It’s true the most common cause of home water damage is a broken or leaking pipe. But Florida’s June to December storm season is also notorious for delivering water damage—and mold.
Many homeowners experiencing water damage for the first time wonder why they’re advised to call a mold removal and remediation company immediately. The simple answer is that to correctly identify and remove mold, it’s typically in your best interests to work with a professional company like Central Florida Restoration Solutions. Our years of experience and expertise mean we can handle the job quickly and efficiently, reducing the damage mold can do to your health and property.
4 Types of Molds to Look Out For After Water Damage
If your Central Florida home is water-damaged due to a leaky pipe, natural flooding, or fire extinguishing, the odds are good you’ll end up with a certain degree of mold growth inside the house. How much and how far it spreads can greatly depend on the promptness of calling in a professional mold removal and remediation company.
There are actually over 100,000 species of mold! They come in a range of colors, including yellow, green, black, pink, white, brown, and orange. Though some are easy to remove yourself, others require the help of mold damage experts to avoid further risk.
Out of the 12 types of mold most people encounter in their homes, these are the top 4 you’re likely to see after water damage.
- Stachybotrys chartarum aka Stachybotrys atra has agreenish-black color and is typically found growing on materials with high cellulose and low nitrogen content such as paper, fiberboard, dust, and even lint. Because it requires constant moisture to grow, you’ll commonly see it in areas with excess humidity or water leaks.
- Aspergillustends to beblack on the surface with yellow or whiteish undertones. Exposure to this mold can cause a group of diseases known as aspergillosis, which are often characterized by lung and breathing issues.
- Cladosporium is olive green with touches of black and brown. It generally forms in small dots, but as it grows, it merges to form large patches. It’s commonly found in bathrooms, under sinks, and around faucets, but it also grows on materials like carpets, furniture, walls, sheetrock, and flooring.
- Alternaria has a velvety appearance, can range in color from olive green to gray or black, and sometimes has longer, hair-like growths. Most species of Alternaria are found outdoors, but when it becomes airborne and enters your home, it can grow just about anywhere, including in walls, carpets, crawlspaces, garages, and attics.
While it’s helpful to know the different types of molds that can invade your home, it’s not as important as some people might think that you know exactly which species you’re dealing with. The most critical thing to know is that mold damage can affect the health of your family and pets, so it will need to be removed for everyone’s health and comfort.
The 3 Signs of Black Mold
The thought of any type of mold growing in the home has many homeowners reaching for the nearest cleaning product and scrub brush. But before you start scrubbing, it’s essential to evaluate what type of mold you’re facing. While no one wants visible mold in the house, black mold, in particular, may pose more health risks than other types. That’s why it’s so crucial to have a professional mold remediation company assess the mold in your water-damaged home.
Like all types of molds, black mold is commonly found in dark and humid areas of the home. If your Central Florida home experiences water damage, mold can begin to grow and spread within 24 to 48 hours. As it does, it releases spores into the air that can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. These spores also frequently travel on your clothing, causing you to unwittingly spread them throughout the house.
The sooner you eliminate black mold, the better. You might have a black mold problem if you notice:
- A musty smell. Mold has a distinct smell that many people describe as “earthy;” some say it reminds them of rotting vegetables or plants. You might notice such a smell but not see any mold growing. That should come as no surprise, as mold often grows in unexpected places. The bottom line is that all molds need moisture to grow. If you’re smelling mold in what’s usually a dry area of your home, you might have water damage.
- Various colored growth spots. Though it’s commonly referred to as black mold, you might also notice dark green or dark brown spots. Some “black” molds are even orange or have flecks of white in them. In most cases, black mold has a slightly furry appearance. Larger growth patches often appear as black stains that stretch along your walls, floors, or ceilings.
- Water damage spots. These are usually apparent after a burst or leaking pipe or roof leak. Unfortunately, these spots can quickly become breeding grounds for black mold spores. The sooner you call in a professional water remediation company to inspect any water rings, the greater the chance of reducing the opportunity for mold to grow.
Can I Stay in My House With Black Mold?
Mold, especially black mold, might be a natural substance, but you don’t want to live with it. It’s estimated nearly five million people in the U.S. have asthma attributed to mold exposure.
Aside from the damage it does to your house itself, serious health issues can occur when people and animals are exposed to the fungus. In the most severe cases, mold can infest and grow in your home’s drywall, bedding, furniture, and clothing. So, it’s good sense to be concerned about staying and sleeping in your home.
If you have a serious black mold issue, most experts recommend staying somewhere else until all of it’s removed from your home. That’s because the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in toxic mold are notorious for interfering with the body’s respiratory and nervous systems. Research shows that exposure to black mold over an extended period of time can lead to depression and anxiety. And the mold’s toxins can build up inside the body, causing “brain fog,” insomnia, and an inability to focus. Even after the mold is gone, symptoms can linger for quite a while as the body recovers.
