Spring is here and it’s time to do some spring cleaning. As you’re decluttering and organizing your home, you may discover there is some mold growth in areas. If that makes you shudder, it probably should, since its presence can be the cause of several health issues for those living in the building where it is found.
Mold is a natural part of the environment. It plays an important role in the decay of organic matter and is a vital component of the decomposition process. But we’re talking outdoors, not indoors.
When mold grows on surfaces inside your home, it can be toxic and cause adverse health-related problems. These health issues can range in severity, depending on the person’s immune system.
Some effects of mold include skin and eye irritation, respiratory issues, and nasal stuffiness. If individuals already have breathing issues resulting from asthma or chronic lung disease, or if they have specific allergies to mold, they can suffer more serious symptoms.
Mold in Your Home
How can you tell if you have mold in your home? Sometimes mold can be present even if it’s not visible. If you notice any of the following signs that mold is growing in your home, you should consider hiring a professional for mold remediation.
1. Musty Odors
If you notice a musty or mildew-like smell emanating from anywhere in your home, especially in areas where there is typically moisture, there may be mold hiding behind or within that area. Even though you can’t see mold, if there is a consistent musty odor, you need to check further. If you notice the smell worsening when the air conditioning or furnace is running, there could be a mold problem within your HVAC system.
2. Water Leaks
Leaking water pipes, toilets, and ceilings can all be the cause of mold growth because of the excess moisture. Sometimes you don’t even know you have a water leak if it’s behind drywall or beneath another surface. Even after the leaks are fixed, the mold may already have infested the areas around them.
3. Other Water Issues
Have you had recent flooding or other events causing excess water to accumulate on surfaces? Standing water can be a breeding ground for mold. If you notice water stains on surfaces, they are also susceptible to mold since moisture encourages mold growth.
Overflowing toilets, sewer backups, or other water issues can put your home at risk for mold growth. If the water has seeped into carpets, drywall, or cracks, mold may be growing in and on those surfaces. If you notice discoloration or stains on ceilings, floors, walls, or the like, there is also a probability that mold is growing behind them.
4. Humidity and Condensation
Moisture breeds mold, and they typically go hand in hand. Humidity produces moisture, making it a mold-friendly environment. Excess moisture in your home can form condensation on windows, water pipes, and other objects.
If the humidity in your home is above 60 percent, you’re at a high risk of mold infestation. If you notice your pipes are rusty, it’s an indicator that excess moisture exists and thus, mold can form.
5. Ventilation Problems
If you have rooms or areas with poor ventilation, moisture will not dissipate quickly enough, causing an environment conducive to mold growth. Bathrooms with no windows or exhaust fan, basements, and even kitchens where cooking produces steamy areas are some examples of areas where moisture accumulates.
6. Health Symptoms
Numerous health issues can arise if mold is present in your home. Some symptoms can be allergies that produce runny noses, watery eyes, headaches, sneezing, coughing, and sore throats.
Mold can also cause more serious neurological symptoms like trouble concentrating, shortened attention span, memory loss, and dizziness. If these symptoms occur primarily when you are home, it’s a sure sign that mold is present.
7. Mold Spores or Discoloration
You may believe that visibly seeing mold is a no-brainer, but some people may not notice small amounts of it or think it’s dirt or soot. You may not even recognize mold for what it is.
Mold spores can be in the form of fuzzy or slimy discolorations. Mold isn’t always black; many species are visible in gray, white, brown, red, and even some hues of pastel colors.
If it’s growing behind colored wallpaper, it may appear as a colorful shade of orange, pink or purple. Some molds look like dust or fuzz, while others look like sand granules. If you notice mold spores on surfaces, you certainly need professional remediation.
Call Professional Mold Remediation Specialists
Some people believe that they can clean the mold up themselves. Usually, mold on surfaces is not dangerous; but if it is disturbed and the spores go airborne, that’s when adverse effects can occur.
It’s difficult and dangerous to remove mold in your home by yourself. It’s highly toxic, and if you do not wear the proper protective clothing and use the appropriate tools, equipment, and materials, you may end up spreading it instead of eliminating it.
There is also a common misconception that bleach can safely remove mold. This is NOT true. Bleach does not kill mold spores; it only removes the color, and as you scrub on the mold colony you disperse the spores into the air contaminating the surrounding area you are working in.
Don’t compromise the health and well-being of you and your family. If you see or suspect mold growth in your home, call the professionals at St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration. Our trained technicians will use the correct and effective procedures to remediate the mold in your home.
We use special equipment like moisture meters and fiber optics that allow us to find hot spots where mold is most likely growing and find hidden areas such as behind walls. This way we can find all existing mold while barely disturbing your home.
St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration is certified under the IICRC for Odor Control, Fire and Smoke Restoration, Journeyman Textile Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning, Commercial Carpet Maintenance, Water Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation, Leather Cleaning, Odor Control, Carpet Repair and Re-installation, and Applied Structural Drying.
We have been in the business for over 20 years, serving the St. Louis area. Our experience and knowledge in mold remediation and removal will provide you with the most thorough cleanup possible.
If you suspect mold is growing in your home and making you and your family ill, call St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration today for a free consultation.