There are different types of molds, and they are in any and all kinds of places. They are outdoors, indoors, and also in the air. This is because molds are quite useful to ecosystems as they do break down organic material. In the house, however, they are very nasty to look at. Whether on walls, ceilings, floors, carpets, or furniture, they can also be disturbing to scrub out and make the Mold remediation process more complicated.
Although molds are non-toxic when in small quantities, build-ups lead to health issues, particularly for asthmatic individuals or those susceptible to allergies. However, there are some simple, effective ways to guide your home and family from the effects of mold.
How Does Mold Grow in Florida?
A mold is a form of microscopic fungus (filamentous) that helps nature in decomposing dead organic material, which is then absorbed and used for energy. To grow, it spreads by releasing tiny seed-like spores. Spores are microscopic, multi-cellular organisms that molds use to reproduce. They are tinier than a hair strand and they occupy every space.
These spores are active everywhere indoors, and there is no way to hide from them. It is the air or water that carries them to new locations when released. They can even thrive in conditions where mold itself cannot survive. If spores retire on a damp surface where nutrients are available to eat, and the temperature suits them, they will start to grow their hyphae.
The Conditions for Mold to Thrive in Florida
Under the right conditions, mold will grow anywhere in the home and even digest the material they are growing on as they grow. This is because molds can settle happily on various surfaces like walls, fabric, toys, paper, wood, glass, and even plastic. To continue to grow, however, it should always meet the following conditions:
- a) Ideal temperature: Molds grow in all manner of temperature ranges. They can develop at both almost freezing temperatures and up to hot temperatures.
- b) Appropriate moisture level: Mold species have different moisture expectations. However, they all need moisture to grow, especially in highly humid areas like laundry rooms, basements, bathrooms, or kitchens. So, when they descend on a damp spot, they bloom so long as it is greater than 50% humidity.
- c) Food must be present: As a living organism, molds crave food and use any organic substance as a source of nourishment.
- d) Spores must be present!
How to Verify If the House Has Mold?
It is easy to confuse molds with dirt or other spots. But there are a few indicators you can look out for, like:
- a) Mold Color: The source of nutrients and the growth time influence mold color. By appearance, the mold shows off black or green.
- b) Mold Shape: In most building structures, mold appears powdery or woolly.
- c) Hidden Mold: In some cases, mold can grow behind wallpaper, and drywall, though you may be unable to see it until you look for it.
When Should You Hire a Mold Remediation Company in Boca Raton, Florida?
- When the mold starts spreading
Most homeowners can contain minor mold problems, provided they are not toxic. However, when they appear in more than one part of your home, and you are ever concerned about the effect it may have on your health, you should engage a professional as soon as can be.
- At the point of moving
Commercial buildings that can potentially be a workplace for many people in the future should always have mold levels checked before renovations. Houses and buildings that have been closed up or neglected for an extended period must check through a mold remediation process before accommodating anyone. Additionally, it is advisable to engage a mold remediation team before moving into any new structure. It is only the right thing to do.
- Whenever you feel concerned
The time to hire a mold remediation company is as soon as you feel even a slight concern, you have worries about health or damage to your current property.
Steps to Mold Remediation in Florida
Mold remediation is a full-blown property health-check experience, and identifying and treating spore species is only a specialty for the team involved. Identifying a mold situation in your home can be terrifying, but no worries, it can be managed entirely. Mold hides in cracks and spreads in places it shouldn’t.
- Mold Inspection
The experts first engage in a thorough sweep of the area to understand the details of the situation. Here, they learn about the mold species present, the scope of circulation, and spore levels in the air and gauge the expected natural mold level.
- Identifying and Ending the Mold Source
With equipment like thermal imaging, moisture detection tools, and other smart gadgets, the root cause of mold infestation is identified, and this source is fixed. The next steps become to stop any current mold growth in its tracks. Antimicrobial treatment can kill spores and stop new colonies from appearing on unaffected damp surfaces.
- Isolation and Containment
The spaces that are contaminated are left isolated to contain the spores. This way, mold will not grow into new areas. However, should you choose to enter non-mold-contaminated areas, you have to wear protective gloves and clothing, and also apply special detergents. Bear in mind also that the windows and doors will be sealed and covered with specialized sheeting.
On a side note, the HVAC systems are temporarily shut down in the area to prevent mold spores from circulating further.
- Air Quality Control
Loose airborne mold spores are the leading danger of wider spread. During the remediation process, spores will definitely be disturbed. To manage this, there are specialized filters that will come to play. They will groom the air, and trap and move spores about inside the vacuum canister. Because the areas where mold is present are isolated, these filters will be able to capture spores easily and limit their spread.
- Removing Materials Affected by Mold
Wherever possible, all affected materials that are not integral to the home’s structure will be carefully removed. These items in question are usually floorboards, carpet, insulation, etc. The removal entails testing the air repeatedly to catch any spores and avoid further spreading.
Specially designed plastic bags seal the spores inside, and more oversized items are wrapped in similar materials. A licensed environmental hygienist is present to make compliance with regulations go easy.
If a home unit cannot be gently pulled out, it is cleaned on the spot. Since we know it is moldy, cleaning entails vacuuming surfaces with a specialized seal to remove the visible mold before moving on to scrub with specialized chemicals. A mold-killing bleach solution is left on the covers to ensure that no rogue spores survive. Non-porous materials are also made clear through a series of deep treatments. The cleaning is also in line with the regulated industry standards by the IICRC.
- Testing the Mold Levels
Mold remediation aims to restore the correct mold levels to the area and not total eradication. In-depth air testing provides information about the fixed mold level after the cleanup procedure. If not at the standard level, the air filtration system is left to run longer, or a possible second cleanup could be on standby plans.
- Drying Out the Area
By the end of the process, there should no longer be moist portions in the area. The walls and surfaces will need sufficient drying time, for which some equipment can speed it up. Mold Remediation is considered complete only when the area is as close to its original state as possible. After the process, a quick vacuum and wall wipe-down is performed! Most mold remediations take a few days.
Should You Move Out Temporarily During Mold Remediation?
When a mold remediation project is in progress in the home, you may be uncertain whether or not to hang around. The best solution, however, hangs on personal cases and how deep the invasion of mold in the home is. If growth signs are indicated in several areas, or the test result reveals any black mold or other toxic species, it may be safer to reside away temporarily until the process is over.
Again, if you have mold problems in only a couple of rooms that can seal off quite easily, you don't have to live elsewhere. Typically, a lot of people choose to stay out of the home for those few days of work until it is completed. Although safety measures discredit possible danger, you are likely to be more comfortable offsite until the end of the project.
How Long Does It Take to Remediate Mold?
Most mold remediations endure for a few days. The degree of mold concerns roughly defines the project length, but three to eight days fall within the average time length for remediation jobs. Mold growth that penetrates into a building structure may take longer to get rid of and repair.
Can Mold Come Back After the Remediation Process?
Professional Mold Remediation services in Boca Raton, FL, always work by tracing the problem source. Repairing the moisture source and means of mold growth will permanently cut off the issue. Removing the visible signs of mold from the surface alone and not striving for a more in-depth solution usually makes mold resurface.
A part of the remediation team’s high-efficiency testing is to employ current technology and high-end equipment to uncover any signs of excess moisture or mold behind walls or porous materials and in the air. Wherever there is an irregular level, they analyze and fix it.
Are you experiencing mold suffocation in your home, or someone you care for has a mold issue? Contact Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Restoration’s highly rated, certified, and insured remediation team to start the mold remediation process. They will return the mold levels back to normal, natural levels!
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