to take the steps required to prevent mold from growing in your home. If you do happen to face mold in your home, don’t panic. You can take care of the issue with some household cleaning supplies and protective equipment or you can call in a specialist for an added peace of mind.
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