If you home or office has been damaged by leaky plumbing, heavy rains or hurricanes, there is a good chance that you have mold growth. Mold and mildew are naturally occurring plant-like organisms which are classified under the genus of Fungi. When you have moisture, darkness, and a food source mold growth can occur in as little as 24 to 48 hours. As mold grows it can spreads spores and impact the air you breathe. Mold left untreated can adversely affect your health and damage your home or business.
The best approach is to prevent toxic mold from starting by taking a systemic approach for identifying factors that can stimulate mold growth.
First IDENTIFY for any water leak. Look for water in all wall cavities, ceilings, basements under cabinets, underneath washer, around the faucets in the bathroom, checking the roof and gutters for any leaks or cracks. If you find any water you must clean it. This is where you must make a very important decision regarding who should handle this job. It is strongly recommended that you hire a professional mold tester or remediator who has the skills and certifications necessary to handle the job safely for you and your family.
Second is to DRY OUT the area this should be done by exposing the wet area to circulated dry air. If necessary remove the carpet, roof singles, open up the water damaged wallboard to expose and dry out the studs and wall cavity as necessary. Your professional is going to have the equipment to dry out the area quickly and take humidity readings throughout your home. Remember that you are working against time. The longer you wait the more costly and more extensive the damage can be.
Finally TREATMENT of the area with an approved anti-Microbial solution is critical to kill the mold and to prevent its return. Bleach is not the agent of choice since it can actually fail to kill the mold and mildew. Today many options are available for mold testing and remediation. This is where the professional has the expertise on which technique will work best for your situation.
Having a monthly walkthrough of your home will help you identify any area of increased moisture, humidity and discover any slow hidden leaks. These simple guidelines will help you maintain a safe environment for you and your family.