Mold Removal - How to take care of
mold your home
Mold continues to be in the news, somewhere in the
nation, on a daily basis. Mold spores are, literally,
everywhere and usually cause no concern. However, when
the conditions are right, mold can begin to grow, and
if that occurs inside of a home or other structure,
it is always a concern and can be a real problem.
The molds that cause problems in homes need just three
things to grow:
- Food - Anything that used to be alive (wood, cardboard,
paper, wool, silk, leather, etc.).
- Temperature - These molds thrive in the range of
68°F to 86°F (the same range we typically keep our
- Water - Very little is needed. In fact, the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that indoor humidity
above 60% is sufficient to allow mold to develop.
Since our homes normally contain a lot of potential
mold "food," and are normally kept at a temperature
conducive to mold growth, all that is missing is water.
Water is also the most likely cause of damage to property
across the nation. It includes everything from overflowing
sinks, to leaky or broken pipes/hoses, to drain or sewer
back-ups, to over-ground water from heavy rains or river/coastal
flooding. If the water is in contact with any form of
dirt (remember, flood waters certainly contain lots
of "dirt"), then the growth can occur even
more quickly since dirt always includes organic material
- "mold food."
In all cases, water damage must be remediated quickly
and thoroughly or it will result in mold growth. Complete
drying, back to normal conditions, is very important
since any excess moisture will result in mold growth.
Mold is often seen as obvious "growth" or
even "discoloration" on materials like paper
or wood. Colors can range from white to orange and from
green to brown and black, and it gives off the well-known
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC),"
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient
evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper
respiratory tract symptoms, coughing, and wheezing in
otherwise healthy people. The IOM also found limited
or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure
and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children."
The CDC recommends that all molds found in the indoor
environment be eliminated, adding, "Generally,
it is not necessary to identify the species of mold
growing in a residence, and the CDC does not recommend
routine sampling for molds." Since all molds have
the potential to cause allergic or allergic-like symptoms
in people, especially highly susceptible individuals,
they should be eliminated whenever they are found. Knowing
the name of the mold does not change anything since
the same safety precautions should be used whenever
remediating mold, regardless of the "name."
Mold Prevention Tips
There is no practical way to eliminate all of the mold
spores in an indoor environment. But there are many
ways to help control moisture and mold growth in your
home. The basic rule is: if you can see or smell mold,
take steps to eliminate the excess moisture, and to
clean and remove any mold. It is very important to quickly
identify and correct any moisture sources before health
Stop The Water
- Fix leaks in pipes and any damp area around tubs
and sinks so mold spores don't have a growing environment.
- If you rebuild or remodel, do so with water-resistant
building materials such as tile, stone, deep-sealed
concrete, waterproof wallboard, water-resistant glues,
- Prevent seepage of water from the outdoors into
your house. It's important to have rainwater from
gutters or the roof drain away from the house. The
ground around the house needs to slope away to keep
the basement and crawl space dry.
- Ventilate any crawl space as much as possible to
allow for thorough drying
Keep It Dry
- Reduce the moisture in the air with dehumidifiers,
fans and open windows or air conditioners, especially
in hot weather. Do NOT use fans if mold may already
exist; a fan will spread the mold spores.
- Try to keep the humidity in your home below 40%.
- In moisture-prone areas, consider easy-to-clean,
water-resistant floor coverings, such as vinyl or
- Reduce potential for condensation on cold surfaces
Dealing With Mold
- If you discover mold, the first step is to find
and eliminate the water source, as above.
- Then, if it is a small area (less than about 10
sq ft), and you feel comfortable, clean the mold with
a detergent solution and thoroughly dry all materials.
- If it is larger than 10 sq ft, consider calling
a professional mold remediation company, such as PuroClean,
the Paramedics of Property Damage™. Their well-trained,
professional technicians understand and apply industry
standard approaches to remediate mold completely,
while being as safe for your home and your family
Regardless of the circumstances - dealing with mold,
water damage, fire/smoke damage, or biohazard remediation
- call PuroClean Home Rescue (866-722-7876), the Paramedics
of Property Damage™. For all property damage situations,
these professionals are standing by. They will mitigate
the loss to prevent further damage and will then provide
restoration services to return the property to a pre-loss
condition as quickly as possible. All PuroClean offices
have well-trained professional technicians who provide
the latest state-of-the-science services to all property
damaged from water, fire, smoke, mold, and other disasters.