Sensitive to Mold and Other Allergens?

DID YOU KNOW that even the healthiest of individuals can still feel negative effects in the presence of some common things around the house?

It’s not something that necessarily has to start growing in the basement of your house after a flood. It’s something that can “just happen” and it’s not good news. But it can be easily fixed.

First of all, what are we talking about?

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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.

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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.

The True Value of a Restoration Company

When a fire, flood, water leak, mold growth or other issue that makes your home either inhabitable or just an inconvenience to deal with, you must decide “Will I clean this up myself, or hire a pro?”

While some small, minor “disasters” can be tackled by a do-it-yourselfer, most restoration projects are best left to the pros.

Here’s why.

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Keep Mold at Bay: Take Away its Food

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes how water damage situations (such as from a flood, leaky or broken pipe, sewage backup, etc) can be potentially hazardous… not just initially, but over time as well.

Why? Because of the potential of mold and how it affects human health. Exposure to damp and moldy environments and materials can be especially harmful to those sensitive to irritants common to mold contamination. Some find that even being outside near plant life in the process of decomposition is a problem. Mold and mildew can run rampant under certain conditions, causing allergic reactions.

So when a water damage does happen in your home, don’t take chances. Mold needs moisture. It needs to be fed. It will grow on organic materials that are wet. If you take away its “food” you inhibit the ability of mold to grow.

Important reminders

Remember that mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, anywhere there is a leak. This can be around windows, behind walls where water has intruded, from leaky roofs, and especially from leaky pipes – especially those that are leaking and you didn’t knptp_info_moldow about it!

Many homeowners are tempted to clean up water that comes into their home, such as when a sump pump might fail or when a toilet might overflow. Good intentions for sure. But if you don’t get it really dry, really fast, there can be problems.

Here’s a scary thought: Some professional water damage experts won’t even do a water removal job if they can’t get to it within 24 hours. They know mold could have started to grow and that means more work than simply extracting water and drying the home could be required.

You don’t want all that headache. When any water intrudes into your home, remember it’s more than water. It’s breeding ground for mold. Do what’s best. Call your water damage pro!

So Your Carpet Is Smelly…

smelly-carpet2 There are many reasons why a carpet can become smelly, from pet odors to heavy soiling and other causes. However, what some don’t realize is a little water intrusion can cause a big problem with the condition of their carpet, even after it seems the carpet has dried.

Water intrusions can be from many sources. If it is from a toilet (raw sewage), it’s almost always best to discard the carpet and pad and get something new. While doing that, be sure the sub-floor is also cleaned and disinfected appropriately, and sealed if necessary. If it is from an overflowing sink or a leaky pipe, the damage can usually be limited so purchasing new flooring isn’t always necessary.

But one of the biggest problems is waiting too long no matter the cause of the water damage in your home.

wet-carpetWhen you discover a wet carpet or rug, it’s time to get to work. Remove the water with extraction, and get some air movement and ventilation started on removing moisture.

However, here’s the problem. If the carpet isn’t dried really fast, like how professional water damage experts can dry carpet using their specialized tools and equipment, a persistent musty smell can develop. There’s not much a homeowner can do to fix that issue. In the winter months, when humidity is low, you may not notice the odor that much. But when summer arrives, with the higher humidity, those odors will come back with a vengeance.

Even worse, mold can begin to grow. No one wants potentially dangerous mold in their homes!

What’s the best solution? Call your water damage pros right away, before real damage sets it. They’ll be right over to save the day.