Mold is a microscopic fungus that grows in colonies. Under the right conditions, mold can attack drywall and organic materials in your house, such as carpet backing, papers, wood, and fiberboard. Mold is dangerous to human health and something you shouldn't mess with. Here are 10 interesting facts to know about mold removal.
1. Mold Requires Moisture and Food ThriveMold is an organism that reproduces microscopic spores that withstand harsh weather conditions and spread quickly over an area. These spores exist in the outdoor environment and can get into your home through open windows, doors, vents, and ducts. Once the mold finds its way in, they remain dormant until the conditions become favorable.
2. Over 10,000 species of mold existWhile there are thousands of mold species, only five of them are found indoors. These include:
Alternaria: It's common in buildings with some form of water damage. This species usually appears black, grey, or dark brown and has a wool texture. Exposure to this mold often leads to allergic reactions.
Aspergillus: Another common type of indoor mold, Aspergillus grows and thrives in warm weather. It usually appears grey, white, black, yellow, green, or brown. Aspergillus can trigger allergic reactions and cause respiratory infection as well as lung inflammation.
Stachybotrys chartarum: Black mold appears on damp surfaces and produces mycotoxins that can cause serious health problems such as asthma attacks, respiratory problems, sinus infections, fatigue, and even depression. It has a characteristic musty odor.
Cladosporium: One of the mold species that grow in cooler climates. It appears black or olive-green in color and can cause severe asthma attacks.
Penicillium: You will find this mold on wallpapers, carpeting, and home insulation. It appears blue or green and releases a strong, musty smell.
3. Mold grows fast stays hidden for a long timeWhen conditions are right - moisture, food, and warmth - mold will grow within 24 to 48 hours. Mold growth can stay hidden until the spores infest a large area of your property and cause severe structural damage. The reason is that mold usually starts growing in inconspicuous parts of your, like the inside of walls, behind leaky appliances, within insulation, inside the HVAC system, and in crawl spaces. Any other damp, warm, and dark place will ultimately attract mold. To prevent severe mold infestation, you need to watch the first signs of mold on your property. Musty smells and deteriorating household materials should prompt you to take quick and efficient measures to resolve the problem and get rid of mold before it wreaks havoc.
4. Mold growth is a sign of water damageMold won't grow unless there's a source of excess moisture in your home. If you haven't experienced a recent sewer backup or flood, you have no reason to worry about water damage. Mold presence, however, should alert you to a hidden problem. If you notice a musty odor in the attic or basement or see mold patches on the walls and ceiling tiles, investigate the issue further till you find the moisture source. A leaky roof, defective appliance, poor insulation, or a leaky water pipe might be the cause. In some cases, mold may arise from inadequate air exchange and moisture buildup due to laundry work or even indoor home plants. Mold testing can help you determine the type of mold present in your home and take steps to decrease mold growth.
5. Homeowner’s insurance may exclude mold damageDepending on the cause of mold, a typical homeowner's insurance policy may or may not provide coverage for mold damage. Suppose mold grows from a covered water loss such as accidental discharge or overflows from plumbing systems or defective household appliances; the insurance company will pay for mold remediation costs under your home insurance. Some insurance plans expressly state that they will not cover mold removal and remediation, regardless of the source. It's common knowledge that standard insurance policies don't cover water damage due to neglectful treatment. That means homeowners cant claim for long-tear roof leaks, drainage problems, condensation, or landscaping issues. Even if mold is covered, there might be limitations and a cap on the amount. If you'd like adequate coverage, buy a mold rider as an add-on to your standard insurance policy.
6) Mold can cause various health problemsMold is harmful to your health. Toxic black mold is particularly serious as it can lead to long-term health issues that can affect your blood vessels. Prolonged mold exposure can trigger allergies and cause many health problems such as:
Effects of mold exposure can vary from one person to another. However, children, older people, and individuals with underlying health conditions or weak immune systems are the most vulnerable. To avert these health problems, take steps to prevent mold growth in your home.
7) Mold is stubbornMold often grows and thrives in areas that are difficult to reach and remediate. Its spores can spread fast and take hold of your building materials, furniture pieces, linen, books, and other personal stuff. Since the spores grow within porous materials, the only way to effectively rid your home of mold is to discard the contaminated items. Self-help mold removal methods and all-purpose cleaners offer temporary relief to mold problems. Household bleach kills spores, but the dead spores can be as toxic as the living ones. Some mold species may stay dormant for months until the right conditions appear so they can regrow.
8. Mold removal is toughMold removal and remediation are risky jobs that are best left to the specialists. A professional mold remediation service can help you clear visible mold growth and tackle your mold problem, preventing mold growth in the future. Mold removal specialists use advanced equipment and commercial-grade cleaning agents to remove mold spores and disinfect the affected area. But first, they will uncover the location of hidden or dormant mold in your property. Once they perform the necessary remediation, your home will be entirely mold-free, fresh, and safe.
9) Mold growth is preventableMold remains a threat to homeowners across the country. Part of the reason is that modern building practices promote mold growth. Some building materials are porous and likely to harbor mold. Many homes are built to be energy-efficient, so they are air-tight and lack adequate ventilation. In some cases, plumbing lines run on the inside walls and insulation. Such practices can encourage mold growth. However, you can implement practical mold prevention measures to prevent mold growth on hard surfaces. Ensure good air circulation and control moisture in your home. Add insulation to your basement walls. Try to keep indoor moisture levels below 45%. If you're able to prevent excessive moisture, you have won half the battle with mold.
Remember to maintain your roofing system, plumbing, HVAC, and foundation. All these have the potential to encourage mold growth. Schedule regular mold inspection, and arrange mold sampling, especially after major storms or torrential rains. Early mold detection can stop mold spores from spreading further and taking over your home. If there are affected materials, make sure they're removed as they might be causing mold growth. You can avoid mold problems and even overcome mold by ensuring your home is moisture-free and adequately ventilated.
10) Mold can be usefulPeople associate mold with severe health problems. However, not all mold is harmful. Some mold species play a crucial role in the ecosystem. They may break down dead leaves and other organic matter and release it into the environment. Some species of mold also act as fermenting agents, while others are useful in making cheese. Mold is even used during drug production. Penicillin, a famous antibiotic, is actually purified mold.
Want to prevent mold growth or stop mold spores from spreading? Call us to professional mold remediationEach year, homeowners in the USA spend around 73 billion dollars to tackle mold problems. Knowing about mold facts helps you understand what you're up against and what to do to protect yourself. If you smell mold or notice visible mold growth on your walls or ceiling, contact the mold remediation experts at PACIFIC NW RESTORATION on 503-444-8909 for professional water damage and mold damage restorations in Newberg, OR. We've available 24/7 for emergency cases.