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Mold…The “Ewww”, What, and Where!

Of the estimated 10,000 to 300,000 species of mold out in the world, your biggest concern is strictly with those growing or apt to grow inside your home or business. Any warm, damp and humid environment—basements, showers, rooms cut off from utilities, etc.—can foster mold growth. Their reproduction and transmittance via mold spores don’t need much tender loving care: they can survive harsh environments that don’t even support normal mold growth, like arid conditions. And the more tightly constructed buildings being made, the better the chances that mold could occur in your home or work with the proper circumstances.

Do You Have Mold?

You can easily identify mold by its black or green discoloration and fuzziness, AND by the musty, dank smell. But trust your eyes: in damp/humid areas, you should visually inspect damp gypsum board (see below), sheetrock, wallpaper glue, wood and other substances for mold growth. And then step back. Studies have linked mold exposure to upper respiratory tract symptoms in otherwise healthy persons. It’s particularly hard on asthmatics and those susceptible to pneumonitis and other respiratory afflictions.

So, You Don’t Want Mold In Your Home or Office…How Do You Keep It Out? 

The key to mold control is essentially moisture control. Follow these preventive tips and you can help keep mold at bay in your home or facility…

  • Find and fix sources of moisture and leaks right away; remove/repair mold damaged surface and dry wet or damp spots within 24 to 48 hours
  • Prevent condensation by increasing surface temperature and/or reducing humidity; add insulation to prevent condensation on cold surfaces
  • Install insulation and storm windows
  • Keep HVAC equipment on scheduled maintenance, keeping drip pans clean and functioning
  • Check HVAC filters regularly and replace on a schedule
  • Vent moisture-generating appliances outside
  • Maintain low indoor humidity, between 30 to 50 percent; proper HVAC and dehumidifier usage can help to a certain degree
  • Keep air moving, especially in cases where HVAC and dehumidification is either unavailable or inadequate
  • Don’t let foundations remain wet, providing drainage away from foundations
  • Cover furniture made with polyurethane and rubber foams in plastic
  • Regularly inspect carpeting over concrete floors and use a vapor barrier with subflooring to prevent moisture
  • Ensure groundwater drains away from a building, clear vegetation near the foundation and in gutters
  • In new construction or renovation, try to avoid installing paper faced gypsum board as paper is pre-digested so it is easy for mold to get nutrients from the paper if not kept dry (cement board, mortar or non-paper faced gypsum are better options)

What To Do When You Have Mold

If the mold is on furnishings or objects, specifically soft, porous items like pillows or fabric, you’ll have to toss them out (seal the moldy material in heavy plastic before doing so to protect yourself and waste handlers). If the mold is on hard surfaces smaller than 10 square feet, wash and/or scrub it with soapy water.

If your problem is larger, then you need help to make sure your home or company gets rid of  the Mold quickly.

We deal with mold issues every day.  Contact Us (859-689-9222) to get more information about how we can help your home or business.

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