Frequently asked questions
What are molds?
Molds are microscopic organisms that live on plant or animal matter. They aid in the break down of dead material and recycle nutrients in the environment. Present virtually everywhere, they can be found growing on organic material such as soil, foods, and plant matter. In order to reproduce, molds produce spores, which spread through air, water, or by insects. These spores act like seeds and can form new mold growth if the conditions are right.
Why do molds grow?
Mold will grow and multiply under the right conditions. Mold needs moisture (ex. in the form of high humidity, condensation, or water from a leaking pipe) and organic material (ex. ceiling tile, drywall, paper, or natural fiber carpet padding).
Can molds become a problem in my house?
Mold growth may occur in your home if there is sufficient moisture because mold spores are everywhere. Be on the lookout for these common sources of moisture:
-Plumbing leaks, drainage problems
-Damp basements and crawl spaces
-Steam from the bathroom or kitchen
-Condensation resulting from poor or improper insulation or ventilation
-Wet clothes drying inside the home or a clothes dryer venting indoors
-Poor or improper ventilation of combustion Appliances
Indications of a moisture problem may include discoloration of the ceiling or walls, warping of the floor, or condensation on the walls or windows. The key to preventing mold growth is to control all moisture problems.
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Mold can be a concern in the home and should not be allowed to grow. Extensive mold contamination may cause health problems as well as damage to the home. Exposure to mold can cause health effects in some people. The most common effects are allergic responses from breathing mold spores. We usually cannot say how much mold is too much as our reactions to allergens can vary greatly depending on individual sensitivity. Allergic responses can come from exposure to dead as well as to living mold spores. Therefore, killing mold with bleach and or other disinfectants may not prevent allergic responses.
Less common effects of mold exposure include infections and toxic effects. Serious infections from living molds are relatively rare and occur mainly in people with severely suppressed immune systems. Many types of molds may produce toxins but only under certain growth conditions. Toxic effects have been reported from eating moldy grain, but evidence is weak that breathing mold spores in buildings causes toxic effects.
What are common symptoms of mold exposure?
Allergy and irritation are the most common symptoms of mold exposure. Although symptoms will vary, the most common symptoms seen in people exposed to mold indoors include:
-Nasal and sinus congestion
-Eye irritation, such as itchy, red, watery eyes
-Respiratory problems, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing
-Skin irritation, such as a rash
Who is most at risk for health problems from mold exposure?
Exposure to high amounts of mold is not healthy for anyone, so obvious mold growth in the home should be cleaned up. However, some individuals may be more susceptible to health problems from mold exposure. These include:
-Individuals with current respiratory sensitivities
-Individuals with a compromised immune system
How do I know I have a mold problem?
A mold problem can usually be seen or smelled. Mold growth may often appear as slightly furry, discolored, or slimy patches that increase in size as they grow. Molds also produce a musty odor that may be the first indication of a problem. The best way to find mold is to examine areas for visible signs of mold growth, water staining, or follow your nose to the source of the odor. If you can see or smell mold, you can assume you have a mold problem. Other clues include excess moisture and water damage. It may be necessary to look behind and underneath surfaces, such as carpets, wallpaper, cabinets, and walls.
What types of water cleanup do you specialize in?
-Sump Pump Failure
-Explosions & Vibrations
If water damage is not fixed within the first 24 hours, what can happen?
-Paper items are ruined
-Furniture may stain, discolor and split
-Pressed wood swells and disintegrates
-Uncoated metal may tarnish
-Odors become apparent
If water damage is not fixed within the first week, what can happen?
-Mold may appear along with a musty smell
-Drywall swells and disintegrates
-Uncoated metal may begin to rust
-Door and window casings become distorted
-Wood decking will warp and split
-Family members with respatory or immune problems may be effected
If water damage is not fixed within the first few weeks, what can happen?
-Mold and musty smells will be apparent
-Wood finishing may be destroyed
-Serious health hazards may occur