If you suspect a mold issue in the home or workplace, find out for sure. If you don’t see it, testing reveals its presence. Read on to learn the reasons for mold then find out how to mitigate it.
Where Does Mold Grow Indoors?
Mold is a fungus common in nature. Outdoors, these fungi perform a valuable function in breaking down organic matter. Indoors, however, mold can make people ill. Mold needs a moist environment to grow. For example, kitchens, bathrooms, and areas of the home that experience excess moisture and humidity are ideal for mold growth. It also forms when water enters the home after heavy rains or a burst pipe. When water enters through leaky roofs and foundation cracks, mold may develop. As well, when rainwater enters around doors and windows, this presents the risk of fungal growth. A recent flood in the home that dampens carpets, rugs, and building materials presents a risk as well. When high humidity mixes with excess moisture this creates an ideal environment.
The Health Effects of Mold
Different people react to mold in different ways. For some, it causes allergy-like symptoms.
These symptoms include:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Runny nose
- Watery and burning eyes
- Sore throat
- Skin rash
In buildings and commercial spaces, mold exposure may cause Sick Building Syndrome. This condition leads to fatigue and headaches in addition to those of mold exposure.
What is Mold Detection
Some growth is easy to spot. For example, you can see it on walls and around windows. Sometimes it hides behind baseboards and under cabinets. Mold also gives off a musty odor. If you suspect a mold issue in your home, consider purchasing a DIY mold test kit and find out for sure. These kits are easy to use and affordable. Gather a sample with the collection tool included in the cleaning kit and mail it to the environmental diagnostic lab for analysis and get quick results. After detection, the process of remediation follows.
How to Test for Mold
Once you’ve purchased a mold screening kit, it’s time to test the home. First, read through the instructions. Identity a testing area and collect the sample with the BioScan collection strip provided with the kit. Place the strip in its case, fill out the chain of custody form and mail it to the lab in the post-paid envelope also provided. Wait for the results, typically within 3-5 days.
What is Mold Remediation
Remediation depends on the extent of the growth. If this fungus forms after a disaster such as a flood, building materials, carpeting, and upholstered furniture may need replacing. Otherwise, bleach and dish detergent are effective ways to clean.
Mold spores spread throughout the home. Once airborne, they attach to clothing and pets and spread from room to room. Once they find a suitable environment, a new colony may form. That’s why it’s important to detect and eliminate the source. Professional remediation may be required in more serious cases.
Once you’ve eliminated an issue, take steps to prevent its returning.
To prevent a mold issue:
- Inspect HVAC systems regularly and clean filter boxes and air intakes
- Replace HVAC filters with HEPA filters
- Vacuum and clean carpets and upholstery regularly
- Fix leaks in the roof, walls, and plumbing
- Keep humidity low, no higher than 50 percent
Another effective way to limit the spread of mold is with air purifiers. An air-cleaning device with a True HEPA filter traps up to 99.97 percent of mold, bacteria, fungus, and volatile organic chemicals. A commercial device, such as the Aeramix Pro II, mounts to the wall so it won’t take up floor space. Once in use, it cleans the air in rooms up to 300 square feet. This device is great for restrooms and waiting areas. A larger model such as the AeraMax Professional AM IV is good for classrooms, conference rooms, and areas up to 1,400 square feet. For the home, the MA-125 Air Purifier model cleans the air in large rooms. It removes fungi, but also dust, pollen, bacteria, smoke, and viruses.
Order Your Test Kit Today
Now that you know the reasons for mold and how to mitigate its damage, it’s time to act. Ignoring the problem puts you, your family, and other building occupants at risk. Order a test kit today. Find out more about air cleaning technology and which device is right for your home or workspace. Call 727-572-4550 today.