Mold can be harmful but needs moisture to grow. It does not grow on dry materials. Inside a home or business mold can affect the occupants.
What are molds? Molds are microscopic fungi, organisms that include mushrooms and yeasts. They have adapted to grow rapidly and are something that you encounter every day.. Food, for example we all know about. Slightly less obvious are leaves and wood that are rot because of mold, the fuzzy black growth on we window sills, and paper kept in a damp place. Molds that grow indoors are different than the ones growing outdoors but there are many different species of each. Beneficial molds provide us with penicillin.
Why does mold grow? To grow mold requires moisture and nutrients. Mold does not grow if things are dry. That is why in a flooded situation, it is important to get things dry fast. Moisture can be provided by leaks, seepage, floods, insufficient ventilation to expel moisture, and the activities that take place in bathrooms and laundry areas. Different types of mold require different amounts of moisture.
Why is mold a problem? Materials are damaged by mold. They are stained and discoloured, and over time ruined. Continued mold growth can be indicative of conditions favourable to the growth of fungi that can cause wood and structural damage. Also, certain types of mold can cause allergic reactions and illness.
Mold is always in the air, outside and inside. The problem starts when mold starts to grow in a building. This can be a sign that there is too much moisture in the building. Mold can be any color – black, yellow, orange, or red for example. A musty or earthy smell might indicate the presence of mold.
You can clean up small areas of mold yourself but you need to wear protective equipment (safety glasses, a dust mask and rubber gloves). Other people or pets should not be in the area while it is being worked on. Scrub washable surfaces with an unscented detergent solution and then rinse with a sponge or wet rag and dry area fast – using a fan will help. Painting over mold does not kill the mold but only masks it. If the mold comes back, and for when larger areas are affected, get professional advice.
Prevent mold by
- keeping the home or building dry
- fixing water leaks
- preventing clutter in storage areas
- keeping the home or building clean
- periodically cleaning the floor drain in your basement and keep other drains in good working order
- preventing standing water
- use good furnace filters and clean or change regularly
- make good use of your bathroom and kitchen fans
- make sure that areas you live in don’t get wet for too long such as walls by the shower
For more information on mold, or flood related concerns call Ram @ 403-291-1051 and talk to one of our Flood Restoration Specialists
Ram Cleaning Services, Complete Cleaning and Maintenance Care Serving Calgary and area since 1967
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