The Good, Bad, and the Ugly About Mold
Molds are naturally occuring biological organisms. There are literally thousands of types of mold in the environment. The good news is that mold can be helpful! Mold helps to decompose dead plants and animals and it provides certain cheeses and medicines. The bad news is that molds are prolific reproducers! They send millions of spores into the air, and when they land in favorable areas, they reproduce at an amazing rate.
Outside, this is not necessarily a bad situation because mold is part of the natural process of decay. Mold works to break down dead plant materials into fertile topsoil.
However, when mold intrudes into a home due to an existing moisture problem, it can get ugly. Mold, when left unremediated, can produce a strong musty smell, have a furry appearance, and be mushy in texture…not an attractive sight!
The Unforeseen or Unattended
Mold spores often waft on the air through dry locations. Nothing happens. Why is this? Nothing happens when mold spores are in dry areas because mold requires a moist surface to grow and reproduce upon. In homes or commercial facilities, leaks, humidity problems, condensation on pipes, structural damage to foundations and roofs, broken windows or window sills, or poor ventilation can lead to internal mold problems.
What else causes mold to grow in a building? Mold requires water and a food source. The food source is cellulose. Cellulose is found in many common household items such as wallpaper, paper, drywall, insulation, and paneling.
Prevention and Remediation
All Clean Environmental Services can help address your mold problem. If there is a moisture problem it is important to dry it up within 48 hours or mold will start to grow. Many times in areas where extensive mold growth is found, the moisture problem has been unattended for a long period of time.
Think you have mold?
DO YOU HAVE…
- A strong musty odor
- Furry black or reddish colors
- Areas of excess humidity
- Leaking pipes around insulation
- Moisture on or near wooden surfaces
- Buckling Wallpaper
- Brownish stains on the walls
Mold Prevention Tips
Want to prevent mold from happening to begin with? The key to mold control is moisture control.
Solve moisture problems before they become mold problems! Follow these tips to ensure mold never happens!
- Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building envelope as soon as possible.
- Watch for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture problem(s) as soon as possible.
- Prevent moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
- Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) drop pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.
- Vent moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
- Maintain low indoor humidity, below 60% relative humidity (RH), ideally 30 – 50%, if possible.
- Perform regular building/HVAC inspections and maintenance as scheduled.
- Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.
- Don’t let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.