Prolonged exposure to mold in your home can pose a threat to your respiratory and overall health. Molds also cause adverse health effects by producing allergens. An allergic reaction to mold can cause hay-fever type symptoms such as a runny nose and red eyes. Molds can cause asthma attacks in some individuals who are allergic to mold. In addition, exposure to mold can irritate the skin and throat in certain individuals. Potential health concerns are important reasons to prevent mold growth and to remediate existing problem areas.
There are many different types of mold. They often look like a discoloration or stain to a surface and can show up in many different colors. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors mold growth often occurs. Mold only needs moisture or water, oxygen and an organic source to grow. About 1,000 species of mold can be found in the United States, with more than 100,000 known species worldwide. Prevent mold growth in your home by making sure you have proper ventilation throughout your home especially in moisture problem areas such as basements or damp areas where mold is most likely to form.
If mold is visible in your home you should contact a mold remediation specialist to safely remove the mold. Call Titan Environmental Services today and get a professional diagnosis at 913-432-5500.
Mold is a microscopic organism that can hide inside your home. It can cause respiratory problems, skin irritations, burning or watery eyes, or nervous system disorders such as memory loss and headaches.
When water floods a home or business, mold could grow on walls and flooring within 24 to 48 hours. This will continue until steps are taken to eliminate the problem.
If your business or home receives water damage, thoroughly drying everything out may help prevent health problems. Allow areas to dry 48 to 72 hours.
For a mold problem that is severe or if you are highly sensitive to mold, an experienced professional should do the job.
Call Titan at 913-432-5500 to get rid of the dangerous mold in your home.
Mold Basics Per osha.gov
Molds are part of the natural environment. Molds are fungi that can be found anywhere – inside or outside – throughout the year. About 1,000 species of mold can be found in the United States, with more than 100,000 known species worldwide.
Outdoors, molds play an important role in nature by breaking down organic matter such as toppled trees, fallen leaves, and dead animals. We would not have food and medicines, like cheese and penicillin, without mold.
Indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Problems may arise when mold starts eating away at materials, affecting the look, smell, and possibly, with the respect to wood-framed buildings, affecting the structural integrity of the buildings.
Molds can grow on virtually any substance, as long as moisture or water, oxygen, and an organic source are present. Molds reproduce by creating tiny spores (viable seeds) that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores continually float through the indoor and outdoor air.
Molds are usually not a problem unless mold spores land on a damp spot and begin growing. They digest whatever they land on in order to survive. There are molds that grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods and insulation, while other molds feast on the everyday dust and dirt that gather in the moist regions of a building.
When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth often will occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains uncorrected. While it is impossible to eliminate all molds and mold spores, controlling moisture can control indoor mold growth.
All molds share the characteristic of being able to grow without sunlight; mold needs only a viable seed (spore), a nutrient source, moisture, and the right temperature to proliferate. This explains why mold infestation is often found in damp, dark, hidden spaces; light and air circulation dry areas out, making them less hospitable for mold.
Molds gradually damage building materials and furnishings. If left unchecked, mold can eventually cause structural damage to a wood framed building, weakening floors and walls as it feeds on moist wooden structural members. If you suspect that mold has damaged building integrity, consult a structural engineer or other professional with the appropriate expertise.
Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent excessive moisture in buildings. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices since the 1970s, which resulted in tightly sealed buildings with diminished ventilation, contributing to moisture vapor buildup. Other moisture problems may result from roof leaks, landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under a building, or unvented combustion appliance. Delayed or insufficient maintenance may contribute to moisture problems in buildings. Improper maintenance and design of building heating/ventilating/air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, such as insufficient cooling capacity for an air conditioning system, can result in elevated humidity levels in a building.
Mold Can Be Deadly
What many people don’t realize is that mold can make you extremely sick, or even kill you. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),1 all molds have the potential to cause ill health. The type and severity of your symptoms depend, in part, on the types of mold present, the extent of your exposure, your age and general health, and your existing sensitivities or allergies.
