Mold Topic

Depending on the type of mold you are dealing with, and where it is located, mold removal can be a straightforward or tricky problem. Mold can sometimes grow in hidden areas, and before it can be removed it must be tracked down through investigation or mold testing. Often it is behind walls, under carpets or in other inaccessible areas, which makes the task of removing it that much more difficult. If it is a particularly dangerous type of mold, such as Stachybotrys, or black mold, then removing it is a job best left to professionals. Improper handling of black mold can cause the spores to become airborne, and possibly be breathed in by you or a member of your family.

Before mold can be removed, the source of moisture that the mold thrives on must be stopped. Otherwise, the mold removal process will be in vain. Roof or plumbing leaks are often the culprit, and these must be repaired. If the event was a flood, then often the process is to cut away the affected areas of wallboard, carpet, panelling, etc.

The area should be dried with a dehumidifier or heat source. The use of high powered fans is not encouraged as these can lift the spores and spread them throughout the home. If the source of moisture is condensation, the solution is more complex, as this is a recurring problem that needs to be solved before the mold can be tackled. Sometimes it can be an improperly tuned air conditioning system that needs to be adjusted.

Many surface molds that grow in showers and around bathrooms can be dealt with easily with a simple bleach solution or any number of anti-mold products on the market. If the mold growth is extensive, it is a good idea to wear a respirator, preferably with a HEPA filter, when working on the mold. Most commercial mold killer products are spray on types, and after the application the mold should be scrubbed, with care taken not to breathe in the spores.

Stachybotrys, however, is another matter. This mold is considered dangerous, as exposure to its spores has been known to cause serious respiratory problems for some, particularly those with a depressed immune system. This mold grows mostly on cellulose type material, including wood and wallboard, which is why it often thrives in a modern home. Mold removal professionals treat Stachybotrys as an environmental hazard. When doing a cleanup, they will wear masks and sometimes full bio suits, and will generally put up plastic sheeting to prevent the spores from spreading. Wallboard, carpet and panelling is usually completely removed, and the remaining wood studs are sprayed with a powerful chemical agent. The mold is scrubbed off, and special vacuums with HEPA filters are used to clean up the remaining residue. Sometimes, air purifiers are then run in the household for several days to clean up the air in the home.

Controlling the humidity level in a home is the key to preventing recurring mold problems. Leaks and floods will happen from time to time, but if the problem is caught right away then the area will dry out before the mold has a chance to grow. But persistent humidity, even from such seemingly minor things as ‘pipe sweat’ or steam condensation, can allow mold to grow. The use of dehumidifiers is recommended, and where possible, opening windows to let moisture out (if the outside air is dry).

Professional mold removal is an expensive proposition for most homeowners. However, mold growth left unchecked can lead to serious health consequences for you and your family. It is important to treat the problem of mold as a very serious one, and to take the right steps in eradicating it from your home. The implications for your health are too serious to ignore. If you suspect you may have a mold problem in your home, then get mold testing done and if needed, professional mold removal. The benefit to your health will be well worth it.

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Comments

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