What You Need to Know About Mold
Mold can be a problem in your home, even though you might not be able to see it or smell it. Mold and mildew infestation is common in hot, humid climates. The various microscopic organisms can grow even in the desert Southwest. Unfortunately, it may cause allergic reactions, respiratory infections and affecting indoor air quality. Here’s what you need to know about mold.
Why it Matters
Heat, humidity and moist surroundings are the primary catalysts for mold growth, and a leaky shower pan or a chronic plumbing drip should always be cause for concern. Laundry rooms and under-sink cabinets harbor the spores. Mold can take hold even on the exterior foundation of a home, on wooden decks and fences, and on concrete or stone wherever there is a drainage problem or a consistently dark, moist area.
But it’s the unseen mold that constitutes a hazard. If your home has a musty odor, chances are that mold growth will not only affect your health but also might damage your home’s structure.
All Mold Is Not the Same
No mold is attractive, but there are many different kinds of mold with different scientific names and varied characteristics. Blue or green mold appears on food; the bright-colored orange or red mold that typically grows out of doors is generally harmless to humans. However, toxic black mold, which is found indoors in dark, damp surroundings, can affect air quality and cause serious medical complaints. Symptoms that should alert you to a potential mold problem include red, watery eyes, recurring sore throats and headaches, unexplained breathing problems and chronic illness.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between mold and dirt. A quick dab of bleach on a suspect dark spot will often provide the answer: mold will lighten or turn white, white dirt typically remains dark. If this does not work, you may need to call in a professional testing service.
Detecting and Eliminating Mold
Once you have found mold, you should get rid of it. Common mildew usually begins as small, black spots that then expand into unsightly patches. Typically, these mold spores “take root” along tile grout lines, in damp, dark surroundings, or on wooden surfaces. It is important to remember that mold and mildew are alive. They are microscopic organisms with a mission of spurring the decomposition of organic materials.
Surface mildew will not damage your home, but if mold takes hold behind a wall, its growth can cause structural problems to support wood and sheetrock. If a home has a musty odor, chances are that there is a mold problem that should be professionally treated. You should follow the rule “if you can smell it, you must treat it.”
Treating toxic black mold is a job for a professional.
How to Prevent Mold from Forming
Once you have eradicated the cause, you should prevent it from forming again. The best preventive measures include regular cleaning with soap and water and prompt action. You should always to treat the mold and rectify the conditions that allow it to form. It’s vital that plumbing leaks and dripping faucets are repaired quickly, and that dark, damp areas of the home are dried out and exposed to light.
Keeping your home healthy — including monitoring indoor air — is important to your family’s quality of life and lasting wellness. You can purchase a DIY mold test kit at a hardware store. However, testing the air can be time-consuming and inconclusive. By calling a company trained and equipped to identify, treat and mitigate the damage caused by mold, you can assure your peace of mind, your family’s health, and the safety of your home environment. Contact Zona Restoration today!