When you have a mold problem, trust the Union Restoration experts to address your situation quickly, professionally, and completely. We guarantee every project, and our trained experts make certain your problem disappears for good.
If you have a mold problem in your home or business, time is of the essence. With every day that goes by, your family, guests, or staff could be exposed to dangerous toxic conditions, possibly resulting in chronic health issues. As soon as mold is discovered, it should be eliminated by a professional mold remediation service. It can spread and grow quickly, and the sooner the remediation process is begun, the sooner your home or business can return to normal. Many surfaces need to be wholly replaced once infested with mold, so prompt action helps minimize damage and restoration costs.
Mold is certainly unsightly and unacceptable in the context of aesthetics and appearance. But how dangerous is it? Is it essentially cosmetic? How bad does it get if you let it go for a while? After all, you and the rest of the occupants of your home or business might feel fine, so maybe it’s not that big of a problem.
People with allergies are usually more sensitive to molds, and people with underlying lung disease or immune suppression conditions are more susceptible to fungal infections. Upon exposure, anyone with respiratory disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder or asthma, may experience difficulty breathing. People with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection. One thing is certain; mold exposure isn’t healthy for anyone. Depending on a person’s general health, underlying conditions, and sensitivity to respiratory irritation, symptoms may range from nothing at all, to mild airway discomfort, to hospitalization with respiratory failure.
Studies from the World Health Organization have suggested a possible link between early mold exposure and asthma development in some children. This is particularly true among children who may be already genetically susceptible to asthma. In the opening remarks of the WHO’s 2009 report, “WHO Guidelines For Indoor Air Quality – Dampness And Mould,” they state the following:
“Microbial pollution is a key element of indoor air pollution. It is caused by hundreds of bacteria and fungi species, particularly filamentous fungi (mold), growing indoors when sufficient moisture is available. This document provides a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence on health problems associated with building moisture and biological agents. The review concludes that the most important effects are increased respiratory symptoms, allergies, asthma, and perturbation of the immunological system. The document also summarizes the available information on the conditions that determine the presence of mold and measures to control their growth indoors. WHO guidelines for protecting public health are formulated on the basis of the review. The most important means for avoiding adverse health effects is the prevention (or minimization) of persistent dampness and microbial growth on interior surfaces and in building structures.”
From a health and safety perspective, since there’s no way of knowing in advance how badly someone might react, removal and mitigation is the best, most sensible course of action. It isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it’s a matter of good health and preventive measures.
Mold spores are found everywhere, floating freely in the air. They can attach themselves to any surface and enter a building through doors, windows, vents, or gaps in the structure. They can be brought in on clothing, pets, or carried objects. There is always a little bit of mold in any environment.
Moisture causes spores to grow into a mold, making moisture the primary cause of mold infestation. Sometimes the source is obvious, such as flood damage or constant condensation around windows and doors. High humidity can also encourage mold growth, particularly if moisture is allowed to collect in concentrated areas. Even if you are in a dry climate, artificial humidity in an area that is not properly ventilated can bring about a mold problem. This is particularly true in bathroom and kitchen areas, where high humidity levels are a daily occurrence.
Mold can grow on nearly any surface. It can appear in porous material such as drapery fabric, carpet, and upholstery. It can grow in fiberglass or blown insulation inside of walls and ceilings. Drywall or stucco can also be affected, as can wood, concrete, brick, and wallpaper. But even completely smooth, hard surfaces can support mold growth. It can be found on window glass, granite and marble countertops, wall tile, hardwood or synthetic flooring material, and bathroom mirrors.
The first and easiest way to detect mold is by direct observation. If you can see mold, it might be the “tip of the iceberg.” Look for small spots on hard surfaces like window glass or the typical darkened caulking around tubs, showers, and sinks. Upon closer inspection, a water stain on a wall might appear slightly fuzzy or bubbly in texture. Softer surfaces are usually better at hiding visible mold, but ceiling tiles, such as the type used in office “drop ceilings,” make it easier. The unexplained discoloration is a possible indicator, as is crumbling tile material.
Sometimes you can smell mold before you can see it. The smell has been described as musty, earthy, rotting, or just vaguely “organic.” It will be a new smell that doesn’t belong in your familiar surroundings. If there is a noticeable musty smell, the mold has probably spread to a larger area than is visible. If there is a certain room or area that doesn’t get much traffic, it can grow mold long before anyone notices a smell. An occasional walk through a seldom-visited basement or storage area might reveal mold smells.
If you can’t see it or smell it, there are other methods of detection available. Using a hygrometer, we measure the relative humidity in the air of your home or business. If it registers as unusually high in a certain area of your home or business, this may indicate a hidden water leak. A moisture meter is used directly and within household materials and surfaces, such as wood, drywall, and fabric. This lets us determine if there is abnormally high moisture content. We use a particle counter to detect not only mold particles but also other pollutants, giving you an accurate evaluation of your overall air quality. Finally, we use remote video cameras to inspect behind walls, inside ceilings, and below floors, to locate problem areas and water sources.
The most potentially dangerous mold outbreaks are the ones that can’t be seen. Once mold establishes itself in hidden locations, it can spread throughout larger areas. If you have had a plumbing repair that involved a leak that went on for more than a day or two, you almost certainly have mold behind a wall, under a floor, or inside a ceiling. A temporary, one-time spill is not normally a problem, especially if the water is immediately cleaned up and the area is dried.
A plumbing leak inside a wall might produce no visible evidence of mold at all yet cover the entire inner surface of the drywall. Insulation materials are excellent at trapping and holding water, providing an ideal environment for rapid growth. Insulation is also very slow to dry out on its own, and without aggressive ventilation and air movement, it can take weeks to dry, even if the leak has been repaired.
Even a small drip can support a large mold colony, once established in a hidden location. A small leak can raise the humidity inside a wall or ceiling permanently since there is no ventilation. This is especially true when the moisture starts in an upper floor and travels downward through the building’s wood framing.
There are twelve different mold types common to indoor environments:
Certain molds are toxigenic, which simply means they can produce mycotoxins. But not all molds produce mycotoxins, and even those that are able to produce them will only do so if the growing surface and environmental conditions are conducive. If a mold is black, it is not necessarily “black mold.”
There’s a lot to know about and learn about different types of mold, how to identify them, and their potential health hazards. It’s a lot to take in, and it is always best to contact a professional when it comes to mold remediation. Mold infestation can be a serious health concern, and the average home or business owner cannot and should not attempt to handle it alone.
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Trained professionals have the knowledge, tools, and experience to safely and effectively get rid of mold in your living or workspace and take appropriate actions to ensure the problem does not come back.