If you’re a homeowner or even simply living in a home with mold problems, you may have heard the words ‘mold remediation’ thrown around. Mold – well, we know that sounds serious, but your ‘average joe or jane’ may not be in the loop of all the industry jargon. So if you’re one of those people, hi! You’re in the right place. In this article, we’re going to lay out what exactly mold remediation is and why it’s crucial for you to be informed and know how and when to act. Plus, you know, you can sound smart in front of your friends. So, let’s get into it!
What Is Mold Remediation?
The leading causes of mold growth and what it may mean for your home and its inhabitants
The short of the long is that mold grows in damp, humid environments with poor ventilation. Now, the cause of that environment will vary, and unfortunately, sometimes, it’s entirely out of your hands and just plain bad luck.
Here are the most common situations in which mold growth occurs:
A humid environment
If you live in an area with high humidity or your home is near a large body of water, you may have a mold problem. But beyond that, it’s very common for homeowners to find moldy surfaces in the laundry room of their home; it’s one of the rooms that (due to its nature) produces an excess amount of humidity. So please, keep an eye out for this in your home!
You've sprung a leak
This could be your pipes, roof, or air-conditioning unit. Unfortunately, it’s a slippery slope for a homeowner to notice a ‘minor’ leak and think, “oh, it’s barely leaking; we’ll get around to fixing it.” With mold, once it’s in, it can spread- fast– and it isn’t an easy feat to get out of the house.
On the flip side, you may not notice you have a leak until you see mold starting to stretch across your ceiling or walls. In this instance, the right thing to do is to check the surrounding area for leaks and call in a mold professional ASAP.
During the wintertime, when it is below zero outside, and you’ve got the heat pumping inside, it’s very common to experience a build-up of condensation on surfaces. Most often, you will notice this on windows, but it quickly moves onto walls and ceilings, which means?
If you notice this in your dwelling, be sure to ventilate the area as much as possible, it may be worthwhile to utilize a dehumidifier.
Otherwise, these condensation pockets are prime real estate for mold spores and the proliferation of mold growth.
As we mentioned above, inadequate ventilation creates a breeding ground for mold to thrive. So be sure to cycle out the old air whenever possible and give extra attention to areas such as the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry, essentially the damp, stuffy rooms; otherwise, a more intensive mold mitigation process may be required.
Now, we know we can’t be the only ones guilty of taking washed clothes out of the washer and then letting them linger in the basket before hanging them (right!?). But, scarily enough, mold only needs 24 hours to grow and proliferate. Or maybe you’ve just gotten back from a trip and do load afterload of washing, hanging them on a series of indoor clothes racks to dry; well, that moisture has got to go somewhere. And it will set up camp in your home and eventually create mold contamination if left to be.
Sadly, this is a harsh reality that many individuals have to deal with. Whether it’s due to a burst pipe, an intense storm, or flash-flooding, it’s an emotional and stressful experience.
Depending on the extent of the issue, your home will likely take days or even weeks to dry out after a flooding incident completely. Unfortunately, this means that your property just became the prime environment for mold levels to flourish.
If you have any property below ground level, the likelihood of mold problems is even higher due to the lack of ventilation and increased humidity.
Exterior foundation dampness
If your property sits on a slope and in a way that rainwater falls towards your house, you could be heading towards a damp housing structure.
Rainwater, garden moisture, pools, and hot tubs can all add to this issue. And yes, it’s outside for now, but it can quickly work its way inside, leading to mold growth. A skilled landscaper can guide you on best practices for your situation.
Having Mold Problems? Contact Us Today!
The risks of leaving mold untreated in your home
Our #1 tip to you is: that if you notice mold, please act quickly! And call in professional service – our experienced team is skilled at treating the more significant issue and creating a detailed plan specific to you and your home.
Leaving mold to grow and contaminate your home can come with some very dire consequences.
Short-term health issues
If someone in your home is experiencing a scratchy chest, trouble breathing, headaches, or wheezing- they may be living with mold in their environment.
Long-term health risks
The symptoms above are merely a handful of the potential symptoms one may experience. And if these symptoms are left untreated, and the mold is left to fester more and more, it’s possible that you may be living with the consequences of that for the rest of your life. Asthma is a common condition that will appear in individuals with damp, moldy homes, with young children and elderly adults being particularly at risk.
Spread to every room in your house
You may think that that little patch of mold in the corner of one room isn’t a big deal. But mold can spread through your house like a dry bush on fire- infecting the indoor air quality in every room in the house. Allowing this issue to spread means you are putting yourself at risk of potentially dealing with significant home repairs, from cosmetic things like carpet, curtains, and wallpaper to entire walls, staircases, and the foundations themselves.
As issues grow, so does the cost
Allowing health conditions to prosper and mold to wreak havoc through your home all the way down to the foundations becomes more costly as time goes on. This is why getting a professional in their ASAP to address the issue is pertinent to you, your family, your house, and your wallet!