At a 2003 environmental medicine symposium in Dallas, studies of more than 1,600 patients suffering health issues related to fungal exposure were presented. These patients experienced major medical problems, including the following:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Headache, anxiety, depression, memory loss, and visual disturbances
- Immune system disturbances and fatigue
- GI problems
- Shortness of breath
Yet, medical professionals are sometimes not up to speed on how extensive and devastating mold can be to human health, often missing important biological clues that you’re being affected by mold. It is important to be aware of these potential problems because your physician may NOT be, and you need to take the wheel for your own health.
Mold’s Favorite Places in Your Home
Fungi grow by releasing reproductive cells (spores) into the air, just as plants reproduce by spreading seeds. The airborne spores are invisible to the naked eye, which is a major reason mold is such a problem. It is not uncommon to find hundreds or even thousands of mold spores per cubic foot of indoor air. Spores are extremely small (1-100 microns)—20 million spores would fit on a postage stamp.
Spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dryness, that do not support normal mold growth. In fact, many spores can lie dormant for decades until favorable conditions allow them to spring back to life.
Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, provided moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, tile, sheetrock, insulation, leather, fabrics, and foods. Molds survive by digesting whatever substrate they are growing on, which is a real problem when it happens to be your floorboards. There is no way to eliminate all mold and mold spores from your indoor environment; the only way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. The most common indoor places for mold to take hold are damp areas, such as:
- Bathrooms and kitchens, especially under sinks—particularly leaky ones
- Behind or under appliances that hide slow plumbing leaks (refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, etc.)
- Roof leaks
- Around windows where condensation collects
- High humidity areas of your home, such as basements
Often, the first sign of a mold problem is a “musty” odor. You are probably familiar with the smell of mildew—mildew is simply a variety of mold. You could also notice bowed or buckled floorboards, discolored carpet, a new water stain on your wall, or black or white specks—all signs you could be developing a mold problem.
What to Do Once You’ve Established That Mold Is a Problem
Mold spores are very difficult to destroy, even with cleaning agents, such as hot water or bleach (which is itself toxic). The best way to reduce the problem is through smart preventive measures.
According to Dr. Rapp, first and foremost you want to get away from the problematic area—which means move if you have to.
“I’ve seen people try to stay in a moldy house when their child is very sick or they are very sick. They try to clean the place up. They take out the moldy carpet and decide to paint the moldy walls. But they can become so desperately ill that it is very hard to treat them in the future.”
If you can’t move, there are other remedial steps you need to take to address the problem:
- Get a high-quality air purifier to control mold toxins. In addition to the mold itself, you need to make sure you get rid of any mold toxins. When a mold breaks down, it disintegrates, and every little particle may contain mycotoxins that have the capability of making you very sick.One option is a photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) unit. I personally like these because they cover the whole house (up to 3000 square feet), require little maintenance, and are relatively inexpensive.
***Please understand that no air filter in the world will take care of mold issues until you have the humidity under control and the mold properly cleaned from your house.
- Professional remediation. If your mold problem is sizeable, or if you have black mold, you may want to consider hiring a professional remediator. Unless proper precautions are taken, undertaking black mold removal on your own can be almost as hazardous as doing nothing at all, because spores will be stirred up and sent airborne during the cleaning process.
If you catch the problem early, you can save yourself tens of thousands of dollars in extra cleanup costs. (Trust me, as I made this mistake myself and wouldn’t want to see anyone else go through it.) Make sure a remediator doesn’t use chemicals you’re sensitive to—a chemical allergy is the LAST thing you need while you are recovering from a mold poisoning!
Titan Environmental can give you your peace of mind back with just a phone call and an appointment to test your home for mold. We service almost ALL the states in the Midwest such as:
- South Dakota
For more information on your states environmental agencies and guidelines please visit our helpful links page.
If you believe you’ve found mold in your home, the optimal way to plan its removal is to hire an experienced professional to conduct an initial mold inspection. This inspection determines the type of mold and extent of damage in your home, so that you can implement the most effective cleanup methods.
This article explains what generally happens during a home mold inspection, what credentials you should look for in a mold inspector, and common removal tactics and cleanup methods.
What Happens During a Home Mold Inspection?
What happens during a professional mold inspection may depend on the inspector’s credentials and experience. From our experience, we recommend that any mold inspection include the following:
- Visual inspection: A visual inspection checks for mold throughout your house, including hidden areas like the HVAC system. That inspection is not limited to just the inside of your home. The inspection also includes the building envelope and surrounding landscape.
