Has your home taken on a musty smell? Don’t worry, it’s not you! Mold can grow in places that are not readily view able, such as under carpet, behind wallpaper, on pipes, inside duct work, or above ceiling tiles. Mold is so small you can’t see an individual spore without a microscope. When they clump together however, you can start to see spots of black, green, and even white. If you notice an aroma or see irregular spots that didn’t use to be there, it’s time to call in the professionals who can help assess the best plan to remove it!
How To Remove Mold And Mildew
Mold and mildew are a naturally occurring part of the world we live in. We process low levels of mold spores without any adverse affect. The increase in the need for mold abatement and mildew treatments in the past 25 years is in large part due to changes in the way we live and construct homes and buildings in Minnesota and the mid-western states.
Today’s better insulated homes and more absorbent interior building materials – combined with people spending more time indoors – means you are far more likely to encounter mold contamination in a structure than you were 100 years ago.
Here are some of the things you can do to minimize the chance for mold contamination:
- Deal with any leaks and water damage immediately. Mold cannot grow without moisture, although mold can stay dormant for years and begin growing if moisture is present.
- Regularly inspect for leaks or water damage around all water fixtures, including ice-maker lines, washing machine hoses, underneath sinks and behind toilets.
- Inspect your HVAC drip pan and drain hoses to make sure the system properly drains water.
- When possible, upgrade to building materials with a higher resistance to mold growth, such as tile floors, solid plank wood floors, plaster, solid wood trim moldings, etc.
- If you find something wet, call HOME911 to help you dry it immediately. According to the EPA, you have 24-48 hours to begin the drying process so that mold growth cannot occur. As of March 31, 2017, Home911 has temporarily suspended emergency service calls relating to water. Please call and we can refer you to a reputable company to handle the initial clean-up.
- If you have discovered a small amount of mold growth in a water-damaged structure, there are some mold mitigation steps you can do yourself.
Why Is There More Mold In Homes?
Mold has been with us always. In fact, the oldest mold remediation protocol is found in the Bible, in Leviticus 14:37-42. Even more than 3,000 years ago, people knew to remove contaminated building materials!
Mold challenges began to increase in the early 1900s as plumbing and electricity became routine indoor amenities. The water source was now in the building and more time was spent inside due to increased indoor lighting. Next was added climate control, so that people could enjoy the comfort of their homes more. Along with climate control came the need to make buildings more thermally efficient. As a result of these changes, according to an EPA report in 2009, people now spend about 90% of their time indoors.