Water damage from flooding, leaks or high humidity can not only compromise the integrity of your home and its contents, but also cause mold growth.
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No one wants mold in their home so learning as much as you can about the fungi can help you remove and prevent it from your home. Here are eight lesser known facts about mold to help you keep it at bay.
1. Mold is everywhere
Mold exists everywhere, having the vital role of helping organic matter decompose. Tiny mold spores are everywhere, too, including in your home. Many molds are harmless, but the problem arises when the spores start growing in moist areas of your home.
2. There are over 100,000 different types of mold
There are over 100,000 known species of mold, most of which exist outside the home. Not all types of mold can make you sick and some are even used in medicine. However, the mold species found in homes can be harmful. Common mold types found in buildings are Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Stachybotrys, and Alternaria.
3. Mold can grow on many surfaces
Mold thrives in moisture-prone areas, such as the bathroom or basement, but also in hidden areas like behind walls. Mold prefers organic or porous surfaces to grow on. While mold can’t grow on non-organic surfaces such as concrete, it may grow on dust or dirt layers on those surfaces.
4. Mold starts growing in 24 to 48 hours
In the right conditions, mold can grow in as fast as 24-48 hours after a water damage event. The perfect conditions for mold growth are a food source (organic material like drywall), moisture, and an ideal temperature of 77 °F – 88 °F. Thus, water damage remediation is critical to preventing mold growth after a flood.
5. Painting over mold doesn’t remove it
It’s never a good idea to paint over a mold-infested surface. Mold will eat through the paint and reappear on the wall. Before applying a new coat of paint, you need to completely remove the mold. Choose a mold-resistant type of paint.
6. Mold can grow on Christmas trees
Mold can also “decorate” your Christmas tree, growing under garlands and lights. All vegetation, including live Christmas trees have mold spores on them. The warmth inside the home and moisture on the tree can trigger mold growth on its branches.
To avoid Christmas tree mold in your home, use artificial trees and decorations. If you prefer live trees, hose them down before bringing them inside to remove mold spores. Don’t keep the tree in your home for too long to prevent mold from developing.
7. Bleach does not kill mold
Many people use bleach to get rid of mold in their home. The truth is that bleach kills live mold, but not mold spores. What’s more, removing mold with bleach and water can make mold regrow even faster. To remove a small-scale (less than 10 square feet) mold infestation, use a mix of household detergent and water.
8. Insurance policies often do not cover mold
Most homeowners insurance policies cover mold damage only in certain situations. If mold arises after accidents like fire, lightning or sudden water issues, then mold remediation is covered. However, you may not have coverage if the source of moisture that caused mold was due to neglected maintenance of the property.
For more information about mold removal and prevention, check out 5 myths about mold debunked and how to tell if you have a mold problem in your home. For mold removal and water damage repair services, contact your local PuroClean office.