One devastating problem, usually undetected or unseen until it is too late is the presence of black mold in a home structure. Black mold is a blanket term that includes all types of house mold or mildew type fungi that can grow and spread throughout the inside of a home.
Although awareness has increased in recent years, black mold has been around since before Biblical times. According to a 1994 Harvard University study of 10,000 homes across the US and Canada, 50% of the homes had some type of mold present. In addition, inhabitants of the affected homes had a 50% to 100% increase in respiratory problems.
Unfortunately, once homeowner mold detection is made, inner frame walls, crawlspaces, and other hidden areas are already seriously infected.
Dealing with the problem effectively comes with an enormous price tag. However, failing to deal with household mold can render a home worthless; destined for demolition.
Mold and mildew belong to a larger family of over 1,000,000 different species of fungi. Sustained by feeding on organic matter – a part of the natural process of decomposition. One preferred food is anything containing cellulose – a primary ingredient found in many of today’s building materials. Including wood, sheetrock, insulation, fabric, and carpet.
Under the right conditions, toxic black mold can establish itself and thrive inside any type structure. What are the right conditions? Any environment with adequate moisture and warm temperature. Even a relative humidity of just 55% or more coupled with a temperature of 68º to 86ºF can spark mold spore growth. Unfortunately, these same conditions are also considered “the comfort zone” in many homes.
One of the best treatments for a mold problem is to initiate effective prevention. Since moisture or high humidity is required for toxic mold to thrive, the best prevention is to control humidity. According to The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “The way to control mold growth is to control moisture.”
Many geographical areas have a common outdoor relative humidity higher than 55%. Without indoor moisture control, that level or higher is found inside the home; increasing the danger of black mold development.
Implementing humidity sensors and dehumidification equipment in a home can be done for a small fraction of the cost of dealing with mold growth after it becomes established in the home structure. Humidity sensors (hygrometers) that display relative humidity in a room are widely available, with prices starting under $20. Many models also include a temperature display.
Humidifiers start at just under $200. With options that include a control for the desired relative humidity of the room, and automatic pump-out of water removed from the air. These units can remove up to 4 gallons of water per day. For more aggressive dehumidification, a larger unit may be necessary; at a higher cost, of course.
Signs that may indicate a possible black mold health hazard in a structure include:
At the onset of a mold problem, many homeowners try removing black mold and mildew themselves. This is a serious mistake; only a professional mold inspector or remediation contractor should deal with the problem.
There is a stringent certification process to insure this dangerous health hazard is treated correctly, within industry guidelines. Ensuring that mold and mildew removal is executed safely and completely.
Mold mildew remediation professionals can provide mold testing to determine if there is indeed a problem; as well as to what extent and what species are involved. And then develop a plan of action for mold removal and mildew allergy control.
An excellent resource to find reliable certified mold remediation contractors in your locality for mold and mildew removal is HandyAmerican.com
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