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.