It’s easy to put off home maintenance, especially when it’s “just” a matter of a few fuzzy spots in the bath, kitchen, laundry room, or basement. But what you see could be simply a clue to a much bigger problem of hidden mold that’s completely out of sight. Even a small area of a toxic variety can still pose serious health problems for you and your family. And in business situations, it’s the owner’s legal responsibility to protect workers and the public alike from such hazards. So it’s much more important than appearance or mold damage to the building.
There are thousands of different species of all different colors, but all are a type of fungi. They don’t need light to grow (actually preferring dim and dark places) — just moisture, a few dissolved nutrients, and moderate to cool temperatures. When threatened by dryness or a lack of food they spread by producing spores. Mold spores are tiny, almost invisible, and float great distances on the tiniest of air currents. They’re just about everywhere outdoors… and indoors, just waiting for the right conditions to grow.
The first signs of mold problems may be small fuzzy growths around the tub, shower, or anywhere moisture lingers. Pretty much the same as what grows on stale bread and old food in the fridge. But an outbreak may be entirely inside a wall or above the ceiling in the case of a roof or plumbing leak, underneath carpeting after incomplete drying from a spill, or within a damp crawlspace. In that case, your only indication may be a musty odor. Or the signs of the mold may be seemingly unconnected health problems. Those include allergies and allergy-like symptoms such as eye, nose, and throat irritations as well as prolonged flu-like symptoms such as headaches and fatigue.
Those 3 Reasons to Remove Mold Immediately
Even if you just suspect there might be a problem with mold in your home or place of business it’s important to find out for sure, and to take swift action if it’s indeed present. Here are the 3 main reasons to do so without delay.
#1: Health Problems
The common symptoms caused by mold spores and the contaminants that molds release may seem like a minor nuisance, but why put up with them? More importantly, they can trigger asthma attacks and lead to upper respiratory infections, especially for children and the elderly. But the Number 1 Issue is that many species are toxic. That includes the infamous black mold, but toxic varieties have other colors as well. Prolonged exposure can lead to organ damage and other life-threatening or permanent conditions.
#2: Mold Damage to the Building
Mold growth works its way into porous building materials such as wood, plaster, and gypsum board. There it causes progressive deterioration such as discoloration and weakening. Painting, even with a “kills” blocker, hides the problem but doesn’t stop it. Proper mold remediation requires replacing those materials. So the more time mold has to spread the more mold damage repair costs you’ll likely be facing. Plus you want your home or business site to be sound and attractive, and an untreated mold problem can be a huge complication in a real estate transaction.
#3: It Can Quickly Become Much Worse
When moisture and temperatures are just right mold can grow and spread at an incredible rate. That can suddenly leave you unable to occupy a room or the entire building until a professional mold removal service has completed its work followed by major repairs and even reconstruction. Don’t forget that with hidden mold the problem could already be much bigger than you think.
Getting Help on Mold Removal
The EPA has great resources on dealing with mold in your home at https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-cleanup-your-home, including the necessary precautions and step-by-step instructions to remove mold yourself. But they also discuss how for areas larger than 10 square feet there are important reasons to have a professional remove mold. You should only hire a company specifically licensed for mold remediation, with a permanent local presence and a strong reputation.