As fungi that flourishes in the great outdoors, mold is pesky when it latches onto surfaces indoors. Mold spores have a knack for zoning in on moist, oxygen-rich areas and breeding colonies in these habitable places. Where a water supply is constant and an organic food source is readily available, expect a flurry of mold spores to thrive.
Mold is an integral part of the environment, with mold spores unavoidably floating everywhere. Outside, mold eats up decayed debris. When mold spores fasten anywhere inside the home, however, the toxic intruder should be eliminated with speed. Mold infestations are simply harmful to human health.
How is Mold Identified?
Hideously unattractive, mold growth can be identified by a visual inspection. Dark patches or splotches that feature a velvety or hairy appearance may suddenly appear. The mold is soft and slimy to the touch. Equally toxic is dead mold, which is powdery when handled or rubbed off.
When a foul odor mimicking dirty, wet socks permeates a dampened room, homeowners can be sure they have a mold problem on their hands. Whiffs of mold may also resemble earthy smells, like decaying wood. Homeowners who have ever sniffed pages of an age-old book are familiar with the smell of mold.
Where is Mold Often Found?
When you’ve spotted mold or are subject to an unpleasant whiff of the tacky spores, you probably are in the midst of an area exposed to recent flooding or water damage. Mold is nourished by moisture, warmth and surfaces that offer nutrition (like drywall or clothing), thereby attracting the spores.
Mold often frequents bathrooms, where hot showers offer a feast of moisture and humidity. Without adequate ventilation, bathrooms supply mold with plenty of sustenance to breed. Mold will fasten onto the tile, behind the toilet, onto shampoo bottles and under the bathroom sink.
A less frequented part of the home is the crawl space. Yet, mold makes its home in these darkened, damp spaces underneath the house. Proper ventilation should prevent the mold spores from gathering here. Encapsulation of the crawl space is a handy trick to keep mold at bay.
Windows left open over the rainy weekend seem harmless. Left to soak into the carpeting, the rainwater will saturate the padding below the carpeting, making it a breeding ground for mold spores. Damp carpeting should be thoroughly dried within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold from calling it home.
Even areas behind the home’s walls are fair game for mold. Places behind walls appear dry, but leaky plumbing in these hidden spots invite mold for a long, satisfying retreat. Mold thrives behind wallpaper, too, and can be readily identified when the wallpaper peels.
A recently flooded basement should be inspected for mold. The water damage that results from even a minor amount of water should be treated immediately to prevent mold growth. As the lowest level of the home, the basement is dark, damp and rich with all the nutrients mold desires.
Attic mold is common and often goes unnoticed. When dealing with a leaky roof, check the attic for mold. The moisture from a water leak along the roof seeps into the interior of the home. The attic’s darkness in combination with the water source offers mold a long-lasting vacation spot.
Check for mold behind the washing machine and dryer. The accumulation of dryer lint is a stable food source for mold when combined with exposure to the dampness of wet clothing and water pipes. Keep the washing machine door open between washes to dry it out and hinder mold growth.
An unmaintained exterior gutter system will lead to a mold issue indoors. Clogged gutters overflow with water, and this waterfall cascades down the home’s siding. Water stains along walls and ceilings are indicative of this type of water damage. Undetected, mold will grow in these moisture-rich spots.
Turning on the HVAC system should release warm or cool air—not mold spores. HVAC ducts that are improperly insulated will harbor moisture, which then balloons into a mold issue. When mold spores latch inside the ducts, simply turning on the HVAC blower will launch mold spores throughout the home.
Leave the leaky window unrepaired for another month, and mold will see the delay as an invitation to thrive within its recesses. Condensation, the nourishment for mold, can be thwarted by repairing the leaky window or replacing it. Clean the windows often to keep dirt from feeding the spores.
Just as you devour food on dinnerware, mold has an equal opportunity to do the same. Wet and dirty dishes provide mold with a perfect environment to grow. Keep mold from becoming a habitual dinner guest by running moldy dishes through a dishwasher and allowing them to thoroughly dry.
The chimney offers warmth and comfort to homeowners—and mold alike. The combination of brick, dirt and rusty chimney caps that allow moisture to infiltrate are ideal conditions for mold spores. An annual chimney sweep keeps the fireplace dry, clean and mold free.
Before hidden mold makes your home its home, call on Target Restoration, Texas’ premier mold remediation service. Our mold remediation technicians give prompt attention to the mold colonies, assess the extent of growth, remove all traces of both living and dead spores, and prevent future outbreaks.
The Target Restoration team then begins a thorough mold remediation process, starting with the containment of the spores. Once the affected area is dehumidified, our specialists use advanced and professional cleaning products to rid the walls, ceilings and property of the mold spores.
Rather than risk unleashing a tidal wave of mold spores to other areas of the home by attempting a DIY mold removal, leave the task to the professionals at Target Restoration. Any mold growth larger than ten square feet should be handled by mold remediation experts.
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Target Restoration caters to the mold remediation needs of businesses and residential homes in the state of Texas. Give us a call at (877) 741-9026 for a free estimate!