What Causes Mold Damage and Growth?
Mold needs moisture to grow, and high temperatures usually accelerate that growth. Some combination of high humidity, wet conditions, plumbing and roof leaks or trapped moisture usually cause mold.
Mold and mildew occur naturally and usually aren’t a problem – unless they’re concentrated at higher-than-normal levels.
Paul Davis Restoration can identify the area of contamination in most situations and prepare an estimate for the cost of removal. Our company uses the latest equipment and technology, which lets us do a better job than our competitors at a more affordable price.
PDR is certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and closely follows the guidelines for mold damage mitigation and removal. Per the IICRC guidelines, testing is usually required for mold over 10 square feet. Sometimes pretesting is required to identify the spread of contamination and scope of work. A third party provides that testing to Paul Davis Restoration property owners. Paul Davis Restoration recommends schools, government and public facilities obtain pre- and post-testing on most mold mitigation projects.
There are three main types of mold: allergenic, pathogenic and toxigenic:*
Allergenic molds don’t usually produce life-threatening health effects and are most likely to affect those who are already allergic or asthmatic. These molds may cause scratchy throats, eye and nose irritations or rashes.
Pathogenic molds usually produce some type of infection. They can cause serious health effects in people with suppressed immune systems. Healthy people can usually resist infection. In some cases, high exposure may cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which can lead to coughs, chills and headaches.
Mycotoxins can cause serious health effects in almost everyone. These agents have toxic effects ranging from short-term irritation to possibly cancer. Therefore, when toxigenic molds are found, further evaluation is recommended.
What can you do to prevent mold growth?
If you suspect you have a mold problem, you should know:
- Mold growth requires a wet environment, and it usually grows in the home as a consequence of improperly controlled water damage.
- Many molds may require a high level of moisture during initial growth, but then mature, survive and multiply at much lower moisture levels – sometimes as low as standard indoor humidity levels.
- Only quick and efficient drying can truly prevent mold growth, because it removes the moisture necessary for the mold to grow before it can get a foothold.
- If you suspect mold, contact an experienced contractor certified in mold remediation.
You want your home back to the condition it was in prior to the mold damage—at Paul Davis Restoration, we know just how to do that.
How can you help?
If you discover mold in your home, here are some things you should know to face it with confidence:
- Moisture control is the key to mold control.
- Locate the source of moisture. It may be due to improper or inadequate ventilation.
- If the source is running water, turn off the water to the structure.
- Keep gutters clear so water doesn’t collect.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from the structure so water won’t pool or seep into the foundation.
- Keep indoor humidity low, so condensation does not occur.
- Fix leaks promptly.
- Do not store excess materials on the property – over time, they may attract moisture and help mold grow.
- Make sure areas like the bathroom have fans to help with ventilation.
- If you have a clothes dryer, make sure it vents to the outside.
- Clean drip pans from the refrigerator and air conditioner often.
*Mold definitions taken from AMI website