Friday, March 1, 2013

Mold Remediation In Homes and Buildings

Mold remediation is the process of removing mold from a home or building. Mold remediation should only be conducted by trained professionals, as mold can cause health problems in individuals. If you suspect mold growth in your home in places such as in between walls on in areas that are inaccessible, call a professional to give you a mold assessment.

Everyone has seen mold, usually in the bathroom when tiles haven't been cleaned in a long time, but mold can grow in many different places, for example wet or damp clothes that have been left where they can't dry for several days or in homes where a water pipe has been leaking or pipes have burst. Flooding is another cause of mold growth. Even something as simple as building over damp concrete can cause mold to thrive.

Mold grows when spores attach to a suitable surface such as a damp one. Here mold is able to proliferate and if unchecked, can cause problems similar to allergy reactions in humans and pets. Minor symptoms include things like itchy throat and eyes, sneezing and coughing. Respiratory problems are also a concern. Mycotoxins are types of mold that produce toxins. While the CDC says there is currently no conclusive evidence of harmful human effects, some people believe that neurological problems can occur or even death.

Home sickness was a popular term several years ago and can occur when mold begins to grow in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC systems). Newer homes are built with air-tight footprints, meaning that unlike older homes that 'breathe' naturally through cracks in windows and doors, new homes get no outside ventilation other than opening and closing doors or windows. If mold grows in these HVAC systems, the spores are then blown into the home and can cause skin and respiratory irritations.

Mold can also be caused by pipes bursting in apartments or buildings that share walls. If there is a leak in a home or apartment, be sure to have the walls inspected to ensure no mold is growing in between the walls in unseen areas. Flooding and leaking roofs can also be a source of dampness and mold growth.

How does one deal with mold problems? The best resolution for any problem is prevention. If a pipe has burst and been left unattended for more than 48 hours there is a good chance that mold has started growing. Carpet will need to be pulled out and replaced. Drywall should be tested for mold, often by cutting out a piece of the wall to ensure mold isn't growing behind the wall. Check for damp warping or water stains to indicate areas that may be problematic. Mold can grow under tiles if they aren't properly grouted. If the leak is caught as it is happening, dry the air thoroughly with professional grade fans and dryers.

If you see a small amount of mold, often it can be cleaned with a bleach solution, but if you see extensive mold, call in a professional. Mold remediation requires wearing a full face respirator, protective clothing and gloves. HVAC systems should be thoroughly inspected and if needed, removed. Those removing mold will properly dispose of items contaminated with mold like carpets, wallpaper and upholstery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, dampness can also cause dust mites and microorganisms such as bacteria to proliferate. Roaches and rodents tend to thrive in damp areas as well as mosquitoes.

Be sure to call a professional if you find mold before there are any health repercussions. Mold remediation should only be undertaken by a trained and licensed professional.


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