Daylight saving time brings an extra hour of daylight and a sense of renewed energy after a long, stuffy winter. It also heralds a rite of spring for Tampa homeowners: spring cleaning. The joy of a clean and tidy home can quickly turn to dismay, however, when you move your family room furniture and discover mold or mildew on the wall. If you find microbial growth during your spring cleaning, here’s what you need to know.
Where Does Mildew Grow and How Do I Recognize It?
Spores and bacteria exist in the natural environment and can be found indoors as well as outside. Sometimes the growth is easily spotted, such as on a wall, a wooden headboard, bathroom tiles, or under a laundry room sink. Sometimes it’s more elusive: hidden on the underside of carpet, inside your ductwork, above ceiling tiles, or behind wallpaper. You might also find growth on a bathing suit that was still damp when you packed it away last summer.
Spores and fungi look different depending on the strain of bacteria and the surface it’s on. The most readily recognized microbial growth is the black or green kind. Sometimes the fungus is brown, white or yellow. Some growth is powdery and sooty in texture, while other fungi are slimy and wet. It may appear as white speckles, black spots, or it might be fuzzy. Stains or bubbles might indicate bacteria growth behind wallpaper.
Prevention is Key
Regardless of the type of growth or the surface, the common denominator in all of these situations is moisture; fungi need moisture to thrive. In Florida, heavy seasonal rains and high humidity are two familiar sources of moisture that contribute to fungus growth. Other internal sources of moisture include laundry, cooking, personal hygiene, and breathing. External sources that allow moisture into your home include leaky roofs, lack of insulation, clogged gutters, and a cracked foundation.
Managing moisture levels in your Tampa home, inside and out, is the key to controlling mold or mildews growth. As you do your spring cleaning, check pantries, ceilings, clothing storage areas, toy boxes, and plumbing connections for signs of moisture or water damage. If you find water, wipe it up immediately, dry out the area, and trace the source of the water. If you need to make repairs to prevent water from coming into your home, put them at the top of your spring maintenance to-do list.
Remediation is best done by an experienced professional because it requires caution. In some instances, such as when removing moldy wallpaper, disturbing the growth can lead to spores being released into the air. Another reason to seek the skills of a professional is that it’s not enough to simply kill the fungus; you must also remove it because dead bacteria can still trigger an allergic reaction in some people. Untrained DIY mold remediation increases the likelihood that your problem will return because you left some growth behind.
Remediation Experts in Tampa
In addition to their harmful health effects, fungus growth and spores can permanently damage carpeting and furniture and cause structural damage to your Tampa home. Also be aware that just because your home might be relatively new, it doesn’t mean that you won’t experience any fungus problems. In fact, because of new construction materials and methods, new homes can have more mildew problems than older homes in Tampa. Our remediation specialists will help you identify the type of fungus you’re dealing with, check for growth in hard-to-see places, advise you on options for dealing with the bacteria, and handle the removal safely and efficiently.
Why take a chance on your family’s health? If you find water damage or bacterial growth during your spring cleaning, check out the mold remediation services we offer at ServiceMaster Restore. If you’re in the Pinellas and Pasco area, you can call us at 727-300-3773; homeowners in Tampa and the Hillsborough area can reach us at 813-603-2001.