Itchy eyes…Sneezing…Coughing…Runny nose. Sound familiar? These are the classic signs of an allergic response. And, if you find yourself struggling with these symptoms chronically, it could be a sign that mold is hiding inside of your home. But don’t worry – we can help. FreeFlow Environmental has the answers to all of your mold questions, as well as highly effective mold remediation services to help you rid your home of any of these harmful problems.
Let’s Start with the Basics – What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus. It grows primarily in moist environments and can thrive on nearly any material. Because mold loves moisture, it grows exceptionally well in areas with leaking water, flooding, and condensation. Additionally, mold can grow on paper, wood, cardboard, cloth, and many other materials found in your home. This means the mold can flourish in your carpets, floors, walls, ceilings, furniture, and more.
There are many types of mold that can grow throughout your Northwest Indiana home. Here are the most common types of household mold:
Most of these common molds do not cause significant health problems for healthy people. However, some people may develop sneezing, coughing, watering and itchy eyes, congestion, shortness of breath, and more. Additionally, people with existing health conditions, such as asthma or weakened immune systems, may develop significant reactions.
Furthermore, it is impossible to identify some molds based on appearance, so it is best to have a professional sample and test the mold in your home to most accurately pinpoint it. By identifying it, you can find the best way to rid your house of the mold before any harm is caused.
Why is Mold Harmful?
Now you know what mold really is. But, what makes it so harmful? Let’s cover that next.
- Mold can cause persistent allergies.
One of the biggest health problems associated with mold is a persistent allergic response. With mold growing in your home, you may find it hard to breathe, and you may experience frequent coughing, sneezing, congestion, and other allergy symptoms. It can be hard to alleviate these symptoms when you live with the allergen in your house.
- Mold brings other health hazards.
Besides common allergies, some types of mold can cause more severe reactions and lead to lung infections. Some people develop fungal lung infections from the mold, and it can also increase the risk for other types of lung infections. In particular, people with weakened immune systems are more likely to suffer infections as a result of chronic mold exposure. Additionally, mold can put people, especially children, at a higher risk for developing asthma. Overall, there are many possible health hazards associated with mold growth in your home.
- Mold can be damaging to your home and belongings.
Because mold feeds on organic materials, it also breaks them down. This means that mold will cause destruction to your home, foundation, walls, ceilings, floors, and anywhere else that it grows. If the mold is on your furniture or other belongings, it will destroy them over time as well. Overall, mold can be very devastating to your home.
Besides being unpleasant to see, mold comes with a variety of complications. From structural and aesthetic damage to health hazards, mold can be devastating. To keep mold from harming you and your family, you need to know how to keep it from growing in your home. Read on to understand why mold grows and how you can stop it.
How Does Mold Grow?
Mold needs three main things to grow and thrive: the right temperature, a high moisture level, and a food source. Let’s dive into those.
- Temperature: Unfortunately, mold grows best at the temperature humans are most comfortable. That makes the inside of your house the ideal temperature for mold growth.
- Moisture: Your home doesn’t have to look physically damp or be flooded to grow mold. In reality, a relative humidity above 60% creates the ideal moisture level for mold.
- Food: Mold feasts on organic matter, like dust, dead skin cells, hair, pet fur, dirt, and even home construction materials. This, again, means that your home is the perfect environment for mold to prosper.
But wait, where does mold come from to start with? Actually, mold spores are floating in the air all around us everyday, inside and out. When the mold spores find an ideal home with the perfect temperature and humidity, they begin to feed on the organic matter. As a result, the mold begins to grow and become visible to the naked eye.
In short, mold is everywhere. All it needs is the perfect home – complete with moisture, a good temperature, and organic matter – to grow.
How Do You Prevent Mold Growth?
So, if mold is everywhere, how do you keep it from growing in your home? Here are a few things that you can do to prevent mold growth in your Northwest Indiana home.
- Control the humidity levels in your home.
