Mold Removal and Mold Remediation Can Be Prevented
Mold removal can be prevented. The start of the summer weather is here, these warmer temperatures and heavy humidity have many families blasting air conditioners in their homes for relief from the heat. What’s wrong with that? When we pump cold air through our home’s ducts- combined with warm, humid air on the outside- we create what is called condensation and moisture, and unbeknownst to many, this can lead to mold. Mold is one of the foremost bacteria agents that eats away at our precious and valuable porous materials. It can also sit on non-porous surfaces, float in the air into other areas, and cause serious damage to any property, commercial or residential. Even the incident of heavy rains that are left unchecked or monitored can cause serious bacterial events to occur. Moldy properties are all too common these days with all of the natural disasters taking place from Florida to Minnesota, Iowa to New York. It leaves in its path all sorts of microbes that can wreak havoc on a property.
Three of the most common areas that serious damage can occur is either the crawlspace, the basement, or the attic. The reason this happens is that condensation or moisture can happen and go undetected for months, sometimes years. And since these areas are generally used for storage, all the materials piled up or stored over time can gather mold damage. When this happens invariably, all the items that have come in contact with the dangerous bacteria must be discarded as they can’t be clean or sanitized properly. This is what is called cancerous mold, because it goes well beneath the surface of the material and has literally devoured its host.
At this level, removal of walls, flooring surfaces, baseboards, and trim, door hinges, fixtures and anything that has been devoured by the mold, has to be removed. You can see why it’s best to not let this type of activity occur in the first place, if possible. All too often flooding and water damage has caused many properties untold damage because the owner can’t decide what to do, which way to turn, and this does not work in their favor, because mold once developed doesn’t remain in one place. It tends to spread as it looks for areas it can eat away. And in its wake it leaves mycotoxins. These deadly droppings are the waste that comes from the bacteria’s digestion process and it can be even more deadly than the actual mold itself.
High levels of this activity in a property can cause all kinds of breathing issues. Things like runny nose, sniffling, ear aches, headaches, sore throat, itching, burning of the eyes, asthma, bronchitis, allergies, indigestion, and watery eyes, just to name a few. Some have complained of insomnia because of bacterial activity happening behind enclosed walls and flooring. It’s something that should not be taken lightly. This is why it is paramount to have a property inspected before purchase. And if you are a homeowner, frequently have the specific areas mentioned (the basement, attic, crawlspace) checked regularly to ensure that mold is not developing.
Inevitably, a professional mold remediation company must be called in if it gets as bad as is mentioned here. Mold removal and remediation is a process by which the bacteria is carefully and systematically removed from the entire affected space, so the mold does not escape and travel to another area of the property, or through the duct and venting systems. It must be contained to prevent this from happening, thus, proper equipment and setup must be implemented to prevent its spread. You can see why it is necessary to administer a method of prevention. It’s a lot cheaper in the long run to spend time making sure that nothing is cause undue moisture and/or condensation that can build up over time. It’s very easy to go from moisture and mildew to mold and mycotoxins.
The larger the facility, the more opportunity that presents itself for mold to start and get out of hand. A professional mold removal service will know exactly what to do, to get your property back to a livable, breathable, clean air state for you and your family, or if you run a business, recommendations can be made to assist in the process of keeping mold out permanently.
Leaky faucets, dripping pipes, backed up drains, overflows of water and sewage, faulty plumbing, hot water heaters that need repair, vapor walls are things that can spring board into a serious mold incident that needs to be dealt with. And ounce of prevention as they say, is worth a pound of cure….or something like that. By the time you are on the phone to seek help for the intrusion of mold and other contaminants, it’s probably already gotten out of hand. The chemicals it would take to do the job right can in themselves cause some customers issues. Even green clean type chemicals sometimes cause irritations to some. Therefore, it is recommended that while the process of mold removal and remediation is in progress, the family should relocate until the program is finished. Each person’s immune system is different, thus it is best to be safe than sorry. Keep in mind that sometimes, nothing happens. But there is the slight chance that a compromised immune system may have an adverse reaction to the mold remediation process and the chemicals involved. Remember, mold removal can be prevented.
You can see that this a lengthy and detailed process that needs to take place to get a property back to a normal state. Isn’t it better to avoid the whole process in the first place?
So what can you do to keep your home cool while at the same time fight off moisture and mold that can make you and your family sick?
The local mold experts at The CleanUP Guys, the leading local indoor air quality team, have created a moisture and mold plan of action – 5 Tips to Fight Mold and Humidity
Moisture and Mold Removal Can Be Prevented!
5 Tips to Fight Mold and Humidity
- Monitor the Humidity Monitor: An indoor digital humidity monitor can give a quick and accurate measurement of the humidity within a home. For greatest comfort and to best reduce the bacteria and odors, humidity levels in the home should be kept between 40 and 55 percent. A humidity monitor can be purchased for less than $15.
- Beware of your Air: Run air conditioning systems running from May through the end of October and keep the fan setting on “Auto”. Leaving the fan setting on “On” runs the system continuously and can cause moisture condensed on the air conditioner coil to be blown back into the home.
- Rein in Rain: Add gutters to the roof of the house and downspouts at the base to redirect rainwater away from the house’s foundation.
- Build a Barrier: If your house has a crawlspace, make sure the floor has a vapor barrier, which is a plastic covering that lays on top of the dirt surface. This prevents moisture from the dirt floor from evaporating and seeping through into the air beneath the home. This also protects against problems caused by excess moisture like mold, odors, insects and wood rot.
- Cover your Crawlspace: Crawlspaces can be professionally encapsulated by sealing the walls and floor with a thick, plastic wrapping and installing a dehumidifier to set the appropriate humidity levels. The relative humidity in a house should not exceed 50 percent.
Move on Mold! In many cases you can see or smell mold. It is most often green or black in color and has a “musty” or “earthy” smell, somewhat like the forest floor deep in the woods. In that case use an antimicrobial mixture made up of household items such as hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or baking soda to kill or prevent the growth of mold. Spray the mixture onto the mold area and remove with a scrub brush or disposable rag while wearing protective covering such as face masks, gloves and shoe covers.
Mold: The Frightening Fast Facts
- Mold grows quickly: It only takes 24-48 hours to grow and spread in wet, warm conditions.
- Undetectable: Excessive moisture behind walls, under floors, or in cabinets or closets are perfect breeding grounds for mold. This is mold that you often can’t see or smell but it can make you and your family very sick.
- Bleach Can’t Kill It: Applying bleach can actually promote more mold growth on porous surfaces. A more effective treatment is an antimicrobial mixture made up of household items such as hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or baking soda.
- Mold Claims: Damage can cost as much as $10,000, and most insurance carriers will not cover the cost of mold removal.
- Symptoms of mold exposure: Severe body aches, joint pain, nausea, chronic, sometimes serious respiratory issues. These symptoms can develop quickly, or over time.
- People at risk: The very young, the very old, people with compromised immune systems. Mold can be deadly among these groups of people. It can also precipitate issues in otherwise healthy individuals as well. Remember mold removal can be prevented.
If you find that you are dealing with an unhealthy environment due to excess moisture or the spread of any type of mildew or mold, call the professional mold experts in Chicagoland, The CleanUP Guys!