There have been a lot of media interest and scare tactics recently regarding the dangers of Mold in your residential property. Before going any further and explaining how to deal with this problem, should it arise in your home, let’s examine in greater detail what exactly Mold is and why it is something that needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a type of Fungi, which grows in damp, dimly lit areas. Mold spores are microscopic, tiny and light, which means that that can easily be transported in the air. The airborne spores are so tiny that they are invisible to the human eye, but people living in a property can breathe in the spores which can lead to significant health issues. Although the individual spores are not visible to the human eye, the most obvious sign that you may have mold growth in your property will be the distinctive musky smell. Further investigation may also highlight dark furry growth dropping from the wall onto your carpet. This is a homeowner’s worst nightmare and something that needs to be dealt with urgently. Mold can and does spread rapidly, so it is not something that you can leave without treatment, urgent action must be taken.
When Dealing With A Plumbing Leak Always Perform A Mold Check
Anyone who has ever been in the unfortunate situation of suffering a plumbing leak will know that the initial priority is stopping the leak and then dealing with the subsequent clear up afterwards. In this situation, it is easy to ignore or overlook a mold test, but this is one of the most critical times to perform such a test. Mold requires three conditions in which to flourish:
Moisture – Mold needs moist or damp areas to flourish, so any areas where a property has suffered a leak, will in most cases provide the first of the three conditions.
Food – Fungi need food to grow and spread and in this situation that can be found in products such as leather, wood and paper products. Porous items such as beds or couches are the perfect location, as it of virtually impossible to get rid of mold in these types of material.
Temperature – The optimum temperature for mold to flourish in is anywhere between 32 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. In modern-day homes with central heating, this is a normal temperature to keep our properties at, and so any property where a leak has occurred will provide all three of the conditions that mold needs to flourish.
Remember that it is essential to conduct the mold test not just for the risk of damage to your property, but more importantly for the health risks associated with mold. Any member of your family who has a low or weakened immune system is likely to suffer medical issues relatively rapidly, so it is better to perform the test and deal with any subsequent issues before illness strikes. For homeowners with young children or elderly family members, respiratory conditions, runny noses and even sleeping problems may be exacerbated by the presence of mold in your property. Because of the various locations that mold can flourish in, such as under the floorboards, there is a chance that people could have been living with these problems for years, and yet a quick and simple mold test will identify the problem within minutes.
Reasons Why It Is Important To Employ A Mold Specialist
Many people make the decision not to call in a mold specialist due to concerns over cost, but this may well prove to be an expensive error. Here are some of the reasons why.
- Mold Spreads Rapidly – Once mold has become established in a property it can and regularly does spread rapidly. Prevention, as they say, is better than cure, so by dealing with the problem in its early stages, you drastically reduce your overall expenditure, and also prevent the loss of important documents or photographs, which may be difficult or impossible to replace. A mold specialist has advanced high-tech equipment, such as hygrometers and infrared cameras, which can identify and highlight any problems quickly and with the minimum of fuss. As mentioned above many of the areas where mold will prosper will not be easily accessible or visible to the human eye, so this is where the specialists with their advanced knowledge, expertise, and equipment will help identify problems quickly.
- Health Reasons – Newborn babies and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to respiratory problems, and if a loved one is expecting, then it would be an excellent idea to have your property checked for mold before the birth. As a parent, it is only natural to want to provide the best conditions for your child to flourish, develop and grow, so performing this quick and simple test will not only ensure that the property is safe for the child but will also decrease the chances of any respiratory or other infant health issues developing.
- Preventative Measures – Hopefully once a test has been carried out, there will be no signs of any mold within a property. However, rather than becoming complacent, once the tests have been completed seek advice from the professionals, about any measures that can be undertaken to prevent future outbreaks of mold. They may recommend specific treatments, or supply other pertinent advice that only a professional would know.
Workplace Environments – Although the majority of people reading this article are likely to be concerned about mold growth in their homes, it is important to remember that mold knows no boundaries, and a workplace environment is just as likely to be affected by this issue. Office environments with air conditioning systems, for instance, provide the opportunity for mold to flourish, and this is increased further the older the property. Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that they are providing a safe and healthy environment for their employees, and one significant advantage of employing a professional mold testing company is that they have the knowledge and expertise to deal with the issue to a high standard. Furthermore, all work they undertake will be to a designated standard, and they will have insurance and the qualifications to substantiate the work.
The simple fact of the matter is that when it comes to people’s health, there is no margin of error. There is simply no point in taking any risks particularly when the overall cost of a mold test is relatively small. A mold tester will conduct the tests on your property, and then send them to the lab for testing. Once you are in possession of the test results, you are then in a position to record an insurance claim if necessary. Whether or not you suspect that you might have a mold problem, the expert advice is to have a professional test conducted regularly. The damage mold can cause both to members of your family/employees, and your property can be significant, and there is a lot to be gained by investing in regular testing.