10 Things to Know About Mold

A natural part of the environment both indoors and outdoors, mold doesn’t typically cause any problems unless it starts growing indoors in moist areas and residents or tenants are sensitive to it. Mold has the potential to cause health problems that vary between individuals as well as cause damage to a home. By staying educated about the potentially harmful effects of mold, you’ll able to stay one step ahead if you experience it in your home, business, or school.

1. Symptoms associated with mold exposure including allergic reactions, respiratory complaints, and asthma

2. The best way to control mold growth in your home is to have control over the moisture levels – the more moisture that is present, the greater cahnce of mold growth

3. If you have water leaks other problems, repair them as soon as possible to reduce the risk of mold growth as soon as possible

4. Viable mold growth or settled spores should be removed and remediated by a professional

5. Usually, one can keep the humidity levels in your home between 30-60% to decrease mold growh by:

  • Properly ventilating bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other moisture generating areas
  • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
  • Increasing ventilation throughout your home
  • Using exhaust fans when cooking, cleaning, and washing dishes

6. Dry and clean wet or damp furniture, building materials, and flooring as soon as possible to help prevent mold growth

7. Always properly dry and clean hard surfaces properly. Absorbent (porous) materials sometimes cannot be cleaned and must be replaced to eliminate mold and mold growth.

8. Prevent condensation on weindos, piping, and exterior walls by properly engineering and insulating these areas

9. Do not install carpeting where there is constant moisture – i.e. near sinks, in bathrooms, by water founains

10. Mold can grow on virtually any substance if moisture is present – this includes wood and carpet

If you notice mold in your home or business, call Envirotech Clean Air Inc. today to remove and remediate the problem at (800) 698-1300.

Where Does Mold Commonly Grow?

Mold can grow virtually anywhere (indoors and outdoors) but prefers dark, warm, moist areas, especially when it’s growing indoors. More often than not, the mold is easy to remove but when it grows on porous surfaces the damage can be extensive as it grows into the material, not just on the surface.

Common Places Mold Grows:Damp Wall Damage

  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Windows
  • Air Ducts
  • Basements
  • Insulation
  • Windows
  • Clothing
  • Furniture

If you notice mold in your home in any of these areas, we highly recommend calling a professional in to assess the situation and remove the mold for you. Familiarizing yourself with the cause of mold on certain surfaces and the removal process will help you address any mold-related issues before too much damage is caused.

Mold on Walls

Mold that is growing on regular, non-porous, painted walls is in most cases, easy to remove. Simply wipe the mold away with a damp cloth. If this doesn’t work, there are various mold-killing solutions including borax, vinegar and bleach that will kill the mold and remove it from your wall.

Mold that is growing on porous walls, such as dry wall, gets a little trickier as the mold will penetrate the material and grow inside of it. In this case, you’ll have to remove the section of wall that the mold is growing on and replace it.

Signs to Look Out for:

  • Peeling paint
  • Bulging
  • Discoloration
  • Visual signs of mold on the surface
  • Strange odors
  • Frequent allergy-like symptoms

Causes of Mold Growing on Walls

Condensation, high humidity levels, and concealed water leaks are the most common causes of mold growing on, in, and behind walls. Condensation will form on exterior walls from the cold air meeting the warm air inside during the cold winter months, when clothing is dried indoors, or when there is an excess of steam from hot water, which releases humidity into the air. Water leaks can also cause mold to grow due to the increase in moisture in walls. Keep an eye on your plumbing to stay on top of any potential water leaks and avoid mold growth.

Mold on Ceilings

Mold growing on your ceiling is a sign of high humidity levels, condensation build up, and leaking pipes. Most ceilings are made of porous materials, meaning you’ll have to remove the section of ceiling that has mold growth like you would with a wall. If your ceiling isn’t made of a porous material, you’ll be able to wipe the surface mold away with a damp cloth.

