How Dangerous is Mold in Your Home?

Everyone wants the safest, healthiest home environment for their families. You would do anything to protect your loved ones from exposure to any substance that could cause them harm.

One of those feared substances is “mold” and with what you have seen in the news in recent years, exposure to harmful or “toxic” mold has affected the health of countless people — folks just like you.

This brings up the all-important question: Just exactly how dangerous is mold in homes?

That’s a tricky question, because there are many types of mold and mold is virtually everywhere. There is probably a little bit in your basement right now. Your shoes when you came home yesterday no doubt brought in a few mold spores. Mold spores can be in breathable space and travel in the air.

When you step outside, you are surrounded by mold. There’s nothing you can do about that. The main concern is usually what’s in the home, not outside, although if you are sensitive to mold you should avoid all damp areas that could promote mold growth, inside and out.

Some people are affected by even the smallest amounts of mold. They may have nasal issues, watery eyes, coughing and other physical reactions. A smaller segment of the population are very sensitive to exposure to mold, having severe reactions that can be life threatening. Others aren’t affected at all, and can be around and/or exposure to all types of molds with no apparent sensitivities.

The CDC has plenty of information for those concerned with mold in homes. One of the issues they raise is keeping moisture out of homes. “Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding,” according to the CDC government website.

The issue is twofold if mold is growing in your home. You must clean it up or have it cleaned up, and you must fix the moisture problem. You can do your research on how to fix the problem, but the best solution is, no doubt, getting expert advice from your professional water damage restoration contractor or mold removal or remediation company. Keep your family safe. Call the experts.

Hiding in the Shadows

DID YOU KNOW that mold can develop in your home and all it takes are three common things? 

1.    Moisture: Mold needs moisture to grow, which is why you see it all the time in showers and baths… and, unfortunately, in basements. You can clean up the mold in a shower or bath, but when you see it in other parts of the home, it’s best to call a pro.

2.    Food: Mold is alive, and needs to eat. So usually you won’t see mold growing on plastic surfaces in your home. It will grow on wood and other organic surfaces. However, dirt in the carpet or on the floor can be a food source, so keeping your house super clean is smart.

3.    Darkness: Mold likes the shadows of your home, and grows quickly in the dark. That’s why basements are often the first place mold is discovered.

Do-it yourself mold removal?

If you are going to clean up some mold in your house, it’s important to protect yourself. A mold removal specialist knows the dangers of mold, and if you hire a pro, you will see him all suited up and protected against possible contamination.

(more…)

The Effects of Mold on your Health and Property

Mold and your Health

Mold is ever-present in our world. It contains tiny spores that commonly grow within household dust. When these mold spores become greater in quantity, they pose a health hazard to humans. As a result, humans face serious health hazards such as respiratory issues and allergic reactions.

They may also manifest something called mycotoxins.  High exposure to these types of spores can cause serious health concerns such as neurological problems.

Since the spores are toxic to humans, a variety of harmful health problems can develop over time. Some people are more sensitive to the spores than others. Consequently, there is a higher risk for people with any sort of chronic lung illnesses, which will result in more caustic reactions when they are exposed to mold.

Some other troubling health concerns include:

  • Nasal and sinus congestion, with a constantly runny nose.
  • Eye irritation, including itchy, watery eyes.
  • Wheezing, difficulty breathing and chest tightness.
  • A lasting cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Skin irritation, often a rash.
  • Headaches.
  • Sneezing.

In most properties, the air conditioner will act as a dehumidifier, removing the moisture from the air. Basements, closed in porches, and crawlspaces need to have moisture removed from it different since air conditioning does not reach these areas in most cases.

Mold Prevention

Any water damage that occurs in a building needs to be treated quickly. The spores can grow quickly in right conditions.  Mold will begin to grow within 24-72 hours once moisture and contaminants are present. As soon as water is found, remove the source of the water. If the roof is leaking, place a tarp over the roof. If a pipe is leaking, change the pipe. After the source is stopped, drying the property can take place. Most of all, it is highly important to have a certified and trained water damage technician be the one to dry it. When moisture spreads, it goes to places that are unseen. A trained technician will know the right method to dry all of the affected areas.

Mold Cleanup: One Subject Families and Individuals Must Take Seriously

Mold Cleanup: One Subject Families and Individuals Must Take Seriously

According to the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s research, the presence of fungi in indoor environments may cause the buildings’ human inhabitants to experience infections, allergic reactions and premature death. Although we have to say that accidental death due to mold exposure is extremely rare these days. It’s generally confined to populations with existing, life threatening health problems or weakened immune systems. Further proof of fungi toxicity may be found in scholarly articles published in periodicals like the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Journal of Occupations Environmental Medicine. With that said, it’s imperative that Americans take the subject of mold cleanup seriously.

