Mold is one of the silent problems that may suddenly emerge inside your home and property. If not attended to immediately, mold can spread throughout your whole house or building, which means potential threats to your health. ServiceMaster of Savannah has compiled these facts about mold and mold damage in Savannah, Georgia.
What to Know About Mold
Here are the top facts about mold, compiled by the expert mold remediation professionals at ServiceMaster Restore.
- Mold is the collective term used for fungi found indoors and outdoors which appear as dark- or light-colored patches on walls, ceilings, and floors, among others, and is usually accompanied by a damp, musty odor.
- Moisture is a requirement for mold growth. Indoors, mold can often be seen growing in damp places like basements, bathrooms, and other areas which have experienced water damage.
- Mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours after a water damage event.
- Mold and mildew are fungi often found indoors, spreading easily and causing health problems.
- The four most common types of indoor mold are Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium.
- Common molds often appear brownish-green, black, gray, or greenish-gray.
- Mold is propagated by spores.
- Mold spores can contaminate the air and affect indoor air quality; toxic ones can cause nasal allergies or worse, respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses.
- “Black mold” or “toxic mold” are terms used to refer to Stachybotrys chartarum. This type of mold can be toxic and must be removed safely by mold remediation professionals.
- Adequate ventilation can help reduce mold development. Open doors and windows when the weather permits and run fans and dehumidifiers to dry areas thoroughly.
- Mold growth can be indicated by a musty, mildew-y smell in the basement or in water-damaged areas. The source of the odor must be located as soon as possible.
- Keep indoor humidity levels below 45 percent to limit mold growth. High levels of humidity, as well as water condensation, also have significant contributions to the growth of mold.
- Mold can discolor your drywall and painted areas, which isn’t visually appealing.
- To reduce the likelihood of mold growth, add mold inhibitors to paint before painting.
Water Damage and Mold Growth
- It takes immediate action to address a mold problem before it gets serious.
- To prevent mold growth, it is important to take notice of small leaks that may have developed in your pipes.
- Standing water due to hurricanes or snowmelt has to be treated immediately. Tackle the issue early on to save money, time, and effort.
- While this is so, dealing with the damage on your own might just worsen the problem. There are professional mold inspection and remediation companies out there who have the proper training, experience, and equipment to exterminate mold from your home and give you tips to help prevent it from growing again.
Common Types of Mold in Your Home
- It’s commonly found in homes, especially in bathrooms and any other rooms which are exposed to a lot of moisture.
- It’s often mistaken for ordinary household dirt, so it can sometimes go years without being treated.
- Black mold is usually slimy because of a wet layer on top.
- This type of mold is usually found indoors in damp places, such as showers or under leaky sinks.
- Alternaria grows all year round but is most common in July, August, and September.
- Usually found indoors, growing on dust, powdery food items such as flour, and on building materials including drywall.
- Aspergillus grows throughout the year but you are more likely to see it in August and September and it’s particularly prevalent in January and February.
- This type of mold grows in both cool and warm places and is usually found on fabrics and wood surfaces.
- Cladosporium is found in low amounts most of the year but peaks in July and August.
- Most of us will be familiar with this type of mold because it’s present everywhere, particularly in food. It’s the fuzzy blue texture we see when food has gone off.
- Aside from spoiling food products, Penicillium can also be found on organic, biodegradable substances such as wood, leaves, and grass.
- Penicillium is found throughout the year, with a small peak in August and September and the highest peak in January and February.
Can Mold Make You Sick?
Molds produce allergens and irritants. Allergens are substances that can cause allergic reactions. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Allergic responses include:
- Hay fever-type symptoms (sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash)
- Breathing difficulties
- Skin irritation
- Other allergic reactions
- Aggravation of asthma symptoms
ServiceMaster of Savannah's Mold Remediation Process
- Mold Inspection – Our team will identify the extent of mold growth and water damage in affected areas. It involves the use of moisture meters and other specialized equipment. Air quality sampling can also be employed to identify the extent of the contamination and moisture problem.
- Mold Testing – We work with nationally recognized testing facilities and can provide mold inspection, laboratory analysis, and written remediation plans. We know how to identify and help eliminate the source of what has caused the mold, and implement the proper processes in order to help prevent future mold growth.
- Isolation and Containment – We will add a physical barrier to contain it while we prepare a report for your insurance company and discuss your options for moving ahead.
- Air Filtration – The mold spores will often be disturbed and become airborne. This can lead to cross-contamination and create a situation much worse than the original problem. We use specialized techniques to contain the area. This involves the use of HEPA filtration, negative air machines, and plastic sheeting.
- Mold Removal – Our team will use HEPA vacuums, antimicrobial agents, negative air scrubbers, and other high-tech equipment to completely remove mold.