Mold is simply tiny spores that travel through the air. When these tiny spores come in contact with moisture, the growth and spreading phase begins. Mold spores are everywhere. It is virtually impossible to prevent them from traveling through the air. However, the key factor is that mold cannot grow without moisture. This means controlling the amount of moisture in your home is the best way to prevent and control mold.
Mold is both a necessity and an issue. In the natural world, mold is beneficial in the way it helps decompose things such as dead leaves and other organic materials and redeposit them back into the ecosystem. It’s also necessary to make life-saving medicine such as penicillin and other antibiotics. Even some foods we eat every day are a species of mold, such as mushrooms.
However, while mold is beneficial in many ways in the natural world, it can also be the cause of major issues in our homes. In fact, mold can be extremely damaging to a home very rapidly. On average, it costs the United States more than 400 Million dollars to remove mold and repair the damage it has caused. Once mold takes up residence, its growth rate can be alarming, damaging walls, HVAC systems, appliances, furniture, and virtually everything it comes into contact with.
Mold is not only bad because of the damage it can do to your property, but also because of the damage it can do to your health. Each year, thousands of people end up in the ER or hospital for mold-related issues. It can cause respiratory issues in regular adults and can be lethal for people with asthma, young children, and older adults. There are some molds that produce highly toxic mycotoxins, which can result in medical issues such as headaches, coughing, and wheezing. Sometimes there are also neurological symptoms, including shortened attention span, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, and even memory loss.
With moisture being the largest culprit for causing mold, it is sometimes hard to identify mold in your home when it is in an area that is not easily seen. Here are some examples of situations and places where mold can thrive and hide.
Mold infestation of the home can be a costly and disastrous event. In addition, the required repair of floors, walls, and damaged furniture, mold can also complicate existing health issues such as asthma or cause flu-like symptoms and respiratory issues after prolonged exposure. It is vital to reach out to a professional mold inspection company if you suspect mold in your home.
If you have ever had mold grow in your home or you are looking to take precautionary steps to avoid and prevent mold, then keeping excess moisture out of your home is key. Here are a few tips to keep mold from taking root in your home by managing sources of moisture.
Use a Dehumidifier in the attic, bathrooms, garage, sheds, or other areas with a high level of humidity, especially if it shows signs of condensation. Portable dehumidifiers are great for removing moisture from the air in problem areas. When a location cannot fit a portable dehumidifier, use an alternative product, like silica gel or moisture-absorbing bags or tubs. The products may require more often replacement than the draining of a dehumidifier might need, but they are perfect for smaller spaces, like storage sheds or garages.
Turn on Ventilation Fans when cooking in the kitchen or in the bathroom when taking a shower. These vents help remove the moisture caused by the steam of a shower or cooking. When steam is redirected to the outside of the home, the inside of the home is protected against the growth of mold. While not always known, it is also important to allow these ventilation fans to continue to run at least 10 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing for the optimal removal of moisture from the air.
Routinely Inspect Your Home for moisture intrusion. Check the plumbing for any signs of a leak and be on the lookout for water damage where plumbing cannot be seen (e.g., behind walls). Even the smallest leak can lead to mold, so if a leak is found, it is important to take care of it quickly and ensure the area is well-dried. Following heavy rains, get in the attic to inspect for signs that there is a leak in the roof. You should also check the attic area or crawlspace to verify a tear in the ductwork is not causing moisture to build up. Bathrooms and under kitchen sinks are other common hotspots for mold and should be routinely inspected and thoroughly cleaned to keep mold from taking hold.
When you find mold or suspect that it is growing where you cannot see it, contact AcuSystem Inspections to have a mold inspection completed. We service Tampa Bay and surrounding communities—even some as far as 50 miles away! We want Central Florida residents to know they have a reliable and respected mold inspection company they can turn to when they fear the worst—mold damage. Using thermal imaging and other technologies, in addition to our continuing education, we help identify the presence and the extent of your mold problem.