Mold…what is it and how do I get rid of it?

Happy Thursday!!!  This week’s blog I will talk about mold in the home.

What is mold?  How does it get into my home?  When do I need to call in a professional to remove mold in my home?

These are all very common questions when I discover mold during a home inspection.  

So what is mold?

Molds are a fungus.  Molds grow best in moist, warm and humid environments - easily created in the home during the winter. When mold spores land on a damp spot they can begin to grow.  Molds are capable of growing on a variety of different surfaces, including fabric, paper and wood. Molds take a variety of forms and textures, appearing as white, black, yellow, blue or green and often looking like a discoloration or stain to a surface. They can also have a velvety, fuzzy or rough appearance, depending on the type of mold and where it is growing.

How does it get into my home?

Mold spores, invisible to the naked eye, can be found everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Spores make their way into the home either through the air or after attaching to objects or people. Open windows, doorways and ventilation systems are all gateways through which spores can enter. Clothing, shoes and pets can all facilitate the arrival of mold within the home.

Mold will only grow if spores land somewhere that has the ideal conditions for growing - places with excessive moisture and a supply of suitable nutrients.  Mold can often be found in areas where leakages and flooding have occurred and near windows where condensation builds up. Wet cellulose materials are most supportive of mold growth, including paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles and wood products. Wallpaper, insulation materials and upholstery are other typical launchpads for mold growth.

When do I call in a professional to remove mold from my home?

According to current mold remediation guidelines you could clean small areas of mold (less than 1 square meter or 3 square feet) yourself. If you do choose to clean small areas of mold yourself, please follow mold remediation safety guidelines.  Extensive areas of mold (bigger than a sheet of plywood) should be cleaned by a professional. These heavy concentrations of mold spores can cause or worsen health problems. It is not a good idea to remove extensive areas of mold yourself as it may require very complicated procedures and precautions.

You should also call a professional if you don’t know the extent of your mold problem, for example when you suspect mold is growing between your home’s walls. Molds don’t have to be toxic to cause health problems. Even a common, usually harmless mold can be a health issue if there is a lot of it. However, always consult a professional if your house mold is a toxic mold, or if you even suspect a toxic mold.

Berenz Home Inspections 360° would like to thank you for your continued support and hope you enjoy the rest of your week.  

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