What can you do to prevent mold issues?
Conduct regular checks
Mold is really good at being sneaky, especially if you live in a large house. Conducting regular checks can enable you to get onto any issues promptly and prevent them from growing into more significant situations. Give extra attention to damp, humid spaces, such as attics, basements, closets, beneath sinks, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and areas near water (like if you have a hot tub).
Address home repairs promptly
All homes need maintenance at one time or another, but when it comes to mold prevention, leaky roofs and window frames are an invitation for mold to come on in and set up camp. Addressing these issues straight away will prevent your entire house from becoming damp (which we know mold loves).
Keep your home well-ventilated and dry
Depending on the location and setup of your home, this may be more of a challenge for you than for others. Whenever possible, try to create a cross-flow of fresh air in your home in as many rooms as possible.
Easier said than done, we know. Try leaving the bedroom and closet doors open to allow the fresh air to reach these spaces. If you live in an apartment or home in the depths of winter, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier or an air purifier.
Monitor health symptoms
Wheezing and coughing are two common signs of mold damage in your environment. If there is no other reason seen or known for these symptoms, check your place for mold.
Mold remediation vs. mold removal
Before we look into the difference between mold removal and mold remediation, you must understand something first:
It is impossible to eliminate all molds completely. Mold spores and typically inherent in all indoor and outdoor spaces; they are around more than you likely realize. But not all molds are dangerous, and in fact, most of the time, mold spores passing by in the air are part of the human experience. Mold damage only really becomes a problem when it settles in a prime (damp, dark, stuffy) environment. Therefore it is impossible to 100% eradicate mold from our lives- but the aim is to control its growth and presence.
How to know if you require professional mold remediation services
We know the bulk of this article has been encouraging you to hire professionals to deal with your mold removal task, but that may not be necessary for a few dots of mold.
Generally, if you’re doing all the right things: keeping a well-ventilated home, doing regular mold checks, addressing any dampness, leaks, or humidity issues, and noticing a few dots of mold in your home, you may be able to deal with this yourself.
But, if the area(s) cover space more significant than the size of an average bath towel- a $7 spray bottle from the supermarket isn’t going to cut it – call a professional. We also advise that you reach out to a professional if you’re unsure where this issue has come from and what is causing it. That way, they can do a full inspection for you and consult you on the next steps – maybe you take it from there on out. But at least you’ll know you’ve done your due diligence to protect your home and your loved ones under your roof.
What is mold removal?
Many homeowners and mold professionals will use the term “mold removal” as their primary term as that is what is most recognizable and understandable to most individuals. However, it’s important to note that mold removal is merely addressing one component of a more significant issue. That is why in many cases remediating mold is what is required to comprehensively tackle the mold situation present in your home.
What is a mold remediation?
Mold remediation is the term professionals use to describe the process of eliminating mold and addressing the potential reasons for mold growth.
Because of its unique and varying nature, the mold remediation process may vary and is generally assessed on more of a case-by-case basis. However, below we have broken down the typical mold remediation process for you.
The mold remediation process:
Step 1- Mold inspection and assessment
Once you notice potential signs of mold in your home, a team of mold professionals will carefully conduct a post-remediation inspection of your property to identify the source of the mold and potentially discover additional mold sources that were yet to come to light. From here, they will determine the type of mold present and create a detailed mold remediation plan specific to your home.
Step 2- Containment
When mold is provoked (as it would be in the cleaning process), it spreads more mold spores in the air. These spores can float around the air undetected, causing health issues for the home’s inhabitants or resettling on another surface to start the growth process again. This is why containment is vital to handling the larger issue.
Step 3- Cleaning and air filtration
This step will vary depending on the type and location of the mold. Most molds are non-porous or semi-porous and will be cleaned through a secure process to prevent any additional spores from being released into the air.
Step 4- Disposal or removal
Depending on what item the mold has grown on, it is very likely that some level of disposal will be required. This is one of the reasons why you don’t want to let mold growth get out of control. Otherwise, mold removal will quickly become asset removal. We’ve heard too many horror stories of someone buying a house only to discover later the wall is diseased with mold beneath the wallpaper and having to rip it all down to the studs!
Step 5- Sanitizing
After removing or disposing of the affected areas, the surrounding areas must be treated and sanitized. Usually, this means deep cleaning of furniture, curtains, walls, flooring, etc. This will also aid in clearing out the mold’s musty smell left in an area.
Step 6- Future prevention
At this final stage in the mold remediation process, your professional team will suggest preventative measures you can take and create a plan for monitoring any concerns to prevent mold regrowth.
Most importantly, remember:
- Act fast- if you see any leaks, visible mold growth, or health concerns, don’t waste time; act today!
- Call a professional. Most individuals don’t have the required resources to treat the full extent of the problem.
- Conduct regular checks and home repairs to prevent the appearance of mold.
- Mold remediation is more intensive than mold removal.