Your physical health can suffer, too. Black mold primarily attacks the lungs, triggering respiratory problems. It causes mucus membrane irritation in the nose and throat and can also irritate your eyes. Sneezing, rashes, and chronic coughing are common signs of mold exposure. Black mold can also cause frequent headaches, fatigue, and sinus hypersensitivity as well as inflammation. It can also compromise your body’s immune system, leading to additional, ongoing illnesses.
If you have an allergy to black mold, your body’s reaction can be even more severe. Nausea, vomiting, and nose and lung bleeding are just some of the side effects you might experience.
How Do I Know If Black Mold Is Making Me Sick?
Though there’s little debate that black mold exposure is a serious health matter, to date, no research suggests it causes conditions such as lung disease or cancer.
What is known is that some people are more sensitive to mold spores than others and have developed respiratory symptoms after inhaling even a low number of spores. And mold poisoning, or mycotoxicosis, is a very real health concern. If you develop any of these symptoms after water damage occurs in your home, it’s worth talking to your doctor about whether mold is to blame:
- Aches and pains
- Mood changes
- Memory loss
While research has yet to make a direct link between these symptoms and inhaling mold spores, they can be a sign of mold exposure.
The Florida Department of Health reports that mold exposure is known to cause the following types of health problems:
- Allergies and irritations like watery red eyes, a dry cough, skin rashes, wheezing, and a sore throat.
- Increased infections for people with weakened immune systems who are at a risk of fungal infections.
- Shortness of breath in people with severe mold allergies.
- Worsening of asthma or lung problems in people with preexisting conditions.
Though black mold may get most of the attention, it appears many types of molds may cause health problems in some people. Long-term exposure to indoor mold, though, is unhealthy for everyone. If you suspect you’re experiencing mold-related health issues, your doctor can diagnose a mold allergy based on your symptoms and medical history. Skin tests are often used to check for reactions to common allergens, and blood tests can measure your immune system’s response to mold.
To mitigate the severity of any allergic reaction, removing mold as quickly as possible and taking steps to prevent it from coming back is critical. In most cases, mold remediation and restoration services from CFRS can help get your home back to normal much more quickly than attempting to do it yourself.
When is Mold an Emergency?
Mold growth and structural damage often go hand-in-hand. Walls, ceilings, floorings, wood beams, and windows/windowsills once wet are all susceptible to mold growth. Mold can even get into your home’s HVAC system, fireplaces, and chimneys. And if your home isn’t adequately ventilated, mold can quickly grow in attics, crawlspaces, and garages.
No matter where mold is growing in your Central Florida home, it can be more dangerous for you to try and remove it yourself, as doing so can release mold spores into the atmosphere. If you suspect mold growth in your home, your best bet is to hire a professional mold remediation company.
Get Professional Help to Remove Mold in Your Central Florida Home
Black mold in particular can be incredibly difficult to get rid of and often continues to reappear whenever there’s dampness. Though you may be able to eliminate it yourself on surfaces, if it isn’t completely removed from the home, it’s likely to return. That’s why it’s so important to remove contaminated items and materials like carpeting, drywall, and other building materials before the damage becomes much more extensive. Working with mold remediation professionals who know all about the safest and most efficient ways to remove mold can resolve your mold problem permanently.
The qualified technicians at CFRS understand the science behind mold and mold growth. Using the latest tools and technologies, they’re skilled at mold remediation and removal, getting mold levels back to their normal, natural levels as quickly as possible.
Every mold infestation is different, so if your Central Florida home suffers water and mold damage, it needs a customized solution. Our mold remediation process includes:
- Thoroughly inspecting your home to determine what equipment, resources, and technicians are needed to perform the necessary work. We look for both visible and hidden signs of mold and use state-of-the-art equipment to detect hidden water leaks and mold infestation.
- Using advanced techniques to contain mold and prevent its spread. We isolate contaminated areas by constructing physical barriers and using negative air pressure to keep mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
- Capturing microscopic mold spores from the air with specialized air filtration equipment, including HEPA vacuums and “air scrubbers.”
- Removing mold and mold-infested objects and materials like drywall and carpeting and applying antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies on various surfaces.
- Cleaning, sanitizing, and removing odors from home contents.
- Performing necessary restoration work such as drywall replacement, painting, and new carpet installation. There are times major repairs such as reconstruction are required.
If you or anyone in your family has a mold allergy or is sensitive to mold, it’s essential to fix the problem as quickly as possible. Taking fast and early mold remediation steps can go a long way in preventing you and other family members from getting sick and protecting your home from further damage.
To ensure it’s done correctly, mold removal and remediation are best left to the professionals. CFRS is Central Florida’s most trusted mold damage remediation and restoration company. Our friendly and professional teams are skilled at restoring your home to normal as quickly as possible after water damage and mold infestation. We also offer fire damage and smoke damage solutions you can trust.
Contact us today for the mold damage remediation and restoration services you need to keep your home and family safe and healthy.