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Mold Removal

The Basics: All About Mold

Mold is a natural part of our environment. It is in every breath of air we breathe and every part of our homes, businesses and lives. The mere presence of mold in our environment is normal! In fact, unless you are in a scientifically controlled laboratory setting, it is impossible to have a “zero” or “mold-free” space, inside or out.

What is not normal is having it grow in the indoor environment. Since mold is a naturally occurring living organism, it is virtually impossible to remove entirely; thereby a more correct scale would be Acceptable or Elevated levels of mold. Acceptable levels are at which humans will not experience adverse effects. Elevated levels at any amount requires immediate attention. Children, those with chronic conditions (such as COPD) and the elderly are especially affected by mold exposure.

“Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.” (epa.gov)

Did you know that Mold only needs three (3) things to live? They are Air, Water and Food.

  • Food for mold is specified as any organic material, such as: wood products, ceiling tiles, cardboard, wallpaper, carpets, drywall, fabric, plants, foods, insulation, decaying leaves and otherorganic  Controlling food sources may not be accessible or a viable option (think, framing of a house)
  • Air is difficult to control
  • Water management is the primary course of mold control. Why? Well, typically, when there is a water leak or some other moisture event, the environment changes and mold can start growing. If mold is lying dormant, then it will immediately grow. Dormant means that the spores have remained within an organic compound, such as a wood stud. It usually takes about 24 – 48 hours for mold to grow enough to be visible to the naked eye. By the time you see it, it is definitely cause for concern.

You may wonder why mold remediation has become necessary in recent years. There are actually several factors. Awareness has increased, and health conditions not previously understood have now been attributed to mold exposure and building techniques have changed. Buildings that were constructed “loose” in years past have now become the energy efficient (“tight”) buildings we know today. Building materials have also changed, allowing more cellulosic materials to be used. These factors, along with way we use our homes sometimes contribute to increased moisture levels, creating a perfect environment for mold to grow.

How do I get rid of Mold?

Hands down, this is the most frequently asked question we get. The hope is for a simple answer or a quick fix, but when it comes to mold, that’s just not an option. Even dead mold may still cause allergic reactions in some people! It is not enough to simply kill the mold, it must be removed.

MYTH: Bleach kills mold.

FACT: Bleach does not kill mold. No really, we’re not pulling your leg! The EPA clearly states, “the use of a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, is not recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation…” (epa.gov). Bleach will NOT kill mold, especially when growing in porous materials like drywall and wood. Bleach simply removes the discoloration you see but it will leave the microflora intact, which guarantees that the mold will return in exactly the same spot at some point in the future.

Maintaining a relative humidity level between 30 – 50 percent, can easily ensure that there will not be any mold growth within that space.

MYTH: A little bit of Mold is nothing to worry about.

 FACT: If you can see mold growing in your home, you already have a significant problem. Much like an iceberg, it’s not what you can see, it’s what you can’t. Mold is opportunistic, so it must wait for the opportunity to grow. To do so, this means that it must increase its chances of encountering water. Mold does so by ‘rooting’ deeply into organic materials. Visually eliminating mold does not remove the roots, the health-hazardous spores, or the opportunity for complete elimination. No amount of mold is “ok.”

Find out more about mold testing & remediation:

The team at Dr. Energy Saver by Lamunyon Restoration can help remediate existing mold and create an unfriendly environment for indoor mold moving forward.

Questions to Consider Before Removing Mold

There are certain steps that should be followed regardless of the size or nature of the mold growth. First and foremost is to find the source of moisture, and remove the moisture. Then, based upon the amount of mold growth and other factors such as building materials, building occupants, etc. the remediation scope can be determined. The EPA has put together the following list of questions:

  • Are there existing moisture problems in the building?
  • Have building materials been wet more than 48 hours?
  • Are there hidden sources of water or is the humidity too high (high enough to cause condensation)?
  • Are building occupants reporting musty or moldy odors?
  • Are building occupants reporting health problems?
  • Are building materials or furnishings visibly damaged?
  • Has maintenance been delayed or the maintenance plan been altered?
  • Has the building been recently remodeled or has the building use changed?
  • Is consultation with medical or health professionals indicated?

For safe and effective treatment of mold, call the professionals at Lamunyon. We’re happy to answer your questions about mold and how we treat it, keeping your environment safe.

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