Mold Remediation

Renovating: Dealing With Hidden Mold

Most folks know that mold needs moisture to grow indoors. You commonly find mold growth occurring after a flood, in a damp basement or as a result of your roof leaking. However, mold is sneaky, and many people end up dealing with hidden mold while renovating.

Experts suggest that hidden mold can be present in up to 60% of homes. When you see a bit of mold, you spritz, wipe and move on. However, the problem can be deeper than you assume. That cracked and leaking ceiling or broken pipe often leads to mold spreading. Out of sight, out of mind.

You Must Take Mold Seriously

Mold is different than concerns you may have with a house with old lead-based paint or asbestos. These are single contaminants that have definable and determinable health risks, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. Researchers are still getting to know mold, but current findings reveal serious, long-term concerns for those with hidden mold.

Toxic mold exposure may pose issues with memory loss, trouble concentrating, insomnia and confusion. Mold exposure can contribute to symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can also cause upper respiratory tract symptoms in adults and children. Black mold is toxigenic, and symptoms of mold poisoning often occur as flu-like symptoms.

It is important to test for hidden mold through a certified inspector before you begin the renovation process. You should hire an expert renovator who is experienced in dealing with mold.

Dealing With Hidden Mold

Uneducated renovators and home and business owners who remain unaware of the mold effects and continue with renovation risk the health of others. You must understand what mold removal entails so that you don’t further contaminate or damage the structure and cause harm to those you care about.

Microbial air sampling is conducted if experts suspect mold. It’s not visible after the initial inspection. This type of sampling helps to locate hidden mold behind walls and other structures. A combination of moisture readings and surface or bulk sampling can help determine how far colonization may spread.

Mold remediation costs soar when you attempt to remove the visible areas of mold only to find more hidden. Some insurance companies now cap off what they will and won’t cover when it comes to mold. However, a certified expert gets the job done the first time and can afford more flexible payment terms. They also offer documentation assistance for insurance purposes.
cross contamination. Containing the area experiencing mold growth is important. Always practice safety measures, such as wearing goggles, a dust mask and rubber gloves.

Porous and Non-Porous Materials

Don’t treat contaminated porous materials with bleach. Bleach kills a large degree of germs,  but it doesn’t have the same effect on mold. Adding bleach adds moisture which encourages mold growth. The toxic nature of bleach may prove dangerous when not used with care.

Has mold infected porous materials, such as drywall, carpet and ceiling tiles? The best practice is to double bag and dispose of it. Containment helps prevent cross-contamination.

It’s safer to brush or scrub mold contamination off non-porous materials. Then, you will need to utilize a HEPA vacuum to stop mold particulates from taking to the air. Airborne particulates are a common way that mold spreads. You can spray anti-microbial solutions on non-porous surfaces to prevent mold growth.

Mold may be present in up to 60% of homes, and it’s difficult to determine how deeply mold may penetrate a structure. Hidden mold is more frequent in homes and businesses than you may suspect.

Avoid cross-contamination by focusing on mold containment. Contact ECOS Environmental today for thorough mold testing and removal assistance.

The Long-Term Side Effects Of Mold Exposure

Mold Exposure

 

Mold gives humanity some pleasant things, such as blue cheese and penicillin. However, exposure to mold can have negative long-term side effects on your health, causing serious infection and allergies.

Active mold growth needs moisture to thrive. Mold can develop within 24 hours when disasters strike and lead to water damage. That orange film on your kitchen drain is mold, and so is that fuzzy white stuff on your basement floor. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Mold can still irritate your eyes, nose, throat, lungs and skin and affect your health in the long-term.

From Mild to Long-Term Side Effects

Sensitivity to molds can cause throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation and skin irritation. Those with a mold allergy and who experience prolonged exposure to mold can have more severe reactions. If you have a chronic lung illness or a compromised immune system, infection due to mold exposure may affect you more seriously.

In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) linked indoor mold exposure with upper respiratory tract symptoms and illness in both adults and children. Otherwise healthy individuals coughed and wheezed. Those with asthma experienced excessive asthma symptoms. Susceptible individuals exposed to damp indoor environments had an increased risk of developing asthma.

Those with compromised immune systems were more likely to become susceptible to hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Some findings suggest that early interventions in improving housing conditions mitigate the morbidity from respiratory allergies and asthma.

Those with allergies can have more serious symptoms that make you feel like you have the flu or pneumonia with chest colds, headaches, persistent exhaustion, frequent coughing, fever and difficulty breathing. Toxic mold exposure is also connected to more serious, long-term effects like insomnia, memory loss, trouble concentrating and confusion. Mold exposure contributes to depression and anxiety. It can even lead to muscle cramps, numbness in extremities, weight gain, light sensitivity and hair loss.

Black Mold Is Toxigenic

Certain molds prove toxigenic, which means that they produce mycotoxins that cause ill health effects. A little mold is everywhere, but not all mold is “poisonous.” That doesn’t mean you should ignore mold.

Most are familiar with black mold, which is toxigenic and produces mold spores. These form colonies and grow with other spores. High concentrations of these mycotoxins can cause mold poisoning in healthy people, too.

Mold poisoning is also known as mycotoxicosis. This condition affects the upper respiratory system with harmful cold or flu-like symptoms. Additional symptoms due to mycotoxins can prove fatal. That’s especially true for those with severe allergies, asthma or other conditions.

Green-black mold is also harmful. It’s found on paper, dust, lint, fiberboard and other low-nitrogen content materials. It can develop and spread after water leaks, floods and condensation.

Until you know more, treat all molds the same due to the potential long-term side effects and health risks. Take mold growth seriously. You will usually see the mold colony and smell the signature “musty” smell.

Prevent Mold Growth With Routine Maintenance

To prevent mold growth, we suggest using a dehumidifier during the warm months and providing your home or business with the proper ventilation. Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Clean surfaces with mold-killing products.

Keep your humidity levels below 50 percent. Humidity levels shift throughout the day. Inspecting your structure for mold growth is an important part of routine building maintenance.

Seek treatment from a doctor soon as you notice any eye irritation, skin irritation or other common symptoms after exposure to mold, especially when symptoms persist. It’s better to be safe than sorry. ECOS Environmental is happy to step in and test your home or business for mold and assist with the cleanup and renovation.

Call us 24/7 at 888-375-3267

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