All mold remediation efforts should include plans that help to keep the affected building’s occupants and fungi removal experts’ safe from start to finish. They should also cover issues related to mold containment, prevention, safe removal and post-cleanup. That’s why people who hire mold remediation specialists often notice them wearing personal protective equipment and using one of several, effective, efficient cleanup methods. By the way, the list of professional cleaning methods utilized to remove mold includes, but isn’t confined to wet vacuums, HEPA vacuums, sanitizing wipes and double bags safe enough to hold pathogens.

The one used will be largely determined by the type of indoor mold present and the amount in a given space as well as the lifestyle of the property’s occupants. For example, small mold problems tend to cover less than 11 square feet of indoor space. Moderate problems are normally confined to 100 square feet and anything above that is typically considered to be the basis for a major mold problem. As for the mold type, the ones most likely to hurt children and people with destabilized immune systems are cladosporium, stachbotrys, alternaria and aspergillus.

To discover more about them and obtain information on mold cleanup today, please contact us. At Disaster Response Team, combating unwanted mold is our specialty.

Mold Inspection Specialist Clears the Air on All Things Cladosporium

 

 

Mold Inspection Specialist Clears the Air on All Things Cladosporium

Interstitial lung diseases, phaeohyphomycosis, chromoblastomycosis, allergies, hair loss and scalp infections are all known to be caused by exposure to cladosporium. It is a genus of fungi that our mold inspection specialists have encountered during examinations of water damaged homes. So we are encouraging all people in our service area that suspect that their buildings may be harboring colonies of cladosporium to read today’s blog and reach out to us right away.

Upon visual inspection, patches of cladosporium will appear either black, dark brown or olive-green in color. In sufficient number, they are known to give off odorous, volatile organic compounds. Consequently, that’s why the colonies are typically associated with interstitial lung diseases and airborne allergies. It can also transfer from one area to another by physical contact with an affected surface. As such, it could find an opening and make contact with dermis and subcutaneous layers of tissue or irritate the epidermis. In those instances, contact dermatitis, hair loss, scalp infectionschromoblastomycosis and phaeohyphomycosis may occur.

The list of place where cladosporium may show up in a building may be fairly long depending on whether or not the interior environment has a relative humidity level greater than 50% and lots of cellulose surfaces. The list of surfaces and locations includes, but isn’t confined to the following:

  • Variety of Window Sill Materials (e.g. Oakwood and Bamboo)
  • Drapery and Other Window Treatments
  • Bathroom and Kitchen Tile Grout
  • Upholstered Furniture
  • Carpeting and Area Rugs
  • Sheetrock and Plywood
  • OSB furniture and Shelving
  • Subfloors and Tile Floors

To learn more about cladosporium and other genus of fungi best handled by a mold removal specialist, please contact us at Regency Disaster Response Team. We are certified, licensed and recognized by some of the best mold inspection/removal industry entities, including the IICRC.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mold And Mold Cleanup in Florida

 

Mold, every home owner’s worst nightmare. Not only does it look unsightly, but a mold infestation can be detrimental to your family’s health. In this FAQ we will answer common questions about how it grows, who it affects, and how to get rid of it.

So.. What Is Mold Exactly?

Typically seen mold is a form of multi-celled fungus which is constantly present in the atmosphere in the form of fungus spores. These spores can make themselves at home with you, so long as they have a cozy environment such as a moist, generally undisturbed area. Additionally, they require a food source such as paper, wood, fabric fibers, dead skin cells, and more.

That Sounds Kinda Gross! What Impact Does It Have On Your Health?

Touching or inhaling the mold can affect anyone in the household. However, some people are more sensitive to the mold spores than others. Infants and the elderly, people with allergies, suppressed immune systems, and those suffering from asthma feel more effect from the mold spores. Typically they will experience inflammation of the sinuses, sneezing, runny nose, cough, congestion, itchy eyes, and skin rashes.

Yikes! Isn’t Mold More Of A Warm Weather Problem?

While it’s true that mold thrives in warm and moist environments, many onsets of mold occur in the home due to winter conditions. During the winter months, homes are less ventilated and water vapor will condense on cold surfaces such as windows and walls.

What Can I Do To Prevent Mold From Growing In My Home?

