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A guide to identifying and removing mold

Mold is a pretty common problem among that homeowners experience. There are countless strains of mold and it can be found pretty much everywhere. When it grows outdoors, it isn’t a problem; however, when it grows indoors, it can become problematic.

Mold thrives in moist, warm locations. If those conditions are met, mold spores can colonize and spread indoors. Some of the most common locations where mold growth can be found include bathrooms and basements.

People are exposed to molds on a daily basis; and typically, we aren’t bothered by it. That’s because most mold spores are pretty harmless in small quantities. However, when mold starts growing on surfaces that people frequently come into contact with, or when large amounts of mold is growing, you can be exposed to larger quantities of spores, which can lead to health issues.

While all types of mold can cause allergic reactions, some strains, such as stachybotryschartarum (black mold) can cause more serious complications, such as breathing issues. For that reason, it’s important to understand how to identify mold so you know how to safely get rid of it.

Where does mold grow?

Mold can enter your house in a number of ways; through open windows and doors, cracks in the foundation, heating and cooling vents, and even on your shoes and clothes. As long as it’s moist and warm inside, those mold spores can start to colonize when they land on surfaces. Mold is particularly attracted to damp cellulose materials, including cardboard, drywall, and ceiling tiles, as well as some wood materials. These surfaces can become wet when they are exposed to leaks, or when humidity levels are high.

With that said, here’s a look at some spaces where mold growth most commonly occurs:

  • Basements
  • Attics and crawl spaces
  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry rooms
  • Kitchens
  • Garages

Identifying Mold Growth

The most obvious way to detect mold growth is by actually seeing it. If you see patches of greenish, white, grayish, or black spots growing on your walls, ceilings, floors, or other surfaces, you more than likely have a mold problem. However, mold growth isn’t always visible. It can lurk behind walls and underneath floorboards. In these cases, you’ll have to look for other signs that indicate contamination; a musty odor, peeling or cracking drywall, wallpaper, and paint, and lifting floorboards, for example.

If you are experiencing adverse reactions, such as more intense allergy-like symptoms when you’re in your home, mold could be the cause.

Getting Rid of Mold

It’s recommended that you only attempt to clean small patches of mold yourself. If the problem is widespread, contact a professional to not only ensure the job is done correctly, but to ensure your safety.

When cleaning mold, use a solution of 1 part bleach mixed with 8 parts water. Wear protective gear, including gloves,  goggles,  long sleeves and pants,  and a respirator mask. Spray the solution on the mold, allow it to sit, wipe it down with a sponge, and allow it to thoroughly dry.

Mold Inspection & Testing Providence is a leading mold assessment company. We strongly suggest Providence homeowners arrange for regular mold testing to ensure they’re safety. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 401.400.1984.

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