what is mold?

What Is Mold and How Do You Remove It?

Mold Restoration

Every year, many regions of the United States experience rain and flooding, especially during the early spring and hurricane season. These weather events result in water damage impacting hundreds of thousands of homes. If that water damage is not dealt with quickly and professionally, toxic mold can be an inevitable result.

Unexpected water damage mishaps in a home can also cause mold to occur, such as a faulty washing machine or plumbing. Other common causes of mold in a home include high humidity or small leaks that can lead to excessive moisture problems.

What Is Mold Exactly?

Molds are a massive group of fungi. Mold spores are found everywhere throughout the world. When molds are found indoors, however, they can compromise the structural integrity of the home. They can also pose serious health problems to persons living in that environment. 

Mold comes in many different colors and types. The most common molds include black, white, green, and yellow molds. All of them (but especially black mold) can be detrimental to a person’s health.

Is Mold Toxic?

Yes, mold is toxic and should not be ignored. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services states that molds can produce mycotoxins, allergens, and other harmful substances.
Hence, all indoor mold growth should be removed promptly, no matter what type of mold is present or whether it can produce toxins.
Here are more alarming facts about mold:

  • About 4.6 million asthma cases in the U.S. can be linked to dampness and mold exposure in the home. 
  • 40% of asthma episodes are caused by mold spores, dust mites, or rats. 
  • Infants exposed to mold in their homes are three times more likely to develop asthma. 
  • Mold causes 93% of sinus infections.
  • In general, mold destroys more wood than fires and termites combined. 
Mold grows where there’s moisture, such as around windows.

Who Does Mold Affect the Most?

People at high risk in these environments include:

  • Children and seniors
  • People with pre-existing respiratory ailments, such as asthma or lung disease
  • People with weakened immune systems or who are treating a chronic illness

Symptoms of mold exposure include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing and postnasal drip
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Eye irritation
  • Nasal congestion
  • Wheezing and difficulty breathing 

In more severe cases, the effects of mold can cause:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rash or hives 
  • Pneumonia or other serious lung infections
  • Severe headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

Exposure to mold can also aggravate pre-existing conditions such as:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Cystic fibrosis 

See a doctor immediately if you think you or a family member may have been exposed to mold.

How Does Mold Grow?

Mold needs only three things to grow: 

  • An organic food source such as wood, paper, fabric, leather, or wool. Even dirt on inorganic materials has enough organic substance to support mold growth. 
  • An agreeable temperature range between 68º and 86º F, which is typical of most residential and commercial buildings
  • Sufficient moisture or high humidity

In most homes, the conditions are nearly ideal for mold to grow, with one essential item missing: water. The addition of water to any one of these conditions will result in mold growth. Therefore, it’s critical to control mold growth as quickly as possible.

Signs of Mold Growth

The first telltale sign of mold is odor. Indeed, your nose knows! The distinctive musty/moldy smell is due to the microbial volatile organic compounds. 

These gases are released into the air whenever mold is growing and digesting food sources. When you detect a moldy smell, it’s a surefire indicator that mold is present. A tiny amount of mold can give off an intense odor. 

Removing mold from Internal Walls. Elimination of mold at home under the heating battery, Clouse-up.
Removing mold from internal walls.

DIY Mold Removal

Often, people will attempt to remove small amounts of mold themselves. A typical example is when mold grows on the grout of bathroom tile. Commercial cleaners designed for mold and mildew removal can be successful in such cases. 

The user should follow label directions, wear gloves and eye protection, and ensure adequate ventilation to avoid breathing in strong fumes.

It is important to remember that commercial cleaners consist primarily of water (90% or more) and that moisture is the leading cause of mold growth. Therefore, it’s essential to thoroughly dry the area after cleaning.

Even a small fan can provide huge relief to help dry the area. The mold will usually reappear in a very short time if the area is left damp.

Professional Mold Removal

If a significant amount of mold is present, or if you are not comfortable dealing with the situation, contact a professional remediation company, such as PuroClean, to assist with mold evaluation and remediation.
Professional mold experts can establish a containment area to prevent mold growth from affecting other parts of the home or building.

Our PuroClean technicians will also wear necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves, impermeable coveralls, face shields, and respirators. If the remediation is not done by professionals, the mold situation can worsen and spread.

The PuroClean mold remediation specialists may also seek input from other specialized professionals, such as indoor hygienists.

Above all, they will fix the underlying water problem that initially caused the mold growth. That’s a critical step in preventing mold growth.

Contact PuroClean for Professional Mold Removal Services!

Following any water damage incident, the best way to prevent mold growth is to contact a restoration professional to remediate the loss. If you suspect mold in your home, it is essential to call the pros.

PuroClean uses state-of-the-art equipment to ensure that mold growth in your property is detected and promptly removed while also guaranteeing the underlying water problem is fixed to prevent mold from reappearing. Visit our website or call us at (800) 775-7876 to connect with your local PuroClean office today.

Last edited on 5th of May 2022