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Finding And Eliminating Mold

Mold is a common type of fungus that is found in many places but is generally harmless. The issue arises when mold spores find moisture and begin to grow. As the spores grow, they are released into the air, where they can be inhaled. Depending on who inhales them, these spores can potentially cause some serious problems.

Mold Exposure Symptoms
Some people are more sensitive to mold spores than others and for those who are sensitive, problems can range from throat irritation and coughing to lung disease or lung infection. There are over 200,000 different types of mold, but only a few that create problems indoors.

Mold Damage
Mold not only affects your health, but it can also damage your home. Mold decomposes organic matter like wood and sheetrock so if it’s left unattended for long periods of time it can do some serious damage. A common example we see is in homes that have a crawl space. Wooden floor joists can become wet and therefore attract mold. These joists can then begin to rot and replacing floor joists can be quite expensive.

We also commonly see mold issues as a result of a leak. In many cases, the leak isn’t obvious until the mold has done some damage to the property or to people.

Finding Mold In Your Home
The best time to discover a mold problem would be before you actually own the house. A proper home inspection should reveal any existing mold issues. If signs of mold are found, the inspector can usually locate the cause of the mold, whether it’s a leaking pipe, roof, or something else. Fixing the mold problem means eliminating the existing spores and fixing the underlying issue to prevent mold from coming back.

Potential mold sources include things like water stains, paint bubbling, sagging drywall, or musty odors.

Testing For Mold
If you think you have a mold problem, the best way to confirm and eliminate it is to hire a professional mold tester. The companies follow strict testing guidelines that have been established by organizations like the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

DIY or home-testing kits are less reliable and usually a waste of time. Professional documentation will be a requirement for any insurance claims.

Eliminating Mold
Remember to use a different company for the remediation of the confirmed mold. This will prevent any conflict of interest for the mold testing professional. Mold remediation should also be done by a professional. They have the necessary knowledge, equipment, and protection to safely remove the mold. Trying to eliminate it yourself not only exposes you to toxic mold spores, but there is also a much higher chance of the mold coming back. The CDC offers some good information on how to protect yourself during the cleanup or containment of moldy areas in your home. When choosing a company for your mold remediation, remember to get at least 3 bids and look into past reviews of each candidate.

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