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Mold Growth, Testing, And Remediation
Most people in Chicago know at this point that mold is a significant safety and health issue in both local homes and businesses. Proper mold assessment and mold testing by an indoor environmentalist, industrial hygienist, or certified mold testing company is the first step that one should take, when addressing mold growth issues.
A proper mold test, or mold assessment identifies the location and extent of mold damage in an indoor environment and provides a protocol for safe and effective mold removal for a certified mold remediation company like 2nd Chance Water Restoration to follow. Do not let the same company that did the mold testing, or mold assessment do the actual mold removal, or mold remediation work as this is a HUGE CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
Mold, whether it is visible or completely hidden has a number of potentially serious effects on the health of people in the environment. There are a lot of different types of mold and these different types of mold grow differently depending on the conditions within the environment. The many different types of mold and the differences in the conditions needed for them to thrive cause mold spores to be everywhere in the indoor environment.
A certified mold remediation company like 2nd Chance Water Restoration can begin their mold work once a mold test is complete and a mold removal protocol is provided by the company that did the mold assessment and testing.
If a company does both the mold testing and the mold remediation work, then you should probably KICK THEM OUT, because one should question their ethics. 2nd Chance Water Restoration does not provide mold testing, because we focus on mold removal and we like the transparency that an independent testing company provides us. There should be a system of checks and balances in place to protect the people that live, or work in the property that is suffering from mold growth and needs mold removal.
Mold has many forms and is ubiquitous when producing mold spores, a very common ingredient of household, or work place dust. People that have significant amounts of mold spores mixed into the regular dust and air of their indoor environment are exposed to serious health hazards that can potentially cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems, or even death in extreme cases.
Mold produces mycotoxins to kill each other off as they fight for food and living space, but these mycotoxins also pose serious health risks to humans and animals, because we are unable to break down the mold spores that we inhale, or ingest. “Toxic mold” refers to mold with mycotoxins that are more dangerous to humans and animals, such as Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, which is common in Chicago basement mold. Exposure to high levels of mycotoxins from toxic black mold can lead to neurological problems and death. Prolonged exposure, or daily exposure can be even more harmful.
Symptoms of exposure to mold may include:
- Nasal and sinus congestion; runny nose
- Eye irritation; itchy, red, watery eyes
- Respiratory problems, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing, chest tightness
- Persistent sneezing, or coughing
- Throat irritation, or soreness
- Rashes, or other skin irritations
- Headache or serious migraines
**There have been studies that show that exposure to penicillium, which is a particular type of mold actually used in common household medicine, may cause respiratory symptoms a persistent cough, or wheezing. Prolonged exposure to this type of mold may be a cause of asthma development.**
Of course sensitivity to mold varies from person to person and each variety of mold may cause any various negative health effect. Mold exposure has been proven to cause nasal issues, throat soreness, eye problems, persistent coughing/wheezing and various skin conditions like rashes, or irritation. Increased exposure to mold will heighten sensitivity so be mindful of the time that you spend in a moldy environment. The nature of one’s exposure to mold will also affect the sensitivity one will have to mold. Dampness, or high humidity produce molds that cause upper respiratory tract symptoms like coughing and wheezing especially with people that suffer from asthma.
Q: What Cause Mold To Grow And What Conditions Do They Thrive?
Mold growth can happen anywhere in an indoor environment and mold can grow on almost anything, when water, or moisture is present. Mold spores are so small that they are carried by the slightest breeze, or air current. Mold is present everywhere, but you usually at a level that isn’t as dangerous to most healthy people.
Indoor environments are usually constructed of building materials, like drywall, carpet, and wood that are more than capable of sustaining mold growth, whenever moisture is present making mold spores common in any building. Things like flooding, leaky roofs, building maintenance issues, plumbing problems lead to interior mold growth. The humidity, or water vapor in the air will condense on any porous, or dust covered surface cooler then the saturated air enabling rapid mold growth. Humidity, water and moisture can pass right through walls, floors and ceilings. Mold can easily grow on basement floors, carpet, crawl spaces, or dirty wood floors.
Cellulose materials like those in building materials like plywood, drywall, carpet, and carpet padding combined with water is all the food that mold requires to grow. Different types of mold will grow better on here materials depending on different levels of moisture. Mold can grow in walls and floor due to water damage and go dormant, until another water damage issue, or high humidity reactivate the mold.
Water Damage needs to be addressed immediately as incomplete, or slow drying will cause mold damage and mold will become a health issue. Concrete that has suffered water damage needs to be dried just as badly as wet drywall, or carpet. A lot of people in Chicago let the concrete in the basement air dry, because they hosed it down with bleach. That is not the best way to prevent mod from growing. Any property in the Chicago area that has suffered water damage should call a professional water removal service company like 2nd Chance Water Restoration to extract, or remove the water and dry the property as fast as possible to properly prevent mold from growing. It is actually cheaper usually to have a water restoration, or water mitigation company come out and install drying equipment than it would be to go to the local hardware store for their rental equipment. Also, the local hardware store isn’t normally going to carry enough drying equipment to properly dry the property.
A certified water restoration, or water mitigation company like 2nd Chance Water Restoration also knows how to effectively place the drying equipment to insure the fastest and most complete drying possible. A certified water restoration and mold remediation technician like those that 2nd Chance employs also carries appropriate moisture detection devices like thermal imaging cameras and moisture meters.
Mold is noticeable by signs of water damage like rings, or marks on drywall and ceilings. Mold also produce odor, which are very strong earth like, or musty smell. Mold growth is often hidden in hard to dry areas like behind wall paper, carpet padding, paneling, or on the inside of ceiling tiles. Plumbing piping in your walls and floors should be insulated with foam, to prevent moisture for condensing on the outside of the pipe and causing mold to grow.
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I hope that this little blog gave you the information on the growing of mold that you need, but please feel free to call us at 2nd Chance Water Restoration of Chicago at any time should you have any questions about mold at 630-546-2239!