What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that can be found indoors or outdoors. It reproduces through spores, which can travel and settle in an area, and then continue to grow and multiply. Mold needs moisture to exist, and homes or other structures can be a perfect source of that. Paper, drywall, wood and wallpaper all contain cellulose, which mold feeds on. Leaky pipes and a badly insulated HVAC system can lead to moisture building up.
The first step to take towards a potential mold problem is to find out how much is present. Mold can be spotted easily if there’s a good amount of it, or it can be hidden. Black mold is black in color. If a musty smell hangs in the air, that can be a sign of mold. Also, if people in a household suffer from mold-related health issues, like respiratory problems, that can also signal the presence of mold.
Places like basements, where moisture can get trapped, are popular environments for mold to grow in. Mold can grow at any time or season, like winter. If a house isn’t ventilated properly, mold can grow more easily. For instance, in the summer, if windows aren’t opened, mold can grow indoors. And, in the winter, if humidifiers are used inside the house, this can potentially allow mold to grow.
Since mold is microscopic, and there can be very little or a lot of it, it’s hard to catch with the naked eye. A solution to this problem is to hire a professional contractor.
When deciding to hire a company to conduct mold inspection, it is important to check its certifications, licensing, years in service and reviews if there are any. All of these may be found online. A phone number or email address, if available, allows for direct contact with company staff.
If a company is a part of any organization, that is a good sign that it has experience and will thoroughly inspect a building or house.
A testing kit can be bought and used by a homeowner. Or, a mold tester can be hired to do the job properly. And, analysis of any samples should stick to the methods provided by a trustworthy organization, such as the American Industrial Hygiene Association, or AIHA.
When it comes to houses, professionals may obtain a sample from an area and test it to see if mold is present and how much of it there is. While a little bit of mold may not be a problem, bigger amounts are, and if no testing is done, the problem can get bigger and bigger. Hidden mold can grow and turn dangerous, so sampling should be conducted.
Mold Remediation and Mold Clean Up
The term mold remediation basically refers to the clean up of mold as well as the prevention of mold from coming back. While this can be done without hiring a professional, for example by using a mold removal kit or cleaning sprays, the mold may not be adequately removed. Hiring experienced people is the best idea.
The process of mold clean up is a complex one, and varies from structure to structure. In general, professionals will enter a building or a house while wearing protective clothing and equipment, which can include gloves and facial gear. They will seek out objects that show mold growth, and get rid of them. Areas that show mold growth will need to be contained, and the mold removed. They may use equipment to filter air. Cleaning supplies will be used. Afterwards, the areas will need to dry.
The equipment used in the process can include HVAC vacuums. Anything used to clean should be strong enough to kill mold. Humidity levels can be checked to make sure mold will not be a problem.
Afterwards, preventing mold from coming back is very important. Any issues regarding moisture need to be monitored, which is crucial moving forward. Walls or carpeting that has been removed or damaged during clean up may need to be repaired. Sometimes, the majority of a house can have mold infestation; in that case, it may be best to not live in it anymore.