Blog – Disaster Preparedness, Mold Damage

Disaster Services: Cleaning & Preventing Mold Damage

Mold growth is a very common occurrence. Molds and fungi are present at harmless levels nearly everywhere, both indoors and out. Over time, however, mold growth can leap to very unsafe and harmful levels, especially after a water-related disaster. Almost all building materials, documents, appliances and furniture are susceptible to mold growth. In order keep mold growth in check it is important to maintain relatively low-levels of humidity in your home and work environment. For existing mold problems, contact a capable mold remediation service. Mold growth can both damaging and a health risk. Luckily, it is also a relatively simple problem to remedy.

The first thing to consider before approaching a mold cleanup project is whether you should attempt it on your own. This depends on a number of factors. First, how much of a mold problem do you have? Mold patches of about 10 square feet or less can usually be handled without calling a professional mold removal company. However, professionals should handle mold growth that has occurred after a water-related disaster, or mold that has gotten into a heating/cooling/air ventilation system.

There are a few preparations you’ll want to make if you do decide to tackle your mold problem yourself. First, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper attire and tools. It is important to avoid breathing in mold and mold spores, so you will want to wear a respirator. The N-95 respirator is a good choice and is available at most hardware stores for around $20. You’ll also want a good pair of long rubber gloves. If you are using a strong cleaning solution, such as bleach, you will want gloves that are made from natural rubber. Mold and mold-infested items should not be touched with your bare hands as they can lead to sickness and further infestations. Mold can also do a lot of damage to your eyes, so it is important to wear goggles as well. Goggles without ventilation holes are best.

The second step in mold cleanup is making sure all water problems in the mold area are fixed. Faulty plumbing, leaking appliances, and running sink and shower faucets can keep mold coming back, no matter how thorough a cleaning job you perform.

Finally, it is best to use a chlorine or detergent and water mixture on your problem areas. Mold is stubborn, so you will want to use a hard bristle scrubbing brush. Unfortunately, some porous materials may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. Carpets, mattresses, ceiling tiles are quite difficult to clean; you’ll save yourself a lot of time and energy by simply replacing them.

Don’t expect to get every moldy surface sparkling like new again. Mold does cause cosmetic damage, so even though you might remove all the spores and fungi there might still be some dark stains after you’re done. If you’re unwilling or unable to replace an item stained by mold you will probably want to consult a professionals. Many restoration specialists can help you get that couch or rug looking close to new again. There are companies that specialize in mold removal, too. These remediation specialists use dehumidifying techniques to remove excess moisture in the problem areas, aiding the cleaning process and helping guarantee that the spores don’t spread and the problem come back.

Of course, the easiest way to fix a mold problem is take measures to prevent mold growth. Act quickly if you notice a leak or water spill. Mold growth can usually be stopped if a damp item is thoroughly dried in one or two days. Cleaning and repairing roof gutters and air-conditioning drip pans will also help prevent mold growth.

Humidity is a big contributor to mold growth, so it is important to keep problem areas at relatively low levels of moisture. Make sure windows are properly sealed and dry any surfaces you notice moisture collecting on. Appliances that produce moisture should be vented to the outside, if possible. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers will lower humidity levels and are available at many hardware stores for relatively cheap. For areas where humidity is common, such as kitchens and bathrooms, it is a good idea to run exhaust fans and keep the windows open until the room is dry again.

Mold problems don’t need to turn into disaster situations. Keeping problem areas clean and dry will prevent mold growth in most situations, and cleaning moldy areas as soon as you notice a problem will stop growth in its tracks. Mold removal is not the most pleasant cleaning project, but with proper preparation you shouldn’t have to worry about the nasty chore very often.

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