KING COUNTY, WA
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Mold Removal and Remediation
What is mold?
Mold is a microorganism that is classified as fungi. It’s a living organism that doesn’t fall under either the plant or animal classification in accordance with scientific standards.
There are many different types of molds that can be found in the environment. Invisible to the naked eye, mold spores travel through the air and are commonly found in soil and on decaying matter. Outdoors, mold plays a big part in the natural degradation of plant matter. However, when mold travels indoors, it can be hazardous to you and your families health.
Mold comes in many different type of colors. Mold often has a furry look and certain molds can also have a powdery type look. Black mold is considered to be the most dangerous type of mold found in homes. Finding black mold in your home is scary and should be addressed by a professional immediately to avoid potential adverse reactions to the mold.
Mold can grow within 24-48 hours and can grow at a extremely fast pace. A mold colony can form very quickly and from the initial contact a mold spore will attach to a surface.
Health Risks Caused by Mold
Mold can lead to several health-related problems when you or your family is exposed to it. Mold has a natural ability to travel through the air, the inhalation of mold spores can cause many types of respiratory ailments. Common side effects include asthma, allergies, respiratory infections, sinus infections and skin rashes. Mold in air ducts can cause allergic reactions. In extreme cases, mold exposure might be fatal.
How does mold grow?
As with all living organisms, mold requires specific environment to grow, and make its way and live throughout the environment. These elements include mold spores, moisture, and proper temperatures, which are used by molds as food. When these elements are plentiful in a given location, it creates the perfect environment for mold growth. To avoid mold growth and mold symptoms in your home, try and make the changes necessary.
Mold spores are not visible to the naked eye. They are carried through the air and can attach to almost any solid object. Mold spores especially like to attach to porous materials or damp surfaces.
Mold doesn’t have an allegiance to any one climate. It prefers temperatures warm like the human body and can grow in both hot and cold conditions. Humid and moist areas are the most prone to mold growth.
Moisture is created for many reasons and molds will seek it out that kind of environment. From weather conditions to leaky pipes found within your home, it is impossible to have complete moisture control. Areas that trap condensation or water vapor are great locations for mold to grow. This can include dark spaces at your home, such as under tarps, in cabinets and behind furniture.
Mold will use a food source, when any living thing releases its carbon atom. If the first of the three requirements for mold growth are met, it will use just about any carbon-containing organism as a food source. Even skin cells or wood can supply mold with the necessary nutrients for growth.
Preventing mold growth
Even if your home is the cleanest on the block it can have a potential for mold. Residential building structures have all kinds of areas that offer prime environments for mold to grow. Basements, bathrooms, utility rooms, laundry equipment and kitchens are just some of the areas where black mold is found often. You as homeowners can take proactive steps to limit mold growth, but unfortunately, it’s really impossible to eradicate all together.
Tips for preventing mold growth:
Basements especially would be a good idea to have a ventilation system in place. This can help to bring fresh air in and push water moisture out. Homes that have basements and are built without windows should use a dehumidifier or circulation fan.
Fix foundation cracks
The smallest leak or even a crack in the foundation can provide a perfect habitat for mold growth. Window frames, doors and corner locations of the foundation can be sealed using a water proof sealant. This is a service that should be inspected by a professional and be performed before the beginning of the rainy seasons.
Keep stored items organized
When storing personal belongings or furniture, try not to pile items on top of each other. This can cause moisture to get trapped, and it prevents air circulation.
Try baking soda
Baking Soda will also help to absorb moisture. If you place a box of baking soda under kitchen and bathroom cabinets and in the refrigerator, it will prevent moisture from forming and creating an ideal habitat for mold growth.
Keep HVAC systems free of mold
Air ducts, heating systems, air conditioning systems and filters should all be cleaned and always be changed on a regular basis. This will stop mold from growing and spreading throughout the home. Mold growth in air ducts and HVAC systems will start to allow many smells and mold spores to travel throughout your entire home. Seek the help of a professional to have a HVAC technician or air duct cleaner to clean your HVAC system if you suspect of mold or notice mold symptoms in these areas.
Mold testing and removal
Testing for mold
There are several self home mold testing kits you can now get on the market. However, experts say these kits should only be used as a first step. The testing kit will usually come with a swab so you can collect a small sample of mold. Some kits are designed for you to collect and grow mold in an incubator, or in some cases the instructions will have the user send the sample in for a lab testing. Home mold test can be misleading because they are not designed to give you an indication of the amount of mold present or how dangerous it is.
Hiring a professional for mold testing and removal
Professional mold removal contractors are individuals that are licensed and professionally trained who properly identify mold and the removal process. Professional mold removal contractors will use industrial equipment and cleaning supplies to kill and remove any mold and mold colonies from the your home.
During a mold inspection, a technician will perform a visual inspection and then test the air with a quality whit specialized equipment, and depending on the findings, the technician may need to send a mold sample in for lab testing.