Some areas of the home are more prone to mold growth, such as the basement or bathrooms. In these areas, a dehumidifier can be very helpful in controlling the moisture level. These can also be used throughout the house if your home is prone to high humidity. In addition, you can buy humidity sensors for your home, which will let you know the relative humidity in your home so that you can devise a plan to keep the humidity at a safe level.
- Install ventilation systems in rooms that are prone to high humidity.
Your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room are often subject to higher humidity levels. By installing adequate ventilation in all of these rooms, you can better control the humidity and prevent excessive moisture. In doing so, you decrease the likelihood of mold growth.
- Keep carpet out of damp rooms.
It is best to use non-carpeted flooring in your bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, and poorly ventilated basements. Carpet holds more moisture than other flooring options, so it can encourage mold growth. Therefore, using another flooring can prevent moisture buildup and discourage mold from making a home in your floors and walls.
- Quickly repair any leaks in your Northwest Indiana home.
Leaks in your pipes, walls, floors, etc. can all cause moisture to accumulate in your home. Cracks or gaps around your windows, walls, and floors can let rain or groundwater into your home, and leaks in your pipelines can cause moisture to accumulate in your walls or floors. Overall, leaks can contribute to excessive moisture, which can encourage mold growth. Having any leaks repaired helps you avoid this problem.
- Have your home cleaned & thoroughly dried following any flooding.
If you experience flooding in your Northwest Indiana home or have a significant leak, it is imperative to have it immediately cleaned and professionally restored. The longer moisture stays in your home, the more it can soak in and the greater chance that mold will grow. Have all significant water damage quickly cleaned and dried.
The main way to prevent mold growth in your home is to control the moisture level. As previously explained, mold needs the right temperature, a food source, and high humidity to grow. Unfortunately, most homes are kept at an adequate temperature for mold growth, and every home contains the right food source. Therefore, the one thing you can control in your home is the moisture level. By preventing excessive humidity and fixing any leaks, you can protect your Northwest Indiana home from mold growth.
What Do You Do If You Have Mold in Your Home?
Some mold can be cleaned with commercial cleaners, bleach solutions, or soap and water. But, some require professional help. When you have minor mold growth on the hard surfaces in your Northwest Indiana home, you may be able to clean it yourself. However, if you have black mold, significant mold growth, or mold growing on porous surfaces, you will need professional mold removal services. In fact, because it is difficult to identify the type of mold without professional testing, it is always best to have your home inspected and treated by the experts.
Nonetheless, sometimes you may decide to tackle mold removal on your own. If you choose to use bleach to clean the mold in your home, here are a few important considerations:
- Keep windows open to ventilate your home while you clean.
- Wear gloves and goggles to protect your skin and eyes while cleaning.
- Don’t use more than 1 cup of bleach per 1 gallon of water.
- NEVER mix bleach and ammonia; this creates a poisonous gas.
- It’s always best to call in the professionals for mold removal and mold remediation.
It’s Always Best to Bring in the Professionals.
Though you can sometimes remove mold from the nonporous surfaces of your home, it is always best to have expert mold removal and remediation services to ensure your home is effectively cleaned. Mold can be tricky because it can penetrate into surfaces and come back time and time again, creating a persistent burden and hazard. Luckily, professional mold removal providers like the team at FreeFlow Environmental can provide highly effective mold removal and mold remediation to ensure your Northwest Indiana home is safe and protected.
Mold is bothersome. It’s unsightly and can make you itch, sneeze, cough, and feel miserable in your home. Besides being a health hazard, it can also cause damage to your home and belongings. Additionally, there are many types of mold, and some are more harmful than others. Though you can sometimes clean mold on your own, it is best to call in the professionals for expert mold removal and remediation services.
If you are struggling with mold in your Northwest Indiana home, now is the time to contact FreeFlow Environmental for all of your mold removal and mold remediation needs. Call us today!