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Mold In Home - How to Detect and Destroy Mold in Home

household growth water walls

Are you noticing green, black, or white stains on the walls, ceilings, tiles or other surfaces of your home that reek of must? Do these “colorful” areas seem to appear in places that collect moisture? If you answered “yes” to these questions, your house may be a breeding ground for mold.

Mold requires water and moisture to thrive and grow. Common breeding grounds for mold include cold, dark, moist places such as the basement, kitchen, and bathroom. If the humidity of these rooms gets too high, without proper ventilation, mold can start growing on damp surfaces; wet newspapers, carpets, and old clothes can also become infected with mold.

Many things can contribute to excessive mold growth in the home. Water leaks from a damaged wall, pipe, or roof can contribute to it, as well as improper drainage from water pooling underneath or adjacent to the house. High humidity levels and improper ventilation can also cause mold in the home. Humidity can be measured by a hygrometer with ranges over fifty percent indicating conducive levels for household mold growth.

While the most toxic mold, stachybotrys atra, is rare, mold can cause other serious health problems. Physical symptoms from mold exposure include frequent headaches, sinus congestion, a nagging cough, an irritated nose of throat, allergies, and skin or eye irritation. A cessation of symptoms after leaving the home for few days is a sign of household mold. Mold spores can travel through the air, easily inhaled during everyday activities, including watching videos, eating and sleeping. Mold is a biotoxin, destroying all organic material that it invades. At its worst, mold can cause cancer, memory loss, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Aspergillosis, a condition where mold grows inside the lungs. Mold may also contribute to the development of asthma and other respiratory infections. Black mold is one the worst health offenders.

Before you eradicate mold in the home, it is important to diagnose what type of mold is growing in the home. While using bleach and water may erase visible mold patches from the walls and other areas, it will not prevent future mold growth. The most efficient way to get to the root of the mold problem is to contact an Industrial Hygienist from an environmental testing agency. The Industrial Hygienist will collect mold samples from the house and perform testing in a laboratory. This procedure will reveal the specific types of mold that are growing in the home; high mold levels will warrant the mold specialist to generate a remediation plan for restoration contractors to implement. While initial testing for these problems may prove expensive, in most cases, homeowner insurance will pay for removing mold in the home if a certified mold removal specialist is used.

Depending on the severity of the household mold problem, eradication procedures can range from HEPA vacuuming and cleansing with diluted bleach or biocide to drying out contaminated surfaces, painting, or encapsulation. In cases of extreme mold growth, household residents will evacuate until procedures such as full containment or negative air pressure can destroy all of the mold in the home.

In circumstances where a permanent home move is the only viable option, it is imperative to avoid cross-contamination. Without proper professional cleaning of household belongings, mold spores can be transported to the new residence, also traveling through the air and infiltrating into heating and duct systems. Inactive mold spores can also be reactivated through optimal mold growth conditions, such as moisture, closed off and damp spaces, high humidity, and darkness.

Household mold prevention can save money on mold removal, decrease health symptoms, and prevent future serious conditions and diseases. Besides proper maintenance of roofs, drainage pipes, windows, and walls to prevent leaks, other precautionary measures can inhibit mold growth in the home.

Using fans in the kitchen and bathroom; wiping down the bathroom after use, including the tub, shower walls, and floor; and insulating toilet tanks and water pipes will decrease moisture build-up. Emptying and drying refrigerator drips pans and periodically cleaning air conditioning units are also good preventive household mold measures. If necessary, buying and installing a dehumidifier for mold breeding areas can thwart mold in the home.

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