Mold growth in your Harrisburg home or business – if left unchecked – can cause untold damage to your house and property. Also known as mildew, these fungi thrive on wet materials and surfaces in the home. These plants occur naturally in the environment and are responsible for breaking down dead organic matter, making them a health hazard when growing indoors. There are various types of mold, with some being known to cause severe health complications. An example is Aspergillus, which causes aspergillosis that affects people with a weak immune system and can aggravate an existing lung disease.
This article is focused on some of the frequently asked questions surrounding mold damage repair and restoration in Harrisburg, PA. By getting some of these answers, Harrisburg homeowners and businesses can understand more about mold damage and some of the measures they can take when faced with the problem.
What are mold spores?
Most people have come across mold, either on the damp walls of a building or on a stale piece of bread. Mold is a fungus that falls in the same category as yeast and mushroom. These fungi reproduce through spores that are spread through currents of air.
What are the cause of mold growth?
Scientifically there are more than 300,000 species of mold that require different conditions to grow and spread. However, the majority of these species only require warmth, moisture, and poor ventilation to thrive. In addition, just like any living thing, mold requires nutrients such as cellulose to grow. This is why they do well in materials such as cardboard, fabric, wood, and even dead skin cells.
How do you detect mold growth?
Mold growth is relatively easy to detect; the very first sign is a musty odor. This smell resembles the smell you get when you visit the library, especially the section with old books. However, there are some species of mold that don’t give off any odor. Another easy way of detecting this fungus is through the naked eye. You need to be sure, though, because in most cases, they tend to resemble dirt. Finally, there is an unpleasant way of detecting mold in your home when you find yourself experiencing an unexplained respiratory or general health problem.
When you discover mold growth in your home, you can perform a test that is easily accessible at the hardware store. The downside to this move is that it may not be accurate. In case you have a severe case, it is best to consult a professional mold tester or remediation contractor to ascertain the exact extent of the problem.
When is DIY mold growth cleanup recommended?
It is absolutely normal to come across mold growth during your daily cleanup exercise or even when spring cleaning. This is mainly due to the pervasive nature of the mold. It is perfectly okay to clean the mold yourself when you find small patches growing on hard surfaces such as metal, tub tile, or even glass. During the cleanup, it is advisable to throw out or replace the contaminated materials on your own as long as you are adorning personal protective gear.
However, it is best not to attempt to get rid of the mold if you have any underlying health conditions, especially one that can be worsened with mold exposure. This is in the case of people with difficulties breathing or who are experiencing allergic reactions from exposure. Immediately you notice mold growth, seek professional help from a mold removal contractor. Getting expert help is recommended when,
- The mold growth is related to water damage or flooding.
- When the growth has spread to a few feet in diameter.
- When you notice the mold in your HVAC system.
- When the problem is inside your walls.
Is mold dangerous?
Most humans can breathe in mold spores and not get affected. However, research states that there is significant data relating indoor mold growth to various respiratory problems in general health individuals. It is best to note that prolonged exposure to mold can graduate from mild allergic reactions to more chronic illnesses if unchecked.
What health complications are related to mold growth?
In the case of people with weak immune systems or those who are allergic, indoor mold can cause,
- Running noses.
- Shortness of breath.
- Eye irritation and possibly watery eyes.
- Asthma attacks.
- Depression and fatigue.
- Chronic sinus infections.
- And finally, fungal infections if you are exposed to mycotoxins.
What are the effects of exposure to black mold?
This type of mold falls under the class species Stachybotrys chartarum and is known to grow on and consumes material made from green plants such as cardboard and wood. They are mainly found on material that has been exposed to water damage. Individually, these molds are not harmful; however, they are known to produce the highest level of mycotoxins compared to most types of mold. In the past, this mold type was mistaken to cause death in infants and pulmonary hemorrhage, a theory that the Center for Disease Control disputed.
How can mold growth damage your home?
To grow and spread, mold eats away at the surface it lives on, causing extensive damage that can lead to expensive repairs. In severe cases, the damage caused can lead to structural damage making your home a health hazard. However, in mild cases, mold growth can damage your HVAC system, furniture, carpets, drywall, and other belongings such as fabric books and even clothes.
How long does it take for mold to grow after water damage?
Mold is known to grow very fast and can start to show in areas damaged by floods in under 24 hours. However, in some cases, mold growth has been known to take longer to develop, weeks and even months. Under optimal conditions, mold can grow between 48 and 72 hours. One of the most susceptible materials to mold growth is the carpet. For this, you need to address any water leaks to your carpet or remediate and dry out your carpet as fast as possible after flood damage.
With this information, you can get a grip on some of the causes and effects of indoor mold growth. Some people use color to differentiate dangerous mold from regular mold. This is a mistake. Every mold should be treated with the same severity. You should take all the precautionary measures when dealing with mold damage, especially when you decide to go at it alone. Do diligent research on the best way to get rid of the mold and all the necessary tests you may have to conduct during the process.
To learn more, contact the Harrisburg mold damage restoration experts at ServiceMaster Restore by Holobinko at 888-604-3064, or visit them at their offices at 221 Plum Street in Lemoyne PA.