Dangers of Mold and Mildew in Your House
The subject is surrounded by controversy. The Centers for Disease Control, Institute of Medicine, as well as scientists and doctors at Harvard University, Mayo Clinic, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and several State
Here are the facts. Mold is everywhere; inside and outside. Some molds are good (penicillin), some are very toxic and emit gases that can be inhaled (Stachybotrys “black mold”). Although some people apparently aren’t bothered by mold, all varieties have the potential to cause illness. Mold reproduces by generating spores that are released into the air, where they land on moist surfaces. They can grow on any organic surface such as wallpaper, ceiling tiles, carpeting, wallboard and wood. They thrive in dark, warm, moist locations, like under carpets, inside walls and ceilings. They will also contaminate items that come in contact with those surfaces.
So, what should you do if you think that your home might have a mold/mildew problem? Here’s a suggested 5 step process:
- Mold Inspection- retain a qualified, certified mold inspection firm to evaluate your home and determine cause of mold and severity of infestation.
- Isolation of the Area- if there is a mold problem, you will want to isolate the area carefully to prevent carryover into non infested areas during clean up.
- Clean Up/Remediation- care should be taken to not stir up the mold; if it is severe, or in the walls, a specialized remediation firm (in space suits) may have to be used and materials removed in hazardous waste containers.
- Repair of the Cause- if there is structural damage or leaky plumbing causing a moisture problem, fix it.
- Maintenance/Prevention- an ongoing program to ensure no recurrence of the cause and use of proven purification technology to maintain a clean environment and kill mold growth.