What is mold?
Mold(s) are tiny organisms, fungi specifically, that reproduce and grow at an extreme pace. Most commonly found on food or materials that have been saturated by water, mold can take on many forms. We see is mostly as black, white or brown spores that can resemble decay or rot. Depending on the formation of the spores and on their color, one can sometimes classify the fungi group. However, the specific type of mold can vary as there are thousands of types of mold.
Why is mold a concern?
When it comes to mold growth, there are two primary areas of concern. Mold can cause damage to material items such as wood, paper and fabrics and more importantly it can cause serious health complications in certain forms. Wood for example will rot over time as the mold feeds on it. This can drastically reduce the structural integrity of the wood which can lead to much greater, and more expensive, problems. Your roof for example can develop leaks over time as wood rots. It can even collapse if its structure is broken down enough.
Why does mold grow?
To answer this question, we must look at what mold needs in order to grow. It comes down to four key ingredients. Spores (which are everywhere on this planet), nutrients (such as wood, paper or dust), moisture and time. When you have all four of these elements present in the same location and at the same time, you are vulnerable to mold growth.
How does mold grow?
Mold(s) reproduce by means of spores, or seeds. These spores will often settle on damp surfaces and begin to swell to 2-3 times their original size. A they do so, they begin to form thread like structures called Hyphae. As the Hyphae grow larger, they begin to interweave and form a mass called a Mycelium. This is the point where we notice mold with the naked eye. This cycle continues as the fungus matures and spores are carried away.
Where does mold grow?
Molds are found everywhere in nature, both indoors and outdoors. There truly is no such thing as a mold free environment. As mentioned above, mold is most commonly found though in areas where its essential ingredients can be found. Common areas in the home include bathrooms, kitchens, basements and attics. If you want to learn more about where mold grows, then click the link to your left.
What are the health effects of mold exposure?
Welcome to the number one concern of a mold problem. Your health is paramount and it should never be put in harms way. This is why you need to contact a professional mold remover if you think you have mold. Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about some of the symptoms and effects that mold can have on the human body. First you should know that each and ever person has different sensitivity to mold. While some people may show some ill effects around mold, others may have a higher tolerance to its presence and not notice an effects. Those who display no symptoms though are not out of harms way.
What kind of mold do I have?
To determine what type of mold you have is much easier said than done. There are over 270 mold species that have been identified in Canadian homes and some are much more toxic than others. The color of the mold, which is often black, brown or white, is not an indication of the mold type either. Color can however tell us what the mold is feeding on which can narrow things down.
In order to properly identify the mold type, a swab or lift test or air quality test must be performed by a trained professional. Once a sampling of the mold has been taken, the professional will quickly be able to tell you what type of mold you have and what the associated risks are.
How do I stop mold growth?
Control the moisture and you control the mold! The answer really is that simple. Moisture is a molds best friend. Although it is just one of four things that mold needs to thrive, it is the most important thing.
Can I kill mold by myself?
You certainly can kill mold yourself but the health risks associated with doing so are never worth the gamble. The only people who should remove mold are those with the proper training regarding containment and removal and those who have the proper protective equipment. However, there are some household items that one can use to kill mold.
Can you clean mold?
Think of mold like an iceberg. The part you see above the surface is the smallest part. It is because of this that cleaning mold is ineffective. In fact, it can be even dangerous. If you do not have the proper protective gear, cleaning mold can make the spores airborne which makes them easier to ingest. Not to mention that cleaning mold only remedies it at the surface level.
Can you paint over mold?
Painting over mold is like painting over rust on a car. It will only mask the problem and do so temporarily. Underneath the paint, mold spores continue to grow and in time will show through the new coat of paint. Mold must be properly removed at its root level before new paint can be applied. Since one of the main ingredients of mold growth is moisture, painting over mold may seal in moisture and make the growth conditions even more favorable. Drying the area before hand will not prevent this as the moisture may be present at a deeper level.
Does insurance cover mold removal?
This question can be answered by reviewing your policy or asking your insurance agent. Many insurance companies have historically covered mold inspection and removal that was prompted by water line breaks or flooding.