Comprised of fungal microbes that consume and eventually biodegrade organic materials, mold is capable of growing anywhere moisture and natural materials exist. While some molds are a necessary component of the environment, others are responsible for spoiling food, damaging property and causing a variety of diseases to animals and humans. When mold is detected in a home, immediate mold removal is essential due to its ability to inflict serious respiratory and skin illnesses on vulnerable individuals living in the home.
Mildew (the beginning of mold growth) and mold can start to develop within one to two days on surfaces that are persistently damp. Mold is frequently found thriving on wood, carpets, plants, drywall, cardboard and fabrics as well as food that is left uncovered in warm, moist environments.
Mold growths can take on several colors, specifically black, white, greenish-gray or brown. The texture of a mold colony may feel cottony, granular or velvety, while its surface appearance is often furry or leathery, depending on the mold type. Because most mold problems emerge in poorly ventilated, damp areas, a musty, dank odor is usually noticeable but may diminish if the area receives enhanced air movement.
The most common symptoms experienced by household members affected by a mold infestation resemble allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, congestion, coughing and irritated eyes. Some people will get a rash on various parts of their body while others may only suffer rashes on the scalp or bottom of the feet.
For homeowners wanting to avoid the complicated and lengthy task of mold removal, implementing mold prevention techniques should be considered a priority, especially during warmer, wetter months when it is more difficult to regulate a home's relative humidity level.
Tips for preventing mold removal involve:
1. Keep humidity level below 50 percent by using a dehumidifier if necessary
2. Regularly test the humidity level of attics, cellars, basements, duct work and crawl spaces with a humidity sensor. Ventilation is usually minimal to none in these places and leaks can remain undetected due to the inaccessibility of some of these areas
3. Check pipes for signs of leaks. Rusting and condensation may indicate a leak that needs repaired. Because condensation on cold water pipes is a common occurrence, covering them with insulation will inhibit condensation and help reduce overall humidity level.
4. Sudden appearances of wall discolorations need investigated, as well as warmer than usual areas under concrete floors. Both developments may be the result of a water leakage
5. Prevent rainwater from seeping into the foundation by ensuring the lawn slopes away from the home
6. Areas involving contact with two differing materials, i.e., metal to shingles or brick to metal, facilitates expansion and contraction of these surface and invites broken seals and leakage. Check these areas once every two months for signs of leaking
7. Place plastic covering over crawlspace dirt to keep moisture from evaporating into the home.
Since the primary culprit of mold growth is a stagnant, moist environment, keeping the home well ventilated is the best way to avoid suffering the stress and inconvenience of the mold removal process.
This post is brought to you by Adam Medina, an avid blogger dedicated to helping homeowners better understand how to care for their home. http://www.ferrocanada.com/mold/mold-removal
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