Mold thrives in humidity. The climate in Brandon, Florida, creates the perfect condition for black mold to grow. Indoors, mold is often found in moist places, including bathrooms, kitchens and air conditioning ducts. Mold should be removed by professionals who are licensed to treat it. ServiceMaster of Tampa Bay offers mold remediation services for residences and businesses.
What Is Mold?
Molds are fungi that grow naturally indoors and out. They require both moisture and oxygen to survive. In nature, molds live in soils, on plants and in decaying substances such as tree trunks. They play an important role in the environment by breaking down organic matter. However, molds can cause health problems and affect property. Indoors, they feed on organic matter, including furnishings, paper, textiles, paint, food and building insulation.
Molds produce spores that become airborne and eventually settle on surfaces. Spores cannot grow on dry surfaces. However, moist surfaces create an environment for growth. Molds can grow on moist windows, floors, walls, furniture and other organic substances.
Adverse Health Effects of Mold
There are several types of mold. Although you may hear the term “black mold,” many molds are black. Some molds under some conditions contain mycotoxins that can affect health. However, adverse effects from mycotoxins are more commonly associated with contaminated foods than airborne particulates or surface molds. Stachybotrys chartarum, often called black mold, has been attributed to causing severe health problems.
Experts note that any mold has the potential to aggravate allergies, trigger allergic reactions or affect people with compromised immune systems or other health problems. People with health problems who are exposed to mold may experience shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, itchy skin, a runny nose or wheezing. Those who are exposed to large doses of mold may have more severe symptoms, including fever. Although mold does not directly cause disease, adverse health problems from mold may lead to more serious health issues such as pneumonia, severe allergic reactions or asthma attacks.
How We Treat Mold
The Environmental Protection Agency states that identifying the type of mold is not critical. Instead, any mold present indoors should be removed by a qualified professional. Mold remediation begins with identifying where mold is growing. Common areas include bathrooms, roofs, laundry rooms, windows, air conditioners and around water pipes. Spores can be transmitted through air conditioning ducts, contributing to poor indoor air quality.
During our remediation process, we thoroughly inspect the premises to evaluate the extent of the contamination. We devise a treatment plan that is specific to the problem in your home or business. If you plan to notify your insurance agency, we can prepare a written report detailing the extent of contamination.
We use several techniques to neutralize and eradicate mold. Thermal imaging identifies mold hidden behind walls and other places that are difficult to see. We use environmentally friendly chemicals and anti-microbial applications to kill mold and retard regrowth.
We remove items that cannot be restored, including carpets, upholstery, ceiling tiles and drywall. We clean items that can be restored, including furniture, clothing and textiles. In addition, we examine the ducts and filters of your air conditioning system. Our duct cleaning services remove mold and other particulates that are present in ducts.
How To Control Mold
It is not possible to completely remove mold from your environment. However, controlling moisture controls mold growth. Experts recommend maintaining humidity levels between 30% and 60%. Usually, air conditioning keeps humidity within recommended levels. If your home is too humid, a dehumidifier can remove excess moisture.
Increasing ventilation improves indoor air quality and reduces moisture. Install exhaust fans in rooms with high humidity, including kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Ask your AC contractor about whole-house ventilators to increase ventilation.
Regularly inspect roofs, plumbing, guttering, walls and ceilings for evidence of moisture or leaks, and repair leaks promptly. Clean surfaces regularly with detergent, bleach or other mold-retarding cleaners. Do not mix bleach with other chemicals. Upgrading insulation reduces condensation on windows, walls, floors and other surfaces.
The certified remediation technicians at ServiceMaster are available 24/7 for emergency restoration services in the Tampa Bay area. Call us today to make an appointment. We are licensed in Florida for mold remediation. We are also insured and bonded.