August 5

How Mold Causes Structural Damage

By changescape

August 5, 2021

Dealing with mold in your household can have many consequences if not handled properly.  Not only is it a health hazard but it can cause substantial damage to your home. It is important to promptly deal with the issues to prevent the problem from getting worse, resulting in more time and money spent on fixing it.

3 Ways Mold Can Cause Damage to Your Home

1. Damages Household Materials and Structures

mold causes structural damage

Once mold finds its way into your home, it will spread and start attacking the structure. It will seek out organic materials such as wood, paper, fabric, and certain types of glue. Mold will eat away at these types of materials, causing them to eventually rot and fall apart. 

Mold is also known to eat away at things like wallpaper, drywall, carpet, wooden studs in walls, ceiling tiles, floorboards, and other structures inside the home. If the problem is not resolved in a timely manner, the mold will continue to grow and spread. Over time, the damage can become severe enough to lead to a collapsed ceiling, weak floorboards, and collapsing walls. It can take a while for the damage to reach that level, but quick action is still key.  

2.  Mold Can Spread to the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Systems

Mold can hide and often times we won't know it’s there until it’s too late. A place many people are unaware mold can build up is in the HVAC systems.  When mold finds its way into your HVAC system it can be very damaging to your house. It is difficult to remove mold from inside ductwork.  Once it is inside the air ducts, it can quickly spread to other areas of the house. If you have air blowing through moldy ducts, it won’t take long for it to permeate the entire house. 

If for any reason you believe you have mold in your air ducts, do not turn on your heating or AC system.  First, have your system inspected and cleaned, if necessary, before turning it on to prevent further damage. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends having a professional cleaning of your heating and air ducts to make sure the job is done efficiently and safely.

3. Exterior Mold Can Be the Starting Point

Many times mold will start on the exterior of your home. If you have mold on the outside, it’s just a matter of time before it finds its way in. This is why it is important to check inside and out for mold growth and damage. 

Some materials are more easily damaged by mold than others. For example, mold can eat away wood rather quickly, but all materials will be damaged by mold to some extent, given enough time. 

There are ways to prevent mold on the exterior of your house.  Start by keeping rain gutters free of debris and in good working order. Be sure the gutters and downspouts direct rainwater away from the house. Use,mold-resistant paint and, when possible, use other materials on the exterior like brick or stone rather than wood. 

Repairing Mold Damage

When dealing with structural damage caused by mold, it’s important to take care in removing moldy materials. Mold can inadvertently spread to other areas of your house when being removed. 

It is important to note that cleaning is often not enough to remove the mold and instead the contaminated materials will have to be removed. For example, carpet, insulation, wallpaper, mattresses, and furniture would need to be discarded. Also, any drywall that has been exposed to mold must be removed and replaced. Again, care must be taken when removing these materials because you could potentially send hundreds of thousands of mold spores flying into the air. Once in the air, the spores can land on other surfaces and begin to grow there.

Sometimes wood surfaces, including wall studs and floorboards, can be cleaned and repaired, if a mold problem is caught and dealt with early. If the issue has progressed, it may be impossible to completely remove all mold from wooden surfaces. In some cases, floorboards may need to be replaced.  Wall studs cannot be removed, but they can be sanded to remove as much mold as possible. Any remaining mold can then be sealed in with a special sealant. 

Call on the Local Restoration Experts

For help repairing mold damage, St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration is your local expert on removing and preventing mold. Dealing with and repairing structural damage caused by mold can be dangerous and a health threat if not done by a qualified professional.  

Not only does mold endanger the inhabitants of your property, but it also remains a more costly problem to resolve in the future. When you call on us, we quickly remove water from the following areas and items on your property:

  • Floors
  • Carpet
  • Drywall
  • Fabrics
  • Trim
  • Wood
  • Furniture

We offer water damage restoration, mold remediation, and inspection services. Our team of professionals uses advanced restoration and cleaning equipment to remove water and unsightly mold.  After locating the source of the problem, we can start the process of getting your home and life back to normal. Call us today at 314-428-3600 for all your restoration and cleaning needs. 

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