The key to controlling mold growth is controlling moisture. Mold thrives in moist locations, so if you have mold growing in your home, moisture is present and must be taken care if in order to stop the continued mold growth.
Promptly identify and clean up the source of moisture within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth. The area must be thoroughly dried out. The source of the moisture must also be attended to, otherwise mold will return.
Any source of moisture can lead to mold growth; however, some of the most common cause include flooding, rood leaks, backed-up sewers, damp basements, leaking pipes, improperly ventilated bathrooms, and moisture from appliances, such as refrigerators and dishwashers.
Eliminating Mold Growth
Mold can and does destroy the surfaces it grows on. Porous, organic materials are most at risk of damage; wood, carpeting, wallpaper, furniture, clothing, paintings, pictures, etc. However, mold growing on non-porous materials should also be cleaned in order to prevent the spread to porous surfaces. Examples of non-porous surfaces include glass, plastic, and metal.
To clean mold from plastic, metal, glass, and wood surfaces, use as a mixture of 1 part bleach and 10 parts water. Make sure the area is well-ventilated, as bleach can irritate the nose, eyes, and throat. Make sure to wear a respirator mask with a HEPA filter, such as an N95 mask, to avoid breathing in airborne mold spores. Wear gloves and long sleeves to protect yourself from bleach and mold spores, too. Soak a sponge in the bleach and water solution. Thoroughly wipe down the surfaces and allow them to dry completely. Use fans and dehumidifiers to aid in drying.
If mold is growing on absorbent surfaces – sheetrock, insulation, carpeting and carpet padding, and ceiling tiles, for example – they must be discarded.
If the affected area is too large, hiring a professional mold restoration company is recommended. Trying to tackle large amounts of mold on your own can be difficult and can increase the risk of mold spore inhalation.
To prevent future mold growth, as mentioned, it is important to address the moisture problem. Make sure to repair any leaks and improve ventilation; for instance, when taking a shower, be sure to run your exhaust fan or leave a window open.
If humidify levels are high in your home, use a dehumidifier to bring them down. Remember, however, to use the dehumidifier properly. Change out the filters as instructed, otherwise the dehumidifier can become a source of mold growth.
Mold’s Impact on Health
Exposure to mold growth does have the potential to lead to health problems. If you suffer from allergies, have a compromised immune system, or a respiratory condition, such as asthma or COPD, you are more at-risk of developing health complications as a result of mold exposure. However, there is a chance that anyone can experience health problems. Symptoms of mold exposure include coughing, wheezing, sneezing, skin irritation, congestion, and respiratory tract infections.
Mold Inspection & Testing Hartford has vast experience performing mold tests. If you have water damage or high levels of moisture in your home, we highly recommend having a mold test performed, whether through MI&T or another reputable third-party mold testing company. To speak with an MI&T representative, please call 860.348.5188.