[caption id="attachment_3759" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Yikes!"][/caption]Most people know what mold is (a group of fungal species), and what it does (cause respiratory issues), but not everyone knows how to get rid of it properly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), whenever mold is found, prompt remediation is necessary as mold can spread through buildings and cause health issues for many. Mold remediation is not just scrubbing down the area, but removing the toxic mold and its causes from homes and buildings. Mold remediation can also be dangerous, as exposure to the contaminants while cleaning can cause these health issues as well. In order to avoid spreading the mold further by releasing mold spores, or being exposed to the harmful effects of mold by not wearing proper protection, you might want to consider hiring a professional.
Mold: Why It AppearsMold likes to grow in places that are dark, damp, and warm. It needs moisture and oxygen, some kind of food source (like wood, cotton, or drywall), and then it is happy to spread out and make itself at home.
While most homes are full of oxygen and wood, yet not all homes need mold remediation, so the main problem for most homeowners is the moisture. Humidity, condensation, and water vapor are all common causes, as well as leaking pipes and poor ventilation (which is why there are fans in bathrooms and stoves – it removes the humidity). Something as simple as simple as having damp clothes lying around for too long can cause mold to grow.
Catastrophic events, like flooding from hurricanes or other heavy storms, are usually causes for large cases of mold, as the homes often covered in water for days. These types of events need professionals to help with mold remediation.
Flooring: Where Mold Appears
[caption id="attachment_3750" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="Not all mold looks like this picture; this is an extreme case of water damage. Many times pores are subtle and can look like a piece of dirt."][/caption]
Since mold likes dark, damp places, most of the time it is hidden to the visible eye. Think of all the spilled drinks on floors; does it all get soaked up in the cleaning process? Many times the liquid soaks through and get trapped; both underneath carpets, and with wood paneling and flooring.
Furniture is also one of the biggest contributors; if there's any form of condensation, through washing them, sweat, humidity, or spillage, mold will have enough moisture to grow and hide underneath (on the floors) or behind it (on the walls).
Basement floors, often made of cement, are constantly being bombarded with possible mold sites; boxes stacked high, dampness from the water heater, washing machine, or any rain build-up spilling into the foundation.
Mold Remediation: How to Make it Disappear
Depending on the size and amount of mold, some people can try mold remediation on their own. It's not as simple as wiping it away though, one must be careful of working with the chemicals, as some can be harmful if not handled properly, and the contaminants, as the mold spores can spread it to other areas.
Each type of flooring also presents its own issue. Solid hardwood floors should be sanded and refinished. Carpeted floors may have to be cut or removed, as the padding underneath may have become infested. Depending on the type of tiling, it may need more than a good bleach scrub. Getting stains and mold pores from bathroom/kitchen tiles sometimes need commercial cleaners or a baking soda scrub. Vinyl floors should have a finish on it to prevent future mold.
If a homeowner chooses to do their own mold remediation, instead of contacting a mold remediation professional, here are some basic safety precautions that need to be followed:
1. Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses to protect self from mold and chemicals. 2. Use a respirator (N-95 or P-100) as to not to breath in pores. 3. Don't mix any chemicals, like bleach and ammonia, as it can cause harmful fumes. 4. Have area be well-ventilated. 5. Wash/launder all materials that come in contact with mold.
Global Restoration is a full-service restoration company serving Georgia, south central Indiana, and central Ohio specializing in services such as fire damage restoration, water damage restoration, mold remediation, and more.