How does the mold start?
Not many people realize this, but mold is generally caused by lifestyle. Put simply, this means it is caused by the way we live in our homes these days. We cause a lot of moisture from:
- Boiling a kettle
- Drying clothes
These are everyday activities, which in the summer months rarely cause an issue because we tend to open our windows and ventilate for long periods. However, when our windows closed to retain AC, this prevents all the accumulated moisture from escaping, which quickly encourages mold to form.
The problems mold can cause:
- Mold produces allergens which in turn can cause an allergic reaction, along with irritants and even toxic substances.
- Inhaling mold fragments or spores can cause airway inflammation, nasal congestion, chest tightness, wheezing and a sore throat. Skin rashes and watery eyes can also be caused by mold.
- Prolonged exposure can cause chronic lung problems. Those who already suffer from asthma and allergies are more likely to have more severe symptoms when exposed to spores.
The people most at risk:
Some people are more sensitive than others, including:
- babies and children;
- elderly people;
- those with existing skin problems, such as eczema;
- those with respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma;
- those with a weakened immune system.
Homes that lack appropriate air ventilation, plus those with failing insulation can be more susceptible to dampness and mold. Those that are overcrowded can also be at a higher risk of mold, as are those in rental properties. Although those with existing health issues are at a greater risk of health issues from mold, exposure can also affect healthy people.
The common places for mold to grow in houses are :
- Wallpaper, flooring, behind wall tiles and on window frames.
- Leaking radiators and pipes are also a major cause of mold.
- Leaking water in an inconspicuous spot means many won’t notice until the damage has already been done.
- Flooding is also a factor – and unless the mold is fast-growing, the damage may not be noticeable for years.
How to prevent it:
- adequate air flow to reduce airhumidity levels and condensation and not letting rooms and walls become cold
- install and use appropriate ventilation – especially in wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens
- ensure the roof, pipes and window frames are watertight
- putting lids on saucepans, drying/washing outside and avoiding using paraffin or bottled gas heaters
- opening the bedroom window for 15 minutes each morning
- if you’re cooking, showering or bathing – opening the window, putting the fan on and closing the door of the room you’re in
- dry washing outside if possible. Otherwise, hang it up in the bathroom, close the door and have the window open or a fan working continuously while it dries
Mold and the spores it produces are a recognized health hazard. If the area affected by mold is less than 1-meter square and is caused by condensation, you may be able to remove it yourself. If the mold is a result of sewage or is one meter square or larger, you will need to contact a professional mold remediation company in St. Augustine like ServiceMaster by PWF.
How quickly can ServiceMaster by PWF be on site?
ServiceMaster by PWF can be on-site within 24 hours of your call. Dealing with mold removal early will save time and costs for any business and will reduce the risk of ill health to individuals in the environment.
For more information, please contact ServiceMaster by PWF so we can provide you with expert advice on mold treatment and prevention.