Wherever there’s water, there’s an opportunity for mold to form and flourish. Millions of years old, these micro-organisms can thrive and propagate just about anywhere, including in our homes. The more you know about what causes mold, where it might be hiding, and how best to remove it, the more you can quickly deal with mold problems.
Are you dealing with a mold issue in your Central Florida home? From whether you can deal with it yourself to how it got into your house in the first place, you probably have a lot of questions. As mold remediation experts, we’re well-equipped to supply you with the answers and educate you on how mold remediation can restore your home and your peace of mind.
Here are the most frequent questions asked by our customers about their household mold problems.
How long does it take for mold damage to occur after water damage?
Believe it or not, in areas of your home that have suffered water damage, mold can begin to grow within 24 hours! Other times, it doesn’t start developing for weeks. Mold grows more rapidly in some materials than others. Carpets, for instance, are notorious for growing mold quickly. That’s why fast mold remediation after water damage is so important. The faster you dry out the affected areas, the less chance mold will grow.
Is mold dangerous?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the vast majority of molds are not harmful or dangerous for humans. One exception is Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, which has been shown to cause health symptoms. Still, the agency recommends all molds be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.
What damage can mold do to my home?
Mold grows in just about everyone’s home because they nearly all meet mold’s basic growth requirements: moisture, nutrients (typically materials with cellulose), and time. Leaky roofs, pipes, and windows, as well as areas that have flooded, are all attractive living spaces for mold. There’s almost no material mold doesn’t seem to like. It grows on ceiling tiles, cardboard, paper, and wood. It can also multiply and spread in wallpapers, drywall, insulation, and upholstery. It even loves to grow in paints and dust!
Since basements, attics, crawlspaces, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms see the most water damage, they’re also where mold commonly grows. Unfortunately, it’s known to grow in hidden home areas, too, such as under the floor, behind walls, and in HVAC systems.
The microscopic mold spores mold releases into the air settle on surfaces and eat away at them. Over time, the mold damage can be extensive and, in worst-case scenarios, can cause significant structural damage or make a home uninhabitable.
Does indoor mold cause health problems?
Yes. Although research continues on just which conditions mold definitively contributes to, studies have shown that for unhealthy people or those sensitive to mold, its presence in the home can cause:
- Respiratory issues like a stuffy or runny nose, wheezing and shortness of breath, chronic sinus infections, and asthma attacks.
- Skin problems like itchiness and fungal infections.
- Irritated and watery eyes.
- Fatigue and depression
What is this black mold you talked about?
Usually found in wood and cardboard, black mold damage is extremely common in materials that have suffered water damage. While black mold itself isn’t toxic, it can produce more mycotoxins than other types of mold, which can cause a variety of adverse health effects.
If my mold damage is indoors, why does the outdoor air also need to be tested?
Mold enters your home through open windows and doors, vents, and HVAC systems. That means outdoor molds can easily make their way indoors, where they settle on clothing, shoes, upholstered furniture, and even pets. You can also bring molds into the house on the clothes and shoes you’re wearing. In most cases, people acclimate to living with the molds common to where they live.
But when mold damage becomes overwhelming, such as when there’s been significant water damage, technicians like to take indoor and outdoor mold tests so they can compare the two before choosing the correct remediation services.
I think I smell mold in my house, but how do I find the source?
It’s absolutely possible to have a mold issue that needs remediation and removal without being able to see it. Mold’s musty odor is quite distinctive, so if you think you smell it, the odds are good you’re right. A mold remediation expert can run a series of tests to precisely identify the mold’s hiding place so it can be fully dealt with.
Should I get the house I’m buying tested for mold and mold damage before moving in?
Yes, it’s a good idea to get a house tested for mold and mold damage before you move in. In many areas, sellers do not have to disclose a mold issue, so it’s up to you to discover if it exists. Plus, it can be less expensive to have mold remediation work performed before you move in all your furniture, rugs, bedding, and so on. Another good reason for a mold inspection before moving in is it helps you discover any previous water damage or existing sources of moisture.
Can I remove mold or repair mold damage myself?