Mold in Basements

The basement of your home is the most common area for mold to grow since they are typically dark, damp, and humid from being under the home/underground. If there are leaks in your home, no matter where they are, they typically will flow down to the basement creating stagnant water. Mold in basements spreads quickly and can weaken the support of the frames and beams in the room. If you notice mold growing in your basement or notice excess dampness and humidity, call Envirotech Clean Air at (800) 698-1300 for a checkup of your space.

Mold in Air Ducts

Mold tends to lurk in air vents, ducts, and HVAC systems. Performing regular maintenance and cleanings of these areas will keep the mold away.

Mold in Insulation

If you have experienced water leaks in the past but never experienced any mold problems in/on your walls or ceiling, it’s wise to check the insulation of the area where the water leak occurred. Insulation can be deceiving, make sure to do a thorough check even if it looks clean.

If you find mold in your insulation, the removal process includes simply discarding the insulation and replacing it with new insulation. It’s best to get a second opinion from your mold removal company to ensure it didn’t spread elsewhere.

If you notice mold growing in you home, call Envirotech Clean Air to remediate it at (800) 698-1300.

Help Prevent Mold During the Winter Months

Snowy HouseMold thrives in moist, warm areas, ironically making the cold winter months one of the best times for mold to grow and expand.  Let me explain, as warm air rises into attic spaces and meets the cold roof, condensation may forms along the wood, making it the perfect home and food source for the mold. Damage to your home from snow, ice, and freezing temperatures after a winter storm can also cause mold to spread into your home.

Get ahead of your mold issue by assessing your home throughout the winter, especially after storms, and taking these steps to preventing mold growth during winter:

  • Turn off the water flow to broken appliances and pipes
  • Make sure there is good air circulation – use an exhaust fan when you’re cooking and washing dishes and open a window when showering
  • Replace cracked mortar in basements
  • Insulate pipes inside your home to ensure they won’t crack and/or bust
  • Use a dehumidifier in damp areas of your home. But note, during the heating season, if you have damp areas, that may be a sign of another or larger issue.
  • Clean your gutters regularly so they do not overflow, which can cause damage and moisture build up around your windows, behind your siding and under your shingles
  • Check your home regularly for moisture and leaks, especially after a storm
  • Replace weather stripping on doors and windows to keep moisture from penetrating into your home

If you notice mold in your home, call Envirotech Clean Air at (800) 698-1300 to ensure the mold in your home is properly removed.

What is Black Mold?

Stachybotrys chartarum, often called stachy or black mold, is the most infamous of molds thought to be dangerous. This type of mold can grow inside of homes and humans and animals may be sensitive and have adverse health reactions to it because it produces toxins called mycotoxins.

Potential Symptoms:

  • Skin inflammation
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Respiratory problems
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Immune system suppression
  • Mental impairment

If you find or suspect black mold in your home, it’s important to take steps to have it removed properly and quickly to avoid adverse health or structural consequences.

Where black mold grows & what causes it

Mold or black mold that may be dangerous to some individuals can grow both indoors and outdoors if there is a warm, moist environment.  When mold grows outdoors, it’s typically found in soil, on plants, debris or any organic material where moisture is present.Black MoldWhen the toxic black mold grows indoors, it needs materials high in cellulose and low nitrogen to grow on as well as a lot of moisture, which include most common building materials. Because the mold needs moisture, it tends to grow where there has been a water leak, inside walls, above ceilings, under floors or in any area with high relative humidity or lots of moisture.

Inspection & Testing

If you believe you have mold in your home, an inspection should be performed as soon as possible. During inspections, it’s important to not only find the growing mold colony but the water source that caused it.  A complete inspection should identify all areas of mold growth and eliminate water or moisture sources so prevent future growth.  A mold remediation plan should follow the inspection and identification of mold growth and its source.

Removal

You should not attempt to remove mold on your own, especially toxic black mold. A professional experienced in removing black toxic mold will be able to remove it properly and with minimal disturbance possible while containing the spores and mycotoxins and avoiding cross contamination.

Professionals follow published specific standards and procedures and earn certifications for the safe and complete return of your living or working space to proper environmental conditions.

Call the certified professionals at Envirotech Clean Air, Inc. at (781) 279-2900 if you have questions about mold remediation services.