Mold is more of a common occurrence than many individuals may realize. It is not only found in homes, businesses and virtually any type of dwelling, but it also occurs naturally outdoors. However, this does not mean that the problem does not need to be treated. This fungus can pose serious risks to humans, animals and the structures that it grows on if it is allowed to continue to grow.
What Causes It?
As previously mentioned, mold growth occurs naturally in an outdoor environment. The problem is when it begins to grow indoors. Growth is promoted and accelerated by moisture. It can grow indoors as a result of leaking pipes, problems with the foundation or any event, such as flooding that may have caused an increase in moisture that was not properly cleaned or in which the water was trapped. Essentially, if there is excess moisture, there is an environment for growth.
Contrary to popular belief, mold is not harmless. As a matter of fact, there are many types commonly found within the home that can pose serious health risks. This can include but is not limited to conditions associated with breathing difficulties, allergic reaction and even skin rashes. These problems can affect children and pets as well. Those with underlying health conditions, such as asthma for example, may be at even higher risk for health problems related to mold growth.
Health is not the only thing that can be impacted. Without adequate remediation, damage can occur to the contents of the home and the structures of the home itself. In addition to discoloration and staining of walls, carpets and flooring, structures may also begin to decay and deteriorate. The home may also take on a distinctive musty smell that the homeowner cannot get rid of. Boards and walls can rot, even the foundation can become compromised.
Mold Remediation Process
Getting rid of mold is accomplished through remediation. This process not only eliminates the mold, but focuses on ridding the home of moisture so it does not come back. This includes cleaning, drying and inspecting other areas for potential growth. The homeowner should always keep in mind that mold remediation will only work if the source of moisture is taken care of. Otherwise, the mold can and will come back despite these efforts.
If you are living in the DMV area, specifically Southern Maryland for example Montgomery County or Prince George county, or in Washington DC, or you are planning on buying a property in these areas and you suspect that you have mold in your home or the home you intend on purchasing, it is highly advisable that you get rid of it as soon as you possibly can. Young children, older people, and those who have health issues already may be at a higher risk of becoming very ill from breathing in the spores.
Many homeowners think that they can save money by attempting mold remediation on their own. However, this is not a good idea. In addition to not having the knowledge to properly do so, these attempts may actually spread the mold and make the problem worse. The untrained individual may not know where to look and may overlook growth that is not immediately evident to the eye.
How Can the Homeowner Make It Worse?
Mold growth is hard to contain for several reasons, but it is spread via spores. These are particles that can flow in the air. While attempting to clean the mess, not only is the homeowner breathing in these toxins, but tracking them throughout the rest of the home. So, it is not uncommon for the homeowner to notice new growth in other areas of the home following a do-it-yourself remediation effort.
Other Important Consideration
Whether renting or selling a property, if the owner believes that mold may be growing, they need the help of professionals. Honestly, it is not at all uncommon to find growth of mold in the Washington area and there are services that can help. A professional company can inspect the structure and help determine if there is in fact a mold problem and begin the remediation process immediately.
If you suspect your home is at risk, check out our page on air quality test.