It is probably
a known and vital fact that every home and household uses water for everyday
use and for several of the tasks and chores done in and around the house. It is
for this reason why homes are susceptible to every kinds of water damage,
whether due to regular water use or due to a malfunctioning fixture or facility
like broken pipes or clogged drains. On top of this, homes are also exposed to
the elements like rain or snow and on a few seasonal occasions, would be
buffeted by strong winds and rains due to a tropical storm or hurricane. In
some cases, certain communities would be subjected to flash floods causing more
and extensive water damage to nearby homes.
It should be
important for homeowners to note that after an incident of water damage,
whether it is due to flooding or a broken pipe, the chances of mold infestation
would be high particularly if no preventive measures were put in place after
the incident. If left unattended, an area or a section of the house that has
undergone considerable water damage would be easily infested by molds and
mildew in a matter of a couple of days. If infestations proliferate and left
unchecked, the problem would be so severe that on some cases homeowners had no
choice but to abandon their mold-infested homes.
infestations would lead to greater damage to various items in the house as well
as putting the structural integrity of the home in question. Mold attacks
organic materials and this can be found in the home like wood, paper, cardboard
and fiber. Not only that, health officials have deemed molds as serious health
hazards that are responsible for a variety of diseases and infections that
would be detrimental to the health and safety of the homeowner and his
household. Family members with a weak immune system would be in danger of
serious complications that could prove fatal if left unabated.
facts, homeowners should be well aware of the dangers of mold on their homes
and properties as well as to their person. They should also know how to deal
with molds and prevent them from recurring. The following provides a brief but
concise discussion on the negative impacts of mold and how homeowners can deal
with them on their own accord.
What are these
Things People Call Molds?
basically are living microorganisms that can be found anywhere where there is
organic matter and moisture. They are actually a form of fungi that occur
naturally in Mother Nature and can thrive anywhere in the environment. As
living microorganisms, molds consume organic matter for food and this includes
dead leaves, trees, broken branches and decaying plant matter. Molds
proliferate in cold, damp and dark areas where most of these decaying materials
can be found.
organic matter can also be found inside the home in the form of cardboard,
paper, clothing, rugs, carpets, wood, fiber, and food - almost everything that
people use in their own homes. If given the chance, mold can enter the home and
attack every organic matter available and would continue to do so until
everything has been consumed, deteriorated or decomposed.
with molds becomes compounded not only in the way they consume organic matter
but in the consumption process itself. Molds excrete and release enzymes in
order to breakdown organic matter and absorb their nutrients. These enzymes
however are toxic to humans and are the primary reasons why mold remediation
should be performed after an incident of water damage.
these Microorganisms to Proliferate?
implement a proper and effective mold remediation program, the homeowner and
his household should first understand what causes molds and how they
proliferate. Knowing the reason why these microorganisms thrive would help the
homeowner in his fight to prevent these fungi from damaging their homes and
molds are attracted to moisture and damp surfaces. This is why surfaces in the
home that has been exposed to water damage are more susceptible to mold
infestation. Water damage can occur after an incident of heavy rains or snow
and eventual flooding. However, natural causes and disasters are not the only
reasons for water damage in the home. Moisture can seep through the cracks and
fissures in the walls of basements and rooms or it can also come from leaks in
pipe works in sinks and appliances utilizing water for operations.
molds from proliferating, the homeowner must stop excessive moisture from occurring
in the home. The cause of the excessive moisture should be addressed and this
may include making additional repairs and maintenance on leaking fixtures,
utilities and appliances. A thorough check of pipes and drains may be needed to
ensure that no excess moisture is being generated that can cause further water
damage, and eventually, molds and mildew.
materials and surfaces are prone to mold infestation since these materials are
the main source of food for these microorganisms. Organic materials include
paper, wood, cloth, fiber and cardboard. If these items are directly exposed to
water or moisture, causing water damage on these surfaces, the chances of mold
infestation is more likely.
check materials and surfaces in the home for possibility of mold infestation,
particularly after an incidence of water damage. They can sort through
suspected materials and check for the visible signs of infestations like
discolorations coupled by a musky or pungent odor emanating from the enzymes
released by the fungi. Discolorations appear in different hues which include
green, brown, orange, black, red or white. If mold infestation is confirmed,
proper mold remediation actions should be done.
Impacts do Molds Inflict on a Home?
health risks that mold infestation can inflict on homeowners has been a proven
fact as confirmed by doctors and published by JAMA or the Journal of the
American Medical Association. The health risks are specifically due to the
enzymes called mycotoxins that these microorganisms generate whenever they
breakdown organic material into nutrients which they consume as food.
can cause infections, skin irritations, nausea, and other diseases that could
be fatal to humans with weak immune systems and respiratory problems. These
toxins are brought along by the millions of microscopic spores that are
released by molds into the air as a means to propagate and proliferate.
and toxins can enter the human body in three possible ways. The most common
point of entry is through the respiratory system and into the lungs. The
millions of spores present in the air can be inhaled through the nostrils and
would eventually settle into the lungs and eventually cause a variety of
of entry of mold spores into the body is through the food and water that people
consume. This also includes ingestion through the cooking and eating utensils
used to prepare and consume foods, which may carry thousands of these spores
that is transferred to the food and eventually ingested through the mouth. The
last entry point is through the skin, wherein the microscopic spores are
absorbed through the pores in the skin.
cause a variety of diseases and problems to the digestive, respiratory, nervous
and immune systems. Such diseases include allergies, pulmonary emphysema,
asthma, edema, bleeding of the lungs, convulsions and in worst cases even
comatose. Such are the dangers posed by mold infections making mold remediation
a very important and vital activity after the occurrence of water damage.
As soon as
homeowners realize the potential dangers that one can acquire from mold, it is
imperative that effective mold remediation techniques are applied within two
days of exposure to water damage. Studies have shown that mold infestations
start after this period so it would be a wise move to start mold removal or
prevention right away.
safety is the first and foremost consideration before starting with any
remediation activities. The person or team performing the mold remediation work
should be properly protected by wearing protective clothing which includes
gloves, respirators, goggles and coveralls. People with existing allergies,
open wounds or blisters on the skin should not be involved in any mold
remediation activities to avoid possible infection.
* Remove any
organic materials from the area to be cleaned and put them in safe and dry
locations. Materials of items that are already infected with molds should be
discarded properly if not valuable. Important items should be cleaned
thoroughly and adequately disinfected to destroy all traces of molds.
surfaces should be brushed with an industrial cleaning tool using strong detergents
mixed with bleach and disinfectants. A variety of mold disinfecting materials
is available for this purpose and this includes chemical or organic fungicides
and mold cleaners that are formulated specifically against molds and mildew.
* Once all
affected surfaces are thoroughly clean and disinfected, the next vital step is
to completely dry off the area. You may need air blowers and dehumidifiers for
this purpose in order to dry off surfaces and prevent water damage from
occurring. Maintain good circulation by opening windows and doors to allow a
good circulation of air to pass through.
infestation has been proven by medical experts to be a serious health risk and
should not be disregarded nor taken lightly. To avoid putting yourself and your
household at risk, proper mold remediation and water damage restoration methods
should be performed and put into place.