Let’s face it, mold is gross. It’s not something we like to see growing in our home, and it can sometimes cause concern when it pops up. So, the question is, when does mold go from an annoyance to something we should be worried about? We’ve got some answers to those questions and more so you can be better informed and know what to do when you find mold growing in your home.
Mold vs. Mildew
- Mildew is a grayish-white or brownish substance growing in wet areas. It is a fungus just like mold, but it is not nearly as invasive or troublesome. It is typically easy to clean with simple home cleaning solutions because it only lives on the surface of materials.
- Mold will look like black or white spots and often give off a musty or damp odor. You may see it as a stain on walls, or ceilings. It can grow on almost any surface including wallpaper, flooring, wood, ceilings, carpet, upholstery, insulation, and other materials. It needs air, moisture, and food to grow, and in the home, there are plenty of places that are susceptible. Moisture can come from leaks in pipes, roofs, or windows. Condensation and high humidity can also cause mold growth.
Know When You Have a Problem
- Small spots of mold can typically be cleaned up easily with home cleaning solutions. Spots larger than 3 feet will likely require a professional cleaning service.
- If you have cleaned up an area of mold but musty odors remain, then you may have growth beneath the surface of your wall, floor, or ceiling. Materials may need to be ripped out to properly locate the source.
- Mold can trigger allergic reactions and bring on flu-like symptoms. Those with weakened immune systems are especially at risk. If you are suspicious that someone is experiencing these effects then you may have a bigger mold problem.
- Mold in your HVAC system could lead to big problems due to the possibility of spreading mold spores throughout the home. Check attics and basements often as these are the places where these types of problems may start. Be careful when removing vents or duct joints to avoid system contamination.
Call the Professionals
- Mold does not grow without moisture. When mold is found, the source of the moisture must also be addressed, or the mold will return. If you have found mold near a window, on a ceiling, or under flooring due to a leak, then you will want to consider calling in the professionals to do the cleanup. Professionals will know how to handle the water damage properly and ensure that there is no further mold exposure.
- Never deal with contaminated water on your own. If water or mold damage was caused by water left by sewage or washing, then professionals should be called.
- If you think you may have a mold issue in your A/C Unit, Heating, or HVAC system then you will want to take precautions. Do not run the HVAC system as it may spread mold further. Consult a professional and use the EPA guide to help you.
Mold is a common occurrence in any home. In most cases, it can be taken care of easily with some cleaning and preventative measures. There are few cases where mold may be something you need to be concerned about, but it is important to be observant and to take care of growth quickly to best avoid problems in the future.
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