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What is mold?
We have probably all encountered mold at one time or another. It might have been in the shower, or on a stale piece of bread or wet drywall. Mold is a microscopic life form found in all parts of the world. It is part of the natural decay process of organic materials. There are many different species of mold, and while they are diverse, they share some common characteristics:
Molds require an organic food source. The most common food source indoors is cellulose, which is found in building materials such as wood and drywall.
Molds require oxygen, so they do not grow under water.
Molds require moisture. To prevent mold, buildings must be kept dry.
Molds are spread by tiny particles called “spores.”
Why is it a problem?
Active mold colonies usually emit a very unpleasant, musty odor.
Because the job of mold is to digest, decay and recycle dead organic matter, it will eventually destroy whatever surface it grows on.
Exposure to mold spores can cause mild to severe allergic reactions, depending on individual sensitivity.
What is a reasonable and safe response?
The best way to deal with mold is to prevent it from happening. If the drying of wet building materials is commenced within 24 hours (assuming clean water), the chances of preventing mold growth are excellent. If building materials remain wet, it is inevitable that mold will start to grow. Therefore, addressing and eliminating moisture problems is the critical first step. Simply put, “Got Moisture? Got Mold!”
However, once mold is present, drying is not enough. Moldy materials must be either removed or decontaminated. This process is called remediation, which means “to remedy” or “to cure.” Proper remediation procedures will be determined by the size, scope and nature of the mold contamination.
Professional water damage restoration can make the difference between a small water problem and a structure covered with mold.
If your home is damp or has mold already, it could harbor other contaminates that thrive in moist environments. Many people experience unpleasant side effects or even worse health problems from mold, ranging from mild allergies and asthma attacks to irritated eyes, throats, noses, skin, and lungs. In addition, mold exposure can cause hypersensitivity, headaches, breathing difficulties, and other infections. People with asthma, allergies, and suppressed immune systems can also suffer other effects.
We all have probably encountered mold at one time or another. There are many different species of mold, but all molds share come common characteristics. Molds are naturally present in the outdoor environment around us; however, indoor mold can become a mold problem. Mold spreads rapidly and produces an unpleasant musty odor. If allowed to grow unchecked, mold can cause discoloration and structural damage to a building. A significant amount of mold can impact indoor air quality and can be difficult and costly to remove.
It is important to react quickly in the event of a water loss. By identifying and eliminating the source of the water and implementing rapid drying, mold growth can be curtailed.
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