Mold is more than a smelly nuisance. For homeowners, it can discolor and damage their home and present a serious health concern. Molds are organisms which are neither plant nor animal. They are part of the fungi kingdom. Unlike plants, molds do not get their energy from the sun through photosynthesis. In fact the sun's ultraviolet light inhibits mold growth. Molds also digest or "eat" the material they are growing on. The role of mold is to break down decaying organic matter such as dead plants, leaves or dead animals.
Protect Your Home From Mold
Mold is a problem most homeowners rarely think about and hope to never experience. It can grow almost anywhere, indoors or outdoors. Mold grows best in damp, warm conditions, such as basements, showers or decks. And, it can grow quickly.
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.
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.
Most experts recommend a professional remediation company when elevated mold levels are detected. Our professionals are specially trained to isolate and treat mold-affected areas to avoid contaminating adjacent spaces.
ServiceMaster Restore® works with nationally recognized testing facilities and can provide mold inspection, laboratory analysis and written remediation plans at a reasonable price. We know how to identify and eliminate the source of what has caused the mold, and implement the proper processes. in order to eliminate mold growth. We can clear the contamination, while Restoring Peace-of-Mind®.
Most mold symptoms are caused by mold allergies. When you breathe in mold spores your immune systems responds by creating allergic reactions. These reactions are the immune system's defense against foreign particles entering the body. The more a person is around mold the more sensitive to it they will become. This means that they can end up unable to tolerate being around even small amounts of mold. Their allergic reactions will also become more and more severe.
Symptoms that mold allergies cause include:
Cold or flu like symptoms
Irritated, itchy throat
Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
Irritated, itchy skin
Skin rash, hives
Red, bloodshot eyes
Hair loss, baldness
Hay fever symptoms
If you are having a problem with allergies then there's a good chance there could be mold growing somewhere in your home. Common allergic reactions to mold include sneezing, sore eyes and a runny nose or nasal congestion.
Do you notice your allergic reactions are worse when you're at home but you feel better when you go out? If so then it's especially likely you could have mold. If you find that your allergies are worse in some other building, like your workplace, then there could be mold growing there instead.
When you have mold growing hidden away in your house, often a moldy smell might be the only clue that it's there. Don't ignore mold odors if you can't see any mold. You should thoroughly inspect your home before any mold problems get worse.
Visible mold growth might seem like an obvious sign of mold. However many people don't notice small amounts of mold growth or they think it's just soot or dirt. Sometimes people simply ignore visible mold in their house.
If you can see mold growth, even if it's only small, you should take action immediately. Small mold patches can spread and the fact that there is any mold shows that the conditions in your home are right for mold to grow.
If you don't take care of mold it will soon become a bigger problem. Visible mold growth could also be a sign that there is a much larger mold colony growing hidden away from view.
Sometimes you might not realize there is mold in your house, especially if it is unusual looking mold. Some mold growth looks white and thread-like. Other mold appears as clusters of small black spots. Mold can be black, gray-brown, gray-green or white in color. Mold growing behind wallpaper made of vinyl can even appear orange, pink or purple.
Moisture is really the key cause of mold growth. So, essentially, the difference between whether mold grows in your home or not comes down to whether you have a moisture problem.
Humidity Causes Mold
If the weather's been very humid for a few days in a row you might notice mold starting to grow in your home. When it rains for several days it's especially common to see mold start to grow on walls, benches and other surfaces because of the wet air.
If you live where humidity in the air is naturally high, like by the coast or another large body of water, then mold growth in your home can also be a recurring problem.
Also when moisture inside your house evaporates into the air it increases the humidity indoors. If your home isn't well ventilated then the humidity will stay high for a long time.
Drying clothes indoors on clothes lines or stands is a common culprit when it comes to causes of indoor humidity problems. The household HVAC system can also create humidity troubles while it artificially heats or cools the air.
Sometimes people use humidifiers in their homes. But there are molds that only need the humidity level to be higher than 55% to start growing. So if you need to use a humidifier in your home make sure to keep the humidity below 55%.
Not only does high humidity feed mold, but it means that puddles of water and damp materials in the home take longer to dry out. These wet surfaces can in turn create mold growth of their own.
Other Causes of Mold:
Leaking Pipes, Leaks in Roof, Condensation, Poor Ventilation, Wet Clothes, Flooding, Damp Basement, Water at the House's..
The main things mold needs to grow are organic materials to feed on and moisture. In houses there are always plenty of organic materials for mold to live on such as wood, drywall and various other building materials. Moisture, on the other hand, can be controlled practically and so keeping the moisture in your home low is the best way to prevent mold growth.
Prevent Mold by Preventing Moisture
Most molds need 24-48 hours of moisture to begin to grow. Therefore if a suitable material in your home is wet for more than 24 hours then you run the risk of mold starting to grow.
Prevent Mold by Preventing Water Leaks
There are a few main things which usually cause moisture problems in the home. One is water leaks. These include things such as leaking roofs or walls, leaking pipes and leaking taps or a leaking shower. If you know of any leaks in your home you should fix them without delay. You might need to inspect your home to find any water leaks you didn't know about.
Prevent Mold by Preventing Condensation
Condensation is another frequent cause of moisture. Condensation forms on cold surfaces when water vapor in the air cools and becomes liquid. Often you'll see condensation on metal pipes, concrete walls, water tanks and windows. One way to reduce condensation is to keep the temperature warmer in rooms. For example, by installing insulation. You can also insulate the surfaces themselves such as putting coverings over metal pipes. You'll also have less condensation occurring if you keep the humidity in your home low.
Prevent Mold by Reducing Humidity
Many species of mold can begin to grow from humidity alone if the humidity stays high for long enough. In fact the humidity only needs to be higher than 55% before some molds can begin to grow. The best way to keep humidity low in your property is through ventilation. Open the windows during the day, especially when it's hot since this is when humidity is usually the lowest outside. Close your windows when it's raining outside though.
When it comes to having mold removed from your home, one of the things you’ll need to consider is the remediation cost. Of course, the safety and health of your family is more important than the price you’ll have to pay to remove the mold, but it’s still a good idea to be aware of how much something might cost you.
The remediation cost of a crawlspace can really vary. It could average as little as $500 or as much as $4,000. If the attic and wall ducts are involved, the cost for those generally ranges from $2,000 to $6,000. If your home has been flooded and the mold is all throughout it, there is much more that has to be done. This could drive your remediation cost up to $10,000 to $30,000 – and it could even go higher, depending on the size of your home.
When you’re considering insurance, make sure you get something that will cover at least part of the remediation cost if you live in a flood zone. Most consumers don’t have that kind of money to spend out of pocket.
Even though you’ll have an idea of how much something should cost, be sure to shop around. The first company you find might not be the best one for your needs. The price may be different, and you also have to pay attention to the credentials.
Look For Experienced Remediators
You want people who’ve been removing mold (especially black mold) for a while, not new people who aren’t sure about the job. You’ll also want to see if there is some kind of guarantee offered – and there should be. You don’t want to find out that the people didn’t do their jobs properly and the mold has come back, only to be told that there is nothing that can be done until you pay more money.
From fire and water, to mold remediation and trauma cleanup, we are the experts in commercial and residential restoration.
If you suspect your home might have mold damage, contact ServiceMaster DCS. 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.