One devastating problem, usually undetected or unseen until it is too late is the presence of black mold in a home structure. Black mold is a blanket term that includes all types of house mold or mildew type fungi that can grow and spread throughout the inside of a home.
Although awareness has increased in recent years, black mold has been around since before Biblical times. According to a 1994 Harvard University study of 10,000 homes across the US and Canada, 50% of the homes had some type of mold present. In addition, inhabitants of the affected homes had a 50% to 100% increase in respiratory problems.
Unfortunately, once homeowner mold detection is made, inner frame walls, crawlspaces, and other hidden areas are already seriously infected.
How to Get Rid of Black Mold
Dealing with the problem effectively comes with an enormous price tag. However, failing to deal with household mold can render a home worthless; destined for demolition.
Mold and mildew belong to a larger family of over 1,000,000 different species of fungi. Sustained by feeding on organic matter - a part of the natural process of decomposition. One preferred food is anything containing cellulose - a primary ingredient found in many of today's building materials. Including wood, sheetrock, insulation, fabric, and carpet.
Under the right conditions, toxic black mold can establish itself and thrive inside any type structure. What are the right conditions? Any environment with adequate moisture and warm temperature. Even a relative humidity of just 55% or more coupled with a temperature of 68º to 86ºF can spark mold spore growth. Unfortunately, these same conditions are also considered â€œthe comfort zoneâ€ in many homes.
Mold Allergy and Mildew Prevention
One of the best treatments for a mold problem is to initiate effective prevention. Since moisture or high humidity is required for toxic mold to thrive, the best prevention is to control humidity. According to The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), â€œThe way to control mold growth is to control moisture.â€
Many geographical areas have a common outdoor relative humidity higher than 55%. Without indoor moisture control, that level or higher is found inside the home; increasing the danger of black mold development.
Implementing humidity sensors and dehumidification equipment in a home can be done for a small fraction of the cost of dealing with mold growth after it becomes established in the home structure. Humidity sensors (hygrometers) that display relative humidity in a room are widely available, with prices starting under $20. Many models also include a temperature display.
Humidifiers start at just under $200. With options that include a control for the desired relative humidity of the room, and automatic pump-out of water removed from the air. These units can remove up to 4 gallons of water per day. For more aggressive dehumidification, a larger unit may be necessary; at a higher cost, of course.
Mold Testing and Inspection
Signs that may indicate a possible black mold health hazard in a structure include:
- High humidity - 55% relative humidity or more.
- Flooding - intrusion of water into the home from any number of sources creates a moist breeding ground for toxic mold; flooding is commonly not quickly and thoroughly dealt with by homeowners, resulting in serious mold problems.
- Leaking roof - commonly not detected quick enough to head off mold problems. This can be prevented by frequent inspection of attic space.
- Visible moisture - leaky pipes or fixtures, basement walls that have seepage, condensation, etc.
- Excessive use of humidifiers - can cause condensation in wall spaces and areas of the home not readily visible. Humidifiers should also be closely monitored using humidity sensors.
- Musty, moldy odors - can indicate toxic black mold and mildew in unseen areas of the home. If more pronounced when operating HVAC units, mold can be growing inside ducts.
- Visible signs of water - including water stains, peeling or bubbling paint, sagging or crumbling drywall, or warped wood.
- Mildew in bathroom tiles - may be confined to the bath or shower areas, but the presence of spores can spread the infection to other areas of the home.
- Visible mold or mildew on walls - can be indicative of a much larger problem, behind and inside frame walls.
- Increased allergen or respiratory problems of inhabitants - can include sneezing, coughing, itchy, watering eyes, runny nose, headaches, dizziness, and difficulty in concentration; indications that toxic mold or powdery mildew may be present.
How to Clean Mold
At the onset of a mold problem, many homeowners try removing black mold and mildew themselves. This is a serious mistake; only a professional mold inspector or remediation contractor should deal with the problem.
There is a stringent certification process to insure this dangerous health hazard is treated correctly, within industry guidelines. Ensuring that mold and mildew removal is executed safely and completely.
Mold mildew remediation professionals can provide mold testing to determine if there is indeed a problem; as well as to what extent and what species are involved. And then develop a plan of action for mold removal and mildew allergy control.
How to Find a Local Mold Removal Contractor
An excellent resource to find reliable certified mold remediation contractors in your locality for mold and mildew removal is TrustedPros.com
Whether you need a special trade contractor for an Illinois mildew problem, or a mold inspector for east New York black mold removal. TrustedPros.com can connect you to the right contractor at the right price, anywhere in the USA!
Homeowners sign up absolutely free, with no obligation, and post their project online. Local contractor members receive email notification of each project, and then provide competitive bids; even just hours after posting.
Homeowners can view company profile, licensing, insurance, and certification credentials, references, customer feedback and comments, and photo galleries of recently completed projects. Then make an informed hiring decision, or hire no one at all. There is no obligation, whatsoever.Posted by: TrustedPros