What is Mold?
Mold (or mould) is a term used to refer to fungi that grow in the form of multicellular thread-like structures called hyphae. Fungi that exist as single cells are called yeasts. Some molds and yeasts can cause health effects and food spoilage, others play an important role in biodegradation or in the production of various foods, beverages, antibiotics and enzymes.
Mold is also found in damp building materials where it often appears like stains and comes in a variety of colors. A must smell is an indication of microbial growth even when there is no visible growth.
Mold growth requires moisture. The sources of moisture could be Washing, cooking, air humidifiers, condensation or leaks from plumbing or from the outside. Poor ventilation contributes to higher humidity levels and leads to condensation, which also allows mold growth.
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Mold Assessment & Removal: I have mold in my house, what do I do?
Mold, which is a form on fungus, can lead to health effects if it grows out of control in your home. But how do you know if it’s a problem? The first sign might be a musty smell. But don’t look for just black mold—it can also be pink, green, or orange. If caught in time, you might be able to handle the cleanup with a few common household supplies. Here are 4 tips for dealing with mold in my house.
- Find the water source.
Mold will only live where there is water, plumbing problem in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, or utility closet, or water seeping into your crawl space. The remedy could be as simple as caulking around your shower or tub or redirecting runoff in your yard.
- Close off the area.
Mold spores travel through the air, so to keep them from infiltrating other areas of the house, keep the doors and windows closed and leave through an exterior door if possible.
- Remove impacted materials.
When mold has permeated very porous materials like carpet, padding, sheetrock, or wood, it can cause structural damage. Cutting it out will remove most of the problem and allow you to start with fresh materials.
- Clean it up.
On small, less porous surfaces like painted walls and ceilings and glass, you can try to clean the mold. Put on a dust mask and rubber gloves, then mix dish soap and warm water and use a toothbrush to scrub the affected areas. Stay away from chemicals and bleach. They will only clean the surface, whereas the molecules in detergent are small enough to permeate the pores of your material, making sure to get down into the tiny crevices where mold spores live.
When should you call in the experts like SERVPRO of Lake Elsinore? If mold is covering an area larger than 10 square feet or if your family is suffering from headaches, contact a mold remediation company. Professional mold removal companies like SERVPRO of Lake Elsinore will have the proper equipment to contain the area and provide negative pressure to avoid cross contamination.
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Mold growth is very common in damp building environments. During building assessments for mold growth, sampling is sometimes necessary. For example, air sampling may be performed to determine whether visible mold growth has degraded indoor air quality. Air sampling may also help to determine the presence, location, and/or extent of suspected hidden mold growth. Air sampling is also used to determine the effectiveness of mold remediation. Interpretation of air sample results can be difficult if clear sampling objectives were not set prior to sampling.
Surface sampling involves collecting samples such as bulk material, tape-lift samples, swabs/wipes, contact plates or dust samples. These type of samples (with the exception of contact plates) can be analyzed by direct microscopic examination (DME) to verify the presence of mold growth.
Content sampling can also be conducted during a mold growth investigation. Content sampling helps to determine whether visible mold growth is present on the items or whether there are significant amounts of settled mold materials on their surfaces. Contents can be sampled using tape-lifts, swabs, contact plates or by collecting dust settled on their surfaces.
If you suspect mold in your home or business, call
SERVPRO of Lake Elsinore/Perris