Toxic black mold! If there is one type of mold we have all been told to be on the lookout for, it is toxic black mold. Are there really only a few types of mold that can make you sick, though? Honestly, even non-toxic molds can make you ill. All mold is quick to form colonies which can aerosolize rapidly and spread throughout your home. Experts on mold actually cite non-toxic molds as the most common cause of illness because they are found so frequently.
To date, there is not quite enough evidence in order to prove whether or not toxic molds can cause serious illness. More commonly, these molds are responsible for issues such as rashes, nausea, dizziness, and headaches. They wreak more havoc on ones with weakened immune systems, like older people or children with immune systems that are not yet fully developed.
Since eradicating mold once it has set in can prove to be a lengthy and expensive battle, prevention of mold is truly key. How can that be done?
Keeping Mold Out
Mold thrives in warm, wet climates. That is why we typically will find mold lurking in our showers or laundry rooms. But since mold generally lives outside, how does it get inside? What you track in on the bottoms of your shoes and on your clothing is likely the answer.
Additionally, the summer months tend to be hotter and more humid. Therefore, you may want to keep an extra eye on the mold you have living outside your home. Since mold reproduces via spores, these can actually catch a free ride into your home on the breeze that comes in through your windows. AC units help to work as dehumidifiers and keep your home cool, but if you do not happen to have one, the CDC actually recommends leaving your windows open. But isn’t that how spores come in through the windows, you may be wondering? While that is true, leaving your windows open and bringing in a breeze will help your home to be less humid, and thus less inviting for mold in your home to multiply.
In the end, the humidity and moisture in your home will be the biggest factor in whether or not mold will be allowed to settle in. If you are unsure about how to control the moisture in your home, no worries, we have got you covered.
Be aware of the kinds of activities that create humidity. Showers, baths, using appliances that use water, (such as a clothes steamer) these all increase the humidity levels in a room. Of course, we all love a nice hot shower, but try to remember to turn on the ventilation fan or open a window so that moisture has somewhere to go.
For rooms that are repeat mold hosting offenders, it may not be a bad idea to place a hygrometer there. These can easily help you to keep track of the moisture in any given room. If you notice the humidity reading is 55% or higher, that would be a good time to turn on either your AC or dehumidifier.
Mold is incredibly efficient about multiplying. In fact, if you have a leak, it can take as little as 24 hours for mold to begin growing in that spot. For this reason, if you are aware of a leaky spot in your home, be sure to dry the area as quickly as you can. Dry the walls and maybe even consider leaving a space heater near that area. If it is in a space with carpet, a wet-to-dry vac will definitely be of use to you.
Properly Clear Mold
Remember how we said that mold carries spores? Well, those microscopic spores are the reason that getting rid of mold can be so difficult. So, even if you wipe away all the mold you can see, these tiny spores can still be clinging to the surface. With gloves, a scrub brush, and some bleach, you can properly get rid of an area of mold. However, if you have a large colony of mold, it is probably best to hire a professional to make sure that the mold is truly taken care of.
When It is Time to Call a Professional
A professional is skilled in keeping the mold in the infected area while it is being dealt with, and not allowing it to spread to other parts of your home. When hiring a professional, be sure to check and make sure that they are affiliated with the Better Business Bureau. In addition to this, any professional you choose should also be certified with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification. If you look for these things in a professional, you will not have to worry about a thing.
Here at The Grout Medic we are familiar with mold. Sometimes, clients will call us in to re-grout their shower, only to find mold behind the shower tiles. Do not give mold the chance to set up shop behind your shower walls. If you need the grout in your shower or any other area replaced, do not hesitate to give us a call!