- Diagnosis: After inspection, the sources of moisture intrusion and/or relative humidity sources are identified.
- Fungal sampling: Air, surface, and bulk samples are taken to determine the type and level of contamination. For example, air sampling can determine if the type of mold in your house is the type that causes allergic reactions from inhalation.
- Written report: The report will detail findings and recommendations to remediate problem areas and prevent future occurrences of mold growth.
What You Should Look for in Mold Inspection Companies
Credentials include a state and/or a professional association certification that shows an individual can test, handle, contain, and safely remove mold. We would recommend that you choose a mold inspection company with such certifications, because the process of mold removal can pose health risks. Moreover, if mold is not removed thoroughly, it will just come back.
At Titan Environmental Services, we are certified to perform mold testing and removal. That means we comply with current safety and other guidelines, as designated by the US Environmental Protection Agency, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists , and American Industrial Hygiene Association. We would recommend that any mold remediation professional have similar credentials and follow these guidelines.
What Are The Best Mold Cleanup Methods?
You will receive a written report outlining the recommendations for mold removal. This report will typically recommend containing the mold and applying biocides. At the very least, containment removes and then seals mold in a plastic bag for disposal. However, that process becomes more intricate if large areas of your home are contaminated.
Most biocides are ineffective at killing mold. Biocides may also affect human health. Thus, you should insist that a professional follow US Environmental Protection Agency guidelines on biocide use.
If you have any questions on mold remediation methods, testing for mold in your home, need to hire a mold remediation professional in the Midwest, or are interested in taking our 8-hour mold remediation technician training course, please call us at (816) 960-4675 or contact us online at Titan Environmental Services.
Mold is a tricky thing to remove from your home. Many times, homeowners clean up the mold they see but don’t realize that there is mold hidden behind walls and floors or in dark places like the basement or attic.
Or they clean up the mold, but don’t eliminate the cause of the moisture.
In either case, it’s highly likely that hidden mold will spread.
Hidden Mold Spreading Means DIY Cleanup Did Not Eliminate the Problem
Hidden mold is the mold that you can’t see that returns to the same place when given time to grow. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. It will be back if proper cleanup methods are not followed.
When to Look for Signs of Mold Growth
All mold growth can lead to minor health issues such as headaches, a stuffy nose and sore throat, or as serious as a lung infection. Some types are very dangerous like black mold. So, how can you determine when you should suspect mold growth?
- Actually seeing the mold on walls, floors, etc.
- The scent of mold even if you can’t see it
- Recent water damage such as a burst water pipe, flooding, or condensation.
Steps for Mold Removal
If you notice any areas in your home that are showing the signs of mold, you should call a professional to make sure it is properly and thoroughly removed.
- Hire a mold inspector. It is not enough to do a home test on your own as these tests aren’t always accurate. A professional can easily determine the type and extent of mold growth in your home. This can be expensive, but it is a necessary step.
- If mold is found, contact your insurance company to see if mold removal is included in your homeowner’s policy. You can use that information to hire an expert mold removal company which within your budget.
- Hire a professional mold removal company such as Titan Environmental Services to do the job effectively and efficiently. We have the necessary equipment to inspect, identify, and eliminate the problem. We can also give you suggestions to prevent growth such as ways to ventilate your home to avoid dampness, identify problem spots, or even how to make modifications to your house to enhance airflow.
Avoid hidden mold taking over your home by calling Titan Environmental Services. Contact us online or call us at (816) 960-4675 if we can be of assistance!
Mold can have deleterious effects to the structure of your home and your health. Preventing mold growth is the best way to prevent any ill-effects from occurring. Once mold sets in, its spores will quickly spread and elimination can be difficult and expensive.
We want to help homeowners prevent this situation from happening by showing you how and where mold grows, and what homeowners can do to stop it.
How Mold Grows
Mold needs one thing to grow: moisture. There are many types of mold which can grow in both warm or cold temperatures. However, it all needs water or moisture to grow. So if there is a mold problem in the home, you must take steps towards mold cleanup and fixing the source of moisture.