The best way to help prevent the growth of mold in your home is to minimize humidity inside the home. Spilled liquids should be cleaned up promptly, and damp clothing which cannot be laundered right away should be hung outside to dry. Ensure that your A/C drip pans are empty and the filters cleaned. Open windows to encourage ventilation in rooms such as the bathroom and kitchen. Also, be sure your appliances such as your dryer are properly vented outdoors.

I Think I Already Have Mold In My Home… What Can I Do?

The first thing to do is begin eliminating the sources of moisture in your home. If possible, open windows and doors while running fans to dry out the moldy area. When cleaning, never touch mold with your bare hands, always wear rubber gloves and a face mask.

If the mold damage is too extensive, you should seek out the help of a professional. They can inspect the property and give you an accurate estimation of what the cleanup will cost and how extensive it should be. If you would like to know more, feel free to visit our website.

What You Should Know About Mold

What You Should Know About Mold

Mold is a fast-growing fungus that can spread within 48 hours of water damage. In some cases, like after a flood, the need for restoration is obvious. In other cases, mold can be growing behind your walls without you noticing. Mold spores spread easily and quickly, and mold can grow almost anywhere under the right conditions: on carpet, clothing, cabinets, drywall, in your walls, or even in your ceiling. In addition to being difficult to remove, mold can also produce allergens and, in some rare cases, even toxins. Taking the necessary steps to protect your home against mold, learning to spot the signs of mold, and knowing the negative effects of mold are important to keeping you and your family safe.

PREVENTING MOLD

Dry Wet Areas Immediately

  • Depending on conditions, mold growth can occur within 48 – 72 hours of water damage. During everyday occurrences, such as spills, wet cloths, etc., make sure to dry everything up right away. Quickly fix roof leaks, old dilapidated pipes, cracks in the walls and foundations, and make sure to regularly check HVAC units for clogs
  • If you experience a large loss, such as a flood, burst pipe, flooded basement, etc., call a restoration company immediately.

Monitor Humidity in Your Home

  • The EPA recommends keeping humidity in your home between 30% and 60%. You can measure humidity with a moisture reader purchased from a hardware store.

Keep House Well Ventilated

  • Even simple, daily activities can lead to mold growth – cooking, taking a shower, or doing the laundry can facilitate mold growth if the room is not properly vented. Make sure to vent moisture-producing appliances, such as dryers and stoves, to the outside of the house, not the attic.
  • Mold needs moisture to grow and, as the air temperature drops, air is less able to hold moisture. Keeping your A/C on and/or running a dehumidifier during hot/humid days can help prevent mold growth.
  • Improving airflow in your house can also prevent excess moisture from condensing on your walls, windows, and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, open closet doors, and open windows.

Identify Problem Areas in Your Home

  • The best way to do this is to do an audit of your home. Do you notice frequent condensation on your window? Is there a water stain on your ceiling? Are there often wet spots in your basement? Looking for signs of moisture in your home will help you identify the places most susceptible to mold growth.
  • Once something is wet, fixing it may be as simple as throwing out wet furniture or ripping up wet carpet. Or it may require major mitigation and reconstruction. Either way, it is very important to fix it immediately.

Direct Water Away from Your Home

  • If the ground around your home isn’t sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your basement or crawlspace. It can even compromise the integrity of the foundation over time.

Check Gutters

  • Clogged or broken gutters can lead to roof leaks, which can cause mold growth in your ceiling. Have your roof and gutters inspected and cleaned regularly. Keep an eye out for water stains after heavy rain fall, as they can indicate a leak.

SIDE EFFECTS OF MOLD EXPOSURE

  • Foggy thoughts and temporary memory loss, loss of focus, headaches
  • Weakness of muscles and exhaustion
  • Joint pain, nerve pain, random muscle pains
  • Tingling of numbness in the body
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Coughing or shortness of breath
  • Slight tremors of the body
  • Change in appetite, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pains
  • Irregular body temperatures changing at random intervals
  • Increased urination and higher intake of liquids

 

MYCOTOXINS

What are mycotoxins?

  • Mycotoxins are chemicals released by fungi and they are toxic to both humans and pets. They are not required for mold to grow, since most mold will not produce mycotoxins, but they act as a kind of defense mechanism and allow mold to more easily infect a host.
  • Short term symptoms of mycotoxin exposure include headaches, muscle pain, nerve pain, night sweats, difficulty breathing, fatigue, confusion, vision changes, and disorientation. Long term effects of mycotoxin exposure include poor kidney function, liver necrosis, lung hemorrhage, gastrointestinal ulcers, and seizures.
  • Mycotoxins can harm any organism that competes with the mold for space and nutrition, which can include other mold. If you have various molds competing, mycotoxin production may increase. Although most molds won’t produce mycotoxins, the best way to avoid them is to prevent and get rid of any mold growth.

