Dangers of Mold in the Home

mold removal

 

Many Gulf Coastal households know about mold remediation, for many years, floods have been a part of life for the residents in the coastal region of Louisiana. What’s more, recent climatic events across the country have also inundated other inland states like Oklahoma, Kansas and Tennessee. Today, water – too much, or too little – has become an issue in larger part of the country.

Wherever there’s air, mold is present. Invisible legions of its spores-reproductive seeds germinate only when they encounter moisture. Mold and moisture have a symbiotic relationship: the former is absolutely dependent on the latter to grow. Humidity is water vapor carried in the air. Thus, wherever the air is humid, surfaces tend to be moist and, especially when floods have saturated the warm, dark inner walls of homes, homeowners are far more likely to need mold remediation.

This mutual relationship is the reason that removal isn’t enough to abate an infestation. Unless the moisture is removed, these pesky fungi will most likely grow back, since it is categorically impossible to keep billions of spores at bay outdoors. Mold remediation, on the other hand, can successfully abate and/or nearly eliminate growth inside homes and other buildings. Successful remediation strategies all work on the same scientific principle: to control indoor black mold, one must not only remove it from surfaces visible and hidden but also control the indoor humidity vital to its propagation.

The optimal level of moisture in the indoor home air is between 30% and 50%; humidity levels higher than 50% are far more favorable to growth. A less expensive moisture meter or hand-held humidity meter reads and rates the percentage of water vapor suspended in the air. Another common sign that indicates high household humidity is persistent “sweat” on indoor walls, windows, or pipes. Indoor condensation can result from bath or utility use (e.g., showers, dishwashers, dryers), which discharges humidity. Therefore, these rooms should always be ventilated to the outdoors. Immediately drying up household condensation, indoor spills, and other surface moisture is a habit well worth forming. Typically, indoor areas thoroughly dried within 24-48 hours of getting wet will not foster mold.

black mold, water damage

Mold removal in New Orleans is properly and safely cleaned away from infestation by following several steps in its remediation. Stopping the moisture at the source and reducing indoor humidity are equally important steps in abating and controlling it. Repairing roof leaks, for example, helps keep water out of attics and the insides of walls which when wet form the perfect hidden incubators. Making sure that plumbing, air conditioning, and heating fixtures are properly sealed is also vital. A dehumidifier may be key to maintaining drier indoor air in very humid climates. Walls that have been saturated for several hours (as when a basement floods, for example), may need gutting in order to eradicate a host of potential hidden hazards to health and/or property from these unsightly, unsanitary and often malodorous fungi.

Wherever there is air, there is mold, but only where there is moisture can it thrive. Breaking the bond between the spores and water, and keeping indoor surfaces clean and dry significantly impedes its (re)growth indoors.

Written by: Mark O’Brien

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