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FAQ: What Should I Know About Mold in my Home?

March 29, 2017

Mold spores are pretty much unavoidable. You may not be able to see them, but mold spores are in the air we breathe and most likely somewhere in your home. That may or may not become a larger issue for you and your family. If you don’t know much about mold, you’re not alone. Read on to learn the answers to the most frequently asked questions from homeowners about mold in their homes and what they should do about it.

What is mold?

Mold spores are present in all environments, at all times. They especially flourish in  areas of high humidity, whether it’s warm or cold. An environment with a combination of moisture, oxygen and organic matter is the perfect incubator for mold fungus to grow. As it grows, it releases digestive enzymes that break down the organic matter it’s growing on, such as papers, fruits, leaves, wood or shoe leather.

Where does mold grow?

Mold can grow in areas of your home that are prone to moisture, like your basement or bathroom. You may notice mold growing around your shower vent or in a damp windowsill. However, mold also thrives in dark areas that are hard to see, such as behind walls, under the floor, in your attic, in the dirt in your carpet or in your HVAC system. Once colonies of mold start to grow, they produce more mold spores which can become airborne and spread.

How does a water damage event in my home increase the likelihood of mold?

After a water damage event in your home, like a flooded basement or storm damage that requires board-up service, moisture may settle into the areas mentioned above. If the areas are not quickly and properly dried, the ideal atmosphere for mold spores to germinate is created. Airflow is key to proper drying. Household fans are not typically powerful enough to dry these areas. If you’ve had water damage in your home, perhaps due to the after-effects of a fire, you should contact a property restoration service to ensure the water damage is properly mitigated. Remember, personal property items, like stuffed animals, furniture, upholstery, draperies and bedding should receive water restoration treatment as well.

What are the warning signs of mold?

You should know the warning signs of mold to help you become aware of it before it becomes a bigger issue. If you notice a musty or earthy smell in your home, notice colored spots on your walls, ceilings or floors or develop respiratory issues or allergic-type reactions in your home, such as congestion, sneezing or watery eyes, you should consult with a mold remediation expert. Especially if anyone in your family experiences symptoms in your home that lessen when they’re outside the home, you should consider the fact that mold could be the issue.

Should I test for mold?

It’s not recommended. If mold is present, is should be remediated. Mold testing is expensive, and knowing the type of mold growing in your home doesn’t help you decide how to get rid of it. Your first step should be contacting a mold remediation expert. They can assess the mold growth in your home and tell you what types of mold you’re dealing with and how to get rid of it for the long term.

Can I get rid of mold myself?

Maybe. If you can see the mold, on a reachable surface in your home, you might be able to get rid of it with household cleaners designed for that purpose. However, keep in mind that mold spores can become airborne as you clean, and if they settle into other hard-to-reach areas, they can grow again, undisturbed. Also, if you have a recurring moisture problem that’s contributing to mold growth, you’ll struggle to contain the mold growth until you’ve eliminated the moisture.

When should I call in mold experts?

You should call in mold remediation experts for these reasons:

  1. You’ve experienced a water damage event in your home.
  2. You suspect mold is causing health issues in your family.
  3. You see mold or notice the warning signs of mold.

About Hays + Sons

For more than 38 years, Hays + Sons has been the property restoration company that families, businesses and schools trust. We’re committed to helping you be prepared when the unexpected strikes, and whether you just want tips for mold prevention and remediation or currently have mold or water damage that may turn into mold, Hays + Sons has the capacity and expertise to help you get back to normal ASAP.

The compassionate, experienced, and trusted residential restoration experts at Hays + Sons are just a phone call away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

If you’re in need of mold remediation, get in touch with us at one of our offices across Indiana or in Cincinnati, Ohio.