People clean up small mold spots on tile, glass, and tubs all the time while doing normal housework. However, there are times you should definitely call in a professional mold remediation company. Get outside help if the mold in your home is:
- Related to flooding or water damage
- More than a few feet in diameter
- Inside your walls
- Inside your ventilation or heating systems
Removing serious mold and mold damage takes a specific technical process that few homeowners are familiar with or skilled at. Even fewer have the right tools needed for the job. One of the biggest reasons for leaving mold removal to the pros is that mold spores easily spread as they’re removed. The result? More mold issues you have to deal with now or down the road. An experienced mold remediation company ensures the mold in your home is removed correctly and safely.
Can I prevent mold growth in my home after water damage?
That depends. You can clean and dry areas where there’s been a small leak. But water damage caused by a burst pipe, major storm, or flooding is usually so extensive that performing the work yourself doesn’t protect you from mold growth.
That said, aside from unexpected or unavoidable disasters, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of severe mold growth in your home.
Keep humidity levels low
Experts recommend your home’s indoor humidity levels should be no higher than 50 percent all day long. As outdoor humidity levels change over the course of a day, air conditioners and dehumidifiers help keep indoor humidity levels where they should be.
Repairs and maintenance
Fix any roof, wall, or plumbing leaks to rob mold of the moisture it needs to grow. You can also add mold inhibitors to paint before repainting a room. Use store-bought or natural ingredient mold-killing products when cleaning bathrooms and kitchens.
Bathroom mold tips
The bathroom is one of your home’s prime targets for mold infestation. Be sure to have a good ventilating system installed and, whenever possible, open a window while showering. Be sure to wipe down or squeegee shower tiles and glass enclosures to prevent sitting water that can act as a mold breeding ground. Hang wet towels on racks instead of hooks so they dry more quickly. Finally, make it a habit to clean up soap scum when it happens.
Kitchen mold tips
Standing water under the kitchen sink is the most common place mold grows. Moisture and water leaks from refrigerators, freezers, and wine coolers can also cause problems. Be sure to run a fan or open windows whenever you’re cooking to control the steam and moisture.
Laundry room mold tips
We may not spend as much time in the laundry as we do in our kitchens and bathroom, but it can be the perfect breeding ground for mold. Humidity from the appliances can cause mold to grow on walls and ceilings in poorly ventilated areas. Front-loading washing machines sometimes develop mold around the gasket that seals the door shut. Be sure to leave the door open so the gasket can dry between wash loads. If mold has made its way into drywall, it may need to be torn out and replaced by a professional water and mold damage restoration company.
Smaller steps you can take indoors include:
- Quickly cleaning up and drying any spills, especially on carpeting and rugs, as mold can quickly form on the material and then spread to wood floors.
- Emptying appliance drip trays to prevent spills, leaks, and overflows from causing water and mold damage. Use a bucket near the tray to avoid spilling water as you walk with the tray.
- Running a ceiling fan to keep the air moving and make it more difficult for mold to take hold.
Outdoor mold tips
There are several steps you can take outside your home to prevent mold from making its way inside.
- Drain the water away from the home using gutters and a sump pump if necessary. Make sure to clean the gutters regularly and check them for leaks and other damage.
- Perform periodic inspections, especially after heavy rainstorms, of your home’s walls and foundation. Check for cracks that could let water seep inside your home. Small leaks can quickly turn into flooding during the next storm.
- Have the roof inspected for leaks and other damage. Replace missing tiles or shingles to prevent mold growth and keep your support beams in good condition.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)’s A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home also has a lot of handy tips for preventing mold in your home.
What is mold remediation?
We’re glad you asked! While mold removal gets the mold out of your house, mold remediation handles the underlying conditions that allowed mold to grow. It also includes preventative measures to keep mold from coming back.
Have more mold and mold damage questions? Are you currently dealing with water damage and mold damage in your home? Central Florida Restoration Solutions has the answers and solutions you need.
We offer no-obligation estimates to help you weigh the benefits of mold remediation for your home. Our 25+ years of experience in water damage, mold damage, fire damage, and smoke damage make us the perfect choice to handle mold issues in your Central Florida home.
Whether you’ve just been hit by water damage or are experiencing a mold outbreak, the team at Central Florida Restoration Solutions can help restore your home to its original condition. With our knowledge and expertise, we can handle any mold problem you might have. For more information on all our home restoration services, contact us today.