Mold can affect your health adversely if you are exposed to it. The tell-tale signs of mold exposure include respiratory problems like a stuffy nose, headaches, itchy skin, and itchy eyes. In 2007, a study showed that out of an estimated twenty-two (22) million people who had asthma, about four (4) million got it from dampness and molds in their rooms.
Molds bring unpleasant risks if not taken care of on time. You can choose to either remove them or take the remediation route. Keep reading to find out the difference between removal and remediation.
How Molds Get into Our Homes
Before we discuss the process of eliminating molds, let us discuss how they find their way into our homes. Molds are also known as fungi, and they exist everywhere. There are about three hundred thousand species in existence. You can read more about the common types you’ll find at home here: https://www.hgtv.com/design/remodel/interior-remodel/common-types-of-mold-in-homes. Some of them exist indoors like aspergillus, penicillium, epicoccum, and Trichoderma. Different types of fungi survive in different habitats. For instance, Chaetomium survives on drywall that was damaged by water while Alternaria survives in the shower. Also, molds can thrive in extremely harsh conditions. They may grow in dark and moist places, but they do not die as soon as the spot becomes dry. They will not reproduce spores; rather, they will stay dormant.
However, these spores can travel into our homes with ease via the air. We can also bring them in our clothes and shoes, but if the house is completely dry, they will not pose any problem. You must also know that spores will quickly become fungi when the weather is humid. You can find molds in places like the attic, basement, window, sink, and shower. They grow in areas that experienced water damage like ceilings, floors, and walls. They can also thrive in air conditioners and washing machines. Furthermore, the symptoms of extended mold exposure could also be a combination of other factors that are not related to fungi. Dark and moist places are more likely to become a breeding ground for bacteria, dust mites, gases, and chemicals. There is currently no clear information on which of the factors cause more health problems. But a combination of them, including molds, leads to physical symptoms.
What is Mold Removal?
Certain companies advertise their ability to remove all molds in a building. But that information is not true because fungi exist everywhere as spores, making it impossible to remove completely. You can mix bleach and water, and then use it to clean a mold patch. This will remove the mold, yet the spores will remain. Therefore, you cannot use a one-step procedure to remedy the situation. If your home is damp, molds will keep growing no matter the number of times you wipe them off. Since you cannot eliminate them completely, the appropriate thing to do is to stop their growth. Hence, your home must be dry and clean to stop molds from growing. Although the spores will be present, they will be dormant. The correct way to handle the problem is remediation. You can visit this website to get tips for mold prevention.
What is Remediation?
It is a process that involves multiple steps to ensure that fungi that have gotten out of your control go back to their natural and acceptable level. It also takes care of the cause of the mold outbreak. This will ensure that the situation does not occur again. The steps involved are:
This is the first thing to do during any mold remediation. The specialist will search your home thoroughly to find visible mold signs. They will also collect samples of the air to identify the fungi species. This is possible since the spores that are present in the air are triggered for reproduction, not to remain dormant. The fungi species will inform the specialist how to go about stopping the outbreak. Also, the air will show the number of spores present. This will help in estimating the contamination level of the room.
In this step, the affected areas are cordoned off to contain the mold and stop it from spreading to the rest of the building. You can contain the mold in various ways. Some containment possesses physical barriers and negatively pressured air and air chambers. Furthermore, you must shut off cooling systems, heaters, and fans in the building. Otherwise, they will transport spores to different places, increasing the chances of mold growing in other spots.
Here, you need to install air filters with high efficiency in your home’s heating and cooling system to remove active spores in the entire building. This will prevent them from staying back and changing into fungi. The specialist may use a HEPA-filtered vacuum to collect spores that may have attached to a surface, depending on the contamination level.
At this point, you will use antimicrobial and anti-fungal substances to clean any existing mold colonies. This step ensures that the molds do not form again in your home. Also, the cleaning procedure depends on the spot where the fungi exist. Hard and non-porous places like the sink or bathtub require wiping and the addition of an approved and safe biocide. Additionally, molds can move into porous places like walls and wood floors. Such areas may develop larger problems. However, as soon as the specialist inspects the infected porous place, those with very deep mold build-up will be taken out and replaced.
After completing the remediation steps, you must sanitize the house. Ensure you clean the curtains, furniture, clothes, and other items. You can use fogging equipment to deodorize the air and your belongings. If your home is under a fungi attack, you can use these tips to start the remediation process. However, it is important to contact an expert who has the tools and equipment to carry out remediation effectively. If you live in Arizona, you can find a Phoenix AZ mold removal company to handle the entire procedure for you.
You now know that mold removal is different from remediation, so you can choose a mold removal company wisely. Remember that the complete removal of fungi does not exist. Instead, remediation is a smart route to deal with such outbreaks.