Mold is a problem homeowners think about but hope to never experience. It is a fungus that can grow almost anywhere, indoors or outdoors. The approximately 100,000 species of mold that exist all share the same basic characteristics: the need for oxygen, moisture and nutrients to grow. Indoor wood, wallboard, wallpaper, upholstery and dust can be excellent nutrient sources.
Although mold can grow almost anywhere, it grows best in damp, warm conditions. Molds spread and reproduce by making spores, which are small and lightweight. They are able to travel through air, can resist dry, adverse environmental conditions and are capable of surviving a long time.
People are exposed to mold through skin contact, inhalation or ingestion, which may cause mild to severe allergic reactions, depending on a person’s sensitivity. Living under conditions where high mold levels are present can be dangerous. Not only can mold cause adverse health effects, but left unattended, it will continuously grow and can damage and destroy whatever material it comes into contact with.
Mold can start to grow in as little as 48 hours, so it's important to act fast after water damage to help prevent mold from growing and spreading.
How can I tell if I have mold?
If you see mold growth or water stains, a mold test can help identify related microbial activity. You can also look for areas where water leakage has occurred, such as roofs, pipes, ceilings or walls. Musty smells may also indicate the presence of mold.
When does mold need to be handled by a professional remediation company?
Most experts recommend a professional remediation company when elevated mold levels are detected. Remediation professionals are specially trained to isolate and treat mold-affected areas to avoid contaminating adjacent spaces.
What can I do to prevent the growth of mold in my home?
The most effective ways to keep mold in check include keeping the humidity level of your home at 40-60 percent, using an air conditioner and/or dehumidifier during humid months and in damp spaces like basements, and always utilizing exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens, along with dryer vents outside your home. Lastly, if there are leaks in your roof, walls or plumbing, it is important to repair them as soon as possible.
If you suspect your home might have mold damage, contact ServiceMaster DCS. serving Skokie, IL. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help you get your life back to normal and restore your peace of mind.