Mold Really is That Big of a Deal
Up until fairly recently, people didn’t usually think about the problem of mold unless they were confronted with it on their food. However, mold has steadily been growing in public awareness over the last few years as people encounter it within their homes and it gains media attention for its health impact.
What is Mold, and is it Ever Not a Nuisance?
There are many different types of mold, and although they sometimes get mistaken for plants, they belong to the fungus family. Molds are made up of a system of hyphae, which are thin, transparent filaments. Because molds are fungi rather than typical plants, they don’t rely on photosynthesis to produce their sustenance; they get it directly from their surroundings.
In the outdoor arena of nature, molds are a necessary part of the life-cycle of an ecosystem. Molds break down dead organic material, which make space for the eventual growth of new plants.
In 1928, mold had one of its first positive claims to fame: it was a compound in an important antibiotic known as penicillin, which has been used to treat numerous infectious diseases. Toxins produced by some species of mold are quite adept at killing bacteria, which make them a necessary part of many antibiotics.
When Mold Becomes a Problem
In large quantities within your home, mold can become a serious problem that can lead to severe health issues. It’s also very unsightly (like the black variety creeping down the wall in a bathroom), and can cause problematic structural damage.
Molds also produce allergens, which can cause allergic reactions, as well as irritants and sometimes mycotoxins, which are potentially toxic substances. Molds send out microscopic spores that float both indoors and out, and they begin to grow when the spores land on wet surfaces. These potentially harmful, irritating and toxic substances become yet another side effect of a large water loss.
Inhaling, touching, or being exposed to molds for an extended amount of time may cause allergic reactions in people. The symptoms may show up immediately or take time to become apparent and they can include dermatitis (skin rash), runny nose, sneezing, red eyes and even asthma attacks. Mold can irritate the respiratory system of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.
Molds are Tough to Break Free From
Although molds themselves require moisture and some degree of warmth to grow, the microscopic spores produced by molds can survive very harsh conditions and can withstand drying and freezing. In spaces that always tend to remain a little damp, don’t have the best air circulation and don’t generally receive large quantities of natural light (think bathrooms and basements), mold spores can land in these damp areas and quickly spread. After a flood disaster or a major water loss within your home, such as a pipe breaking or freezing, without proper mitigation of the water mold can begin to grow quickly and seriously damage the structure of your home, making the repair process more difficult. ServiceMaster by Rice and their professional equipment can take care of your water loss before mold even becomes an issue.
Cleaning and Removing Mold
Eradicating and cleaning a space currently infested with mold is not the simplest activity a person can undertake, especially when the individual is not experienced with the necessary processes. For example, absorbent or porous materials may need to be thrown away because mold can fill in the tiny spaces in them, but you may not be certain if there actually is mold present. How can you be sure? What about something with sentimental value, like a fabric chair passed down from a grandparent… what if it is infested with mold? It is also important to avoid exposing yourself to mold; but how are you supposed to clean it if you can’t be exposed to it?
Why Selecting ServiceMaster by Rice for Iowa Mold Remediation is the Best Way to Go
ServiceMaster by Rice has IICRC certified technicians to determine whether conditions are present for mold growth and, if so, the type of action needed to be taken.
Addressing a mold situation requires:
- Removal of existing mold
- Treating the source of the mold to prevent future growth
Our professionals approach a mold remediation situation with a specific plan to protect both the home owner and our employees that includes:
- The use of protective clothing, respirators and containment of the areas where necessary
- Thorough cleaning of contaminated surfaces
- Mold needs water to grow. The source of the water is removed and the affected areas thoroughly dried
- Thorough testing by an independent company to ensure the area is clean and within acceptable limits
ServiceMaster Helps In Preventing the Spread of Mold
While ServiceMaster by Rice is always ready and happy to help with all your commercial and residential clean-up needs, prevention is the best method for a clean, mold-free space.
The Environmental Protection Agency lists some tips to help with this task:
- When water leaks or spills occur indoors – ACT QUICKLY. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
- Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores.
- If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes contact ServiceMaster by Rice to come and professionally dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity as well as excess water within your walls or home’s structure.
Contact ServiceMaster by Rice For Mold Mitigation
Mold will continue to be a presence in our lives. We do, however, have the means and capabilities to mediate their effects within our homes. Prevention, as well as professional disaster clean-up by experienced specialists like those at ServiceMaster by Rice, are viable answers to the problem of mold infestation. We’re here to serve you. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
The following sites were used for reference: