What is Mold?
Mold is also sometimes referred to as mildew, a fungal growth that develops on wet materials. Mold is a natural part of the environment and plays an important part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees; indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Mold reproduce by means of tiny spores. The spores are like seeds, but invisible to the naked eye, that floats through the air and deposit on surfaces. When the temperature, moisture, and available nutrient conditions are correct, the spores can form into new mold colonies where they are deposited. There are many types of mold, but all require moisture and a food source for growth. If you see mold growing in your home please call SERVPRO of Carroll County for an estimate.
Professional Mold Cleanup
Water damage and mold can come from any direction foundation, a foundation leak, A/C condensation pump failure, old water heater, or from high humidity and need to be addressed immediately. Mold feeds and grows in high moisture and warm environments. Mold is present everywhere inside or outside. There are hundreds of different types of mold, It is very important to start the drying process right away to prevent mold growth. Organic materials found inside a building; wood, paper, drywall and insulation are great sources of food for mold. Different types of mold are health threats. It is very important though to remember that if you see visible mold spores to not put air flow directly across the mold. It can send the spores airborne causing more damage. This is why it is so important to call a professional right away to make sure all areas are brought back to acceptable moisture levels inside a home after water damage. Call SERVPRO of Carroll County 410-857-5332
Prevent mold growth this summer
In the summer, a closed house with the air-conditioning turned off will have higher humidity levels than an air-conditioned home. A vacant house also receives little or no sunlight through closed shades and no air movement with the fan off and the doors locked. If you simply leave the air conditioning running, it will cool the home and remove moisture from the air and circulate and filter the air. Molds thrive when the humidity levels exceed 70 percent. Because humidity levels vary from day to day, the thermostat should have been left at or below 74 degrees, and the fan should have been set to "On."
Normally, mold cleaning and remediation processes disturb the spores, which become airborne and can settle on unclean or untreated surfaces, where they continue to thrive in the humid, warm, dark conditions.
SERVPRO of Carroll County 410-857-5332
Mold vs Mildew
There are 3 Basic Categories of Water
Category 1 originates from a sanitary source and poses no substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. However, it may not always remain clean after it comes into contact with other surfaces or materials.
Category 2 contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. It may contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms, as well as other organic or inorganic matter (chemical or biological).
Category 3 is grossly contaminated and may contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Such water sources may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances.
The 4 Primary Classifications of Water Damage
Class 1 is the least amount of water, absorption and evaporation. It affects only part of a room or area, or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture. Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion is present.
Class 2 involves a large amount of water, absorption and evaporation. It affects at least an entire room of carpet and cushion (pad). Water has wicked up walls less than 24 inches. There is moisture remaining in structural materials and substructure soil.
Class 3 involves the greatest amount of water, absorption and evaporation. Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and subfloor in virtually all of the entire area are saturated.
Class 4 relates to specialty drying situations. Wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (eg. hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, light-weight concrete and stone). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which require very low specific humidity. These types of losses may require longer drying times and special methods.
Mold in my basement
Several times a week during this humid rainy summer we get called to inspect a basement with apparent mold growth primarily on furniture, clothing, and some of the drywall or paneling. With no apparent water damage, homeowners are stumped as to why they have mold. Here are some common factors in these outbreaks:
- Homeowners don’t go down to the basement much anymore.
- Humidity control by dehumidifier or central air conditioning is absent.
- If air conditioning is available, many times the vents are closed.
- Very little direct light and little or no air-flow.
So if you have a basement that does have air conditioning, make sure you leave the vents open during the summer heat and humidity – even if you don’t use the space often.
If you don’t have AC, put dehumidifiers in the space and use the manufacturer’s recommendations as to how much space the unit will handle. You may need more than one. Also, it’s a good idea to keep a fan running to circulate the air.