SIGNS OF MOLD

Watery or Stinging Eyes

  • Many people have allergies to mold. If you are consistently experiencing itchy/watery eyes, coughing, and/or nasal congestion, there may be mold in your house.

Tingling Skin

  • If you’re allergic to mycotoxins, you can experience tingling, itching, or burning sensations when you come into contact with mold.

Paint Bubbling

  • Bubbling paint is a sign of moisture build up. It is important to fix the underlying problem before repainting.

Odd Smelling Chimney

  • Moisture can build up in the porous bricks and mortar in a chimney and mold growth can produce a musty smell. Rusty chimney caps or damaged flashing can let rain and snow seep in.

Bathroom Exhaust Fan isn’t Working

  • Exhaust fans can get clogged and, if it’s still steamy five to ten minutes after you get out of the shower, your fan isn’t circulating enough air. The bathroom is one of the rooms most susceptible to mold, so it is imperative to fix a faulty bathroom fan immediately.

Even if the water damage to your home may not seem significant, it is important to use a qualified restoration company to bring your home back to pre-loss condition. Trying to fix a major mold problem in your home on your own is not only generally ineffective, it can also be dangerous. Any cleaning a homeowner does is usually only at the surface level, leaving potentially harmful mold, bacteria, and toxins beneath your floors or in your walls. This can lead to bigger and more costly damages down the line.

 

 

mold removal martin, mold cleanup martin

Understanding The Side Effects Of House Mold

mold removal martin, mold cleanup martinMost people think little of finding mold inside their home.  After all, a little mold on a piece of bread won’t kill the consumer, so why discard it? The same can be said with mold inside your home. If it is just a little mold, how bad can it really be? 

What people fail to understand is that there are dangerous side effects of household mold. Not only will mold damage the structure of your home, but it can affect the health of the occupants. 

Just like trees, and other species, mold comes in all forms.  In fact, studies show there are at least 1,000 different types of mold that can grow within the typical American home.  What they are called depends upon the effects granted onto humans and pets alike.

Thankfully, regardless of the different type of mold discovered, the side-effects of mold sickness are relatively the same on all counts. 

  1. Foggy thoughts and temporary memory loss, loss of focus, & headaches
  2. A weakness of the muscles, and exhaustion
  3. Joint Pain, constant nerve pain, and random muscle pains
  4. Tingling and numbness within the body
  5. Sensitivity to lights with one’s eyes
  6. Coughing or shortness of breath
  7. Slight tremors of the body
  8. Change in appetite, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pains
  9. Metallic Tastes in one’s mouth
  10. Irregular body temperatures changing at random intervals
  11. Increased urination and a higher intake of liquids in order to stay hydrated

Having just one of these symptoms can indicate a mold issue in your home, but having several can indicate more serious health issues. These are likely to increase for people who have health issues, the elderly, and infants.  If you or anyone within your household start experiencing one or all of these symptoms, get in contact with a doctor immediately.  The sooner you get checked out, the sooner that the illness can be treated and its side-effects negated so that proper health can be restored to yourself or your family if you do not live alone. You also want to make sure you contact a certified professional mold remediation company that can inspect your home and remove any signs of mold and mold spores.

Mold is common within many homes, and it does not strike quickly.  As a matter of fact, the growth of mold can go unnoticed for months, perhaps even years.  And if it does remain unnoticed, then the spores can detach themselves from wherever mold has grown, and find their way into the airways or bloodstreams of any humans or animals within the contaminated areas.  

But, you don’t have to deal with this issue alone! If in fact, if you suspect mold within your home, the professionals at Regency DRT are here to grant you aid and relief!  Available 24/7 in the Martin Florida area, their certified crew members will make sure that any mold within your home is not only located but also entirely eradicated. 1.888.221.5791.

mold removal martin, mold cleanup martin

Be In The “Know” About Molds

mold removal martin, mold cleanup martinMold is a disturbing health risk. If you come into contact with mold in your Martin home, call a professional’s 24/7 hotline number, such as Regency DKI. They will need to come in and perform a mold removal process. In the meantime, make sure you and none of your family members or friends come into contact with the affected area. Even being in the same room as mold can be a bad idea. If the mold is extensive, it would be a good idea to find another place to live temporarily. However, you choose, make sure you stay protected from the side effects of mold exposure which include throat irritation, coughing, difficulty breathing, numbness or tingling, fatigue, and more. Don’t compromise your health by letting mold dwell in your home. Make sure to visit the doctor’s office if you have any concerns regarding your health.