Moisture Culprits in Your Home
One of the most common places for mold to grow is in the bathroom. The surfaces of the bathroom, like the tub and walls, are usually damp. Make sure you are checking your bathroom’s surfaces every few weeks, particularly if you notice any odd smells. Areas like behind toilets, underneath sinks, and around any tile near the shower are usual culprits.
However, there are also other moist places in your home, many of which are hidden. These places include the HVAC system, unit ventilator, and the roof, wall, and water pipes where water leaks can happen. Many of these areas can be hard to reach and require a professional inspection.
Control the Moisture
Controlling moisture requires preventing water leaks, controlling humidity, and preventing condensation.
Preventing Water Leaks In the case of water leaks, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) homeowner’s guidelinesrecommend cleaning up the leak as soon as possible, ideally within 24-to-48 hours. Typically, mold will not grow if the moisture dries out within this time. You must also fix the source of the leaks.
Being proactive is the best way to ward off any mold growth from water leaks! Do the following EPA-sanctioned steps to make sure your home is always protected from an emergency:
- Repair roofs and clean gutters
- Make sure water does not pool around your property’s foundation; make sure the ground slopes away from the building
- Clean and repair air conditioning drip pans and drain lines
In controlling indoor humidity, ventilation is key. Opening windows, running bathroom exhaust fans, and using de-humidifiers will help protect your home. Remember that the ideal indoor humidity environment is between 30% to 50% humidity. Pro tip: you can measure this using an inexpensive humidity monitor!
Condensation can accumulate on windows, walls, or pipes. It usually occurs when the indoor environment is very humid, or when there is a difference between surface and air temperature. For example, a hot steamy shower will cause condensation on (colder) mirrors. Cold water pipes may also accumulate condensation if the air around it is warmer. Once condensation accumulates, wipe and dry surfaces as soon as possible. Afterwards, prevent condensation by increasing ventilation, increasing air temperature, and covering cold surfaces with insulation.
Now that you know where moisture hides in your home, and what you can do to prevent it, your home will be significantly more mold-free!
Need assistance preventing mold in your home? Titan Environmental Services stands ready to assist you with sound, results-oriented solutions. We serve customers throughout the Midwest region and beyond. Contact us today at (913)-325-4328.
If you’re an unlucky homeowner who has just discovered mold, you can soon breathe easy. Yes, it’s true that mold is a common problem for homeowners, and if left unchecked, can be dangerous – not only to your home’s structural integrity but also to you and your family’s health. The best way to combat mold in the home is to enlist a trusted professional who will eliminate the problem quickly and safely while educating you on the best mold preventative measures.
How Can I Prevent Mold in My Home?
Mold grows in damp or wet environments; to continue growing indoors, it also needs a food source, such as sheet rock, your bathroom floor, the kitchen ceiling, and even pieces of furniture inside your home. The best preventative strategy is to control water and moisture intrusion.
This may start inside the house, by ensuring there are no leaky taps or windows with broken seals, but can also require taking a closer look at outside areas around your home’s foundation where water can easily find ways to seep inside.
If you do find areas where water is accumulating, dry them out thoroughly, and consider calling a professional to assist you in preventing further issues.
What If I’ve Already Found Mold?
When mold is suspected or detected, enlisting an experienced professional is the only way to be certain that all mold – and what’s creating it – will be eliminated from your home. Why? Professional expertise is required to properly contain and remove mold, for many reasons.
- Mold can cause structural damage, creating dangerous and even life-threatening environments which are unsuitable to address on your own
- Large commercial machinery is often needed to eradicate mold growth
- Due to mold’s adverse health effects, personal protective equipment (PPE) may need to be worn during the elimination process
- HVAC and air handling systems are often the root cause of mold, and require professional inspection
- No matter what is causing the mold, specialized equipment must be used to locate the source, confirm the cause, and eliminate the problem thoroughly and safely
- Professionals are able to set up strategic preventative measures, such as constructing vapor barriers, so you never have a problem with mold again
Mold is certainly bothersome, but uncontrolled, it can become a safety hazard. Don’t wait—call a trusted professional today. Titan Environmental Services has a proven track record of success and offers highly personalized service from a team of trained professionals.