Everyone has seen the green and white fuzzies that grow on the food we forget to throw out or the black spots that appear on the shower wall when we’ve put off cleaning for too long, but mold is more than just a sign of poor hygiene. It can be dangerous—and not just by ingesting moldy leftovers. Extensive mold in your home can cause health issues as well as lead to structural damage.
The mold remediation professionals at ServiceMaster have put together a list of facts so that you’re never in the dark about how serious mold can be.
1. Mold needs moisture to grow.
Outdoors, mold grows in the soil, on vegetation and on decaying materials. Indoors, mold thrives in damp, moist conditions like bathrooms, basements or even behind the drywall when there’s been water damage.
2. Mildew is mold.
That white-gray, powdery stuff that sometimes appears on the leaves of plants is mildew, an early stage of mold.
3. Multiple types of mold.
There are four common types of indoor mold: alternaria, aspergillus, cladosporium and penicillium.
4. Mold Coloration and Locations.
Often, mold found in a home appears greenish-gray, brownish-green, gray and even black. You may find slimy green mold on the exterior growing on vinyl siding located in an area that receives little to no sun. This mold usually can be removed with a power washer.
5. Mold spreads by spores.
Mold is a fungus. Spores act as seeds to form new mold colonies.
6. Some mold spores contain toxins.
Some mold spores do contain toxins that can cause health issues when inhaled. People with mold allergies, pregnant women, anyone suffering from asthma, has a compromised immune system or respiratory conditions shouldn’t be exposed to mold. This is why mold remediation by professionals is essential.
7. Mold Reactions Vary.
Reactions to mold may include, but are not limited to, headache, fever, cough, wheezing and flu-like symptoms. It can trigger asthma attacks as well.
8. Toxic Mold is dangerous.
The terms “toxic mold” or “black mold” refer to Stachybotrys chartarum. Different types of symptoms have been connected to heavy and prolonged exposure to “Toxic Mold”, including respiratory, dermatological, eye and constitutional symptoms. Typically, it’s greenish-black in color and develops after a space has suffered heavy water damage. It, and all other kinds of mold, needs to be removed safely by professionals trained in mold removal.
9. Bleach removes mold.
Mold on a shower curtain or in the tile’s grout around a tub can be removed by a homeowner. Bleach removes mold, but remember to only use it in a room that’s well-ventilated. Also, some types of tile will etch with bleach contact, so make sure to spot-check the bleach before using it around the entire tub.
10. Fans reduce mold build-up.
Running a bathroom fan can help reduce the development of mold in the room. Open glass shower doors to allow ventilation and never bunch a shower curtain, instead keep it open so it can dry thoroughly. Remember, mold needs moisture for growth.
11. A musty, mildewy smell in the basement is not natural.
That smell is likely mold due to water damage, a cracked foundation or leaking pipes. If that musty, mildewy smell is present in your home, it’s important to locate the source of the smell or the location of the mold.
12. Test that mold.
For mold growth in a residential home, the CDC does not recommend mold sampling or testing.
13. Low humidity lowers mold risk.
Keeping indoor humidity levels below 45 percent can inhibit mold growth. Condensation on windows, walls and other hard surfaces is a sign of high humidity in the home, which increases the risk for mold development.
14. Mold grows FAST.
After a water damage event (flood, burst pipe, firefighting efforts), mold can begin to grow as soon as 24 to 48 hours.
15. Porous items like books are susceptible to mold.
Mildew, a type of mold, easily develops on cardboard, books and even fabrics. Store old clothes and other items in water-resistant containers instead of cardboard boxes to reduce the risk for mold growth. Mildew often can be brushed off fabrics like curtains and clothing.
16. Mold can be the “invisible” threat.
After a home flood, mold can grow in many unseen places including behind drywall, within insulation, on carpet padding and even throughout the HVAC system.
17. Paint can hinder mold.
Adding mold-inhibitors to paint before painting can reduce the potential for mold growth.
18. Professional Mold Remediation Services are imperative.
ServiceMaster Restore offers complete mold remediation services performed safely and effectively by professionals.
Mold problems in your home can be fixed! Sometimes it’ll take a little bit of elbow grease on your part, but sometimes, especially after water damage, it’s a job for the professionals. Our team at ServiceMaster Trifecta has extensive experience in identifying, removing, and treating mold to get your home or business back to normal. We want to keep you safe and healthy!
If you have a mold issue, call us in Louisville: 502-261-1755 or Nashville: 615-822-9327 or go online and get your estimate here.