As mold gets old, it becomes more bold

Posted by on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 in Mold Remediation

Mold will grow on you—not in a good way. While familiarity can breed contentment in some areas, mold only will breed contempt and possibly health issues.

That said, however, there are acceptable (translate “normal environmental”) mold levels of certain varieties. Much like bacteria, we will need to continue to co-exist with mold. Also like bacteria, there are some beneficial mold applications (e.g., penicillin antibiotic is derived from mold).

Mold on Wall
Example of Mold growing on basement cinderblock wall.

Here’s the rub: It’s extremely difficult for the untrained eye to know whether mold is dangerous and/or has spread beyond “acceptable levels.” A major exception is the type of mold that appears on shower tiles. Generally, this is not harmful and can be relatively easily removed.

Where it gets tricky is when mold gets insidious—hiding undetected until smells or health issues emerge. So, given that mold will be around, how do you know when to call in the professionals? There are three primary rules to live by when it comes to mold:

  • By the time a leak can be seen, it’s a safe bet that the leak is worse where you can’t see it (e.g., behind the wall). In these cases, it’s always worth a mold inspection because where there’s water and darkness, mold can’t be far behind;
  • When a qualified mold remediation specialist advises getting rid of it, pay close attention. It doesn’t go away by itself, and will continue growing as long as dark, wet conditions exist. So, dealing with it later really means more money, stress and possible threats to health;
  • Prevention is by far the best way to deal with mold threats according to Purofirst Repair Division Production Manager Hunter Pitts. For example, that’s why emergency crews will immediately cut away wet drywall and insulation—and dry everything out thoroughly. However, a key step in prevention is examination. It may be worth the relatively small investment to consider such preventive measures as examining accessible areas for any obvious signs of mold (e.g., crawl spaces and basements), as well as conducting periodic infrared inspections of such “invisible areas” as inside the walls.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous. Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. There is always a little mold everywhere – in the air and on many surfaces. There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss…A common-sense approach should be used for any mold contamination existing inside buildings and homes. The common health concerns from molds include hay fever-like allergic symptoms. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm#Q1)

Bottom line: Be vigilant, observant and proactive when it comes to property mold—you’ll save money, lessen stress, and avoid unnecessary health hazards.

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