Once you call in professional help, they will be able to safely inspect the mold and its point source. They will then go through the remediation process to thoroughly remove the mold. You can be confident in companies like Regency DRT who certify their employees through the “Certified Mold Professional Program” (CMP Program). This program adds professionalism to the company and helps you as a customer know they are dedicated to premier disaster cleanup. You will be able to trust a team like Regency DRT who are well trained and well practiced in premier mold removal.

Water damage is a gateway to mold. Within 48 hours of water damage, mold can appear. Mold is especially horrible because it spreads fast. It spreads through its perfect environments which include moisture, warmth, oxygen, and organic matter. Taking care of water damage right away is good prevention against mold. Mold can sometimes be undetectable to the average eye. If you are trying to spot mold while considering professional help, you can look for any musty odors. You may experience one of the airborne illness symptoms mentioned above. Bathrooms, pipes, and basements are common places to get mold. Pay extra careful attention to these hot spots!

More than the smell and health concern, mold may cause discoloration as well. There may be a black stain, bubbling in the paint, or strange texture on the wall. These are all clues for you to detect mold. As soon as you see a red flag warning you there is a good chance you have mold in your home, promptly call professionals to remove the mold. Prevent the mold from spreading by exterminating the problem as quickly as possible. You can be sure that professionals will have the right cleaning and removal equipment to leave your home safe and sound once again. You can’t rely on a do-it-yourself technique because cutting corners may cost you extra damage to your home and your health.

Protect your home and loved ones. The outside world is not always safe, but inside your home can be. An enclosed space is where mold becomes a dangerous problem. Always be attentive to any leaks or flooding that occurs within your home, because the water damage will only be half the problem. Call in the experts to take the burden off your shoulder. They will be there for you every step of the way, and you can rest well assured your home is in good hands!

mold damage martin, mold removal martin

Mold Growth 101: How To Keep Your Home Safe

mold damage martin, mold removal martinMold is a disgusting, fast-growing villain that can spread within just 48 hours of water damage. In walls, under sheetrock, in cupboards, on ceilings, and all sorts of other places, mold can be found just about anywhere if it is in the right conditions. However, you might not know what these conditions are, how to recognize mold, or what to do about it if you find it. Below, we have compiled a simple mold crash course to keep you informed and at the ready in case of mold damage in your home.

THE PERFECT ENVIRONMENT

Have you ever noticed something white or blue and fuzzy growing on a loaf of bread? This is because the inside of a bread bag is the perfect breeding ground for mold. Mold needs organic matter, moisture, warmth, and oxygen to grow and spread. This is why mold thrives off of water damage affecting your home. 

HOW TO SPOT MOLD

Mold can appear white, blue, black, or even not visible at all! It can appear as fuzzy blobs growing on the surface of your home like the mold found on bread, or it can look like a black, patchy discoloration in your walls. If the mold is growing due to water damage, there is also a high chance that you will find discolored and strange-textured walls, cracking or bubbling paint, warping, etc. However, mold can also be airborne and thus undetectable save the cold-like symptoms it can cause upon inhalation.

Because it can often be virtually invisible to the naked eye, it is important to be able to predict the highest-risk areas in your home. Does your basement seem to have a new sort of funk? Does it have a strong, musty odor? If so, you probably have mold growing there. A basement is a common place for mold growth because it is often the most water-damaged part of the home, and the conditions are often just right. Mold can also grow in bathrooms, behind walls under leaky pipes, or anywhere you might find water damage. 

THE SCARY TRUTH

Mold may seem like not much more than a cosmetic problem, however, if left undetected and unmanaged, mold growth can pose a serious health threat to everyone that enters your home. Especially for those with allergies, respiratory issues, or compromised immune systems, mold spores can cause serious respiratory malfunctions and can even land more sensitive cases in the hospital. It is best to handle mold growth before it grows too late.

WHAT NOW


If you find mold in your home, or think you might have mold growing but can’t find it, you can call your local restoration service. If you live in the Martin area, you can call Regency DRT any time of day or night for fast, emergency response. When they get there, they will conduct a complete evaluation of the home and remove any mold found, and can even take care of problem areas to prevent further mold growth in the future. Companies like Regency DRT are experienced experts in mold removal and will ensure that your home is safe and mold-free without hassle.