If you’re sneezing and feeling allergy symptoms more often in your home or workplace regardless of the season, mold in the building could be the culprit. During the early stages of mold development, it can sometimes be completely hidden and difficult, if not impossible to detect, so you may have mold in your property without even realizing it. So, what is the best way to tell if mold has affected your property, and what should you do to get rid of it?
What Causes Mold?
Whether you’re looking at black and slimy patches on a shower curtain or fuzzy white spots on the walls and ceilings, mold is at the very least disgusting and unsightly to look at. Mold can also quickly become a huge risk to your family or team’s health and can be very dangerous to anybody in the property who suffers from a respiratory condition. Mold is caused by a combination of the following six factors:
Mold spores themselves are the first cause of mold in your property. These are tiny microorganisms that are present everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Mold spores are difficult to prevent since they are completely invisible to humans and can enter your building easily from outdoors on contaminated materials or via the air.
Mold spores require moisture to grow and thrive, which is why mold often first appears in wetter areas of the home like the bathroom and around the kitchen sink. While mold does not need a specific level of humidity to thrive, any damp or humid area in the property will often be more than enough. The longer that there are damp conditions in your building, the bigger the risk of mold, which is why it’s important to deal with and treat any damp arising in the property as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Mold spores are a living organism and as a result require a source of nutrition for them to thrive. Outdoors, this is usually in the form of organic vegetation such as grass, leaves and soil. Inside your home or workplace, mold spores often turn to dust, dirt, or organic matter from walls and wood in your rooms for food.
Mold requires oxygen to survive and go through the processes of cell division and mass production. Air circulation also allows for the mold spores to be carried between spaces. A huge amount of air is not needed for mold to thrive and grow – a small amount of air trapped under insulation, for example, can be more than enough. Making sure that there is proper ventilation in each room to dry out any damp areas like the bathroom and kitchen is important for preventing mold.
The temperature has to be just right for mold to survive in your property. It will not thrive if the temperature is too cold or too hot. Freezing can cause the mold spores to lie dormant, while heat will damage the cellular structure of the mold. A temperature range of around 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit is typically the suitable temperature for mold to thrive.
Mold will tend to thrive better in dark areas, since direct exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause fatal damage to the cellular structure of the mold. As a result, mold growth is usually most commonly found in dark areas of the home. Indoor lighting does not have the same fatal effect on mold, therefore even a well-lit room in your building can be at risk of mold if it does not get much sun exposure.
How to Find Mold in Your Building
Mold in a property is often first characterized by a musty smell, and you may be able to see it on the walls and ceiling or around bathroom furniture. If some rooms in your building possess a stronger scent than others, this is a key telltale sign that there might be mold growing in them. A mold smell that gets stronger when you switch your heating or air conditioning system on could indicate that there is mold growing in your HVAC system.
Health problems at home or work can be another telltale sign of mold growth. If you are experiencing symptoms such as sneezing, headaches, sore eyes, asthma, irritated skin, sore throat, coughing and joint pain for seemingly no reason, it could be due to mold growth in your property. One sure sign to look out for is whether or not the symptoms disappear after leaving the building.
Sometimes you may be able to see the mold growth in your property, but many people often overlook it. Mold is commonly formed in bathrooms either on the walls or on the grout between the tiles. It can often be easy to fail to realize that it is mold growing between the tiles, or ignore it as it’s only a small amount. However, even if you ignore small amounts of mold since there is only a small amount, this means that there is enough moisture in your building for mold to grow.
If you suspect that there may be mold in your building but are having a hard time locating it, a mold inspection by Sussex Environmental Consultants can help. Their industrial hygiene professionals will work closely with you to identify any mold or moisture damage in your building. They will also test the quality of the air and provide you with advice for getting rid of the mold and preventing it in the future.
How is Mold Removed?
The best way to remove mold from your building is with the help of a professional mold removal service. They will be able to remove the mold from any area of your home or workplace with a specially designed mold wash concentrate that will clean the area. A fungicidal treatment will be used to remove mold from a variety of different surfaces including wood, tiles, and painted walls and ceilings. This treatment is often much more effective than bleach, since bleach will only clean the mold from the surfaces without actually killing it and stopping future growth. In the case of plasterboard walls that have been infested with mold, it might sometimes be necessary to remove the plasterboard depending on the severity of the situation.
How to Get Rid of the Mold Smell
Once you have dealt with the mold in your home or workplace, it is possible for the smell to linger for quite some time. This will usually go away on its own as long as the mold has been treated with the right fungicidal treatment; however, it’s not always pleasant in the home or workplace and most people will want to get rid of the musty smell as quickly as possible. If you have noticed that the smell has stayed for longer than expected, this could be due to mold present in hidden areas of the room that went undetected, and another inspection might be required. Keeping the rooms well-ventilated and dry is the best way to remove the odor of mold and reduce the risk of mold regrowth.
Mold growth in your home or workplace can look unsightly and be a risk to your health. Knowing what to look out for and how to get rid of the mold and prevent it from regrowing is important.