Don’t Be Fooled by Invisible Home Intruder—Mold Often Hard to Detect...Vulnerable Groups at Risk

  • Written by Craig Hawkins, EnviroShield
This time of the year we spend the majority of our time indoors. For certain folks more susceptible to respiratory viruses, it’s important to make sure our homes are free of airborne contaminants. We asked Craig to help us understand the risks:

Question: If I don’t see signs of mold/water damage, is it safe to assume my home is free of contamination?

Craig: Our experience over the years has shown that is not the only way to detect problems. There are places in our homes that no one ever goes to like the crawl space and or the attic of your home. There could be a bathroom vent in your attic that does not vent to the out side of your home but into the attic space and with that hot humid air creates a petrie dish for mold to grow. I just saw a crawl space that had a hot water leak which created steam in the crawl space and that also produced in a very short time mold in the crawl space that needed to be remediated or cleaned up.

Question: Can these accumulations cause people living in my home to experience health issues?

Craig: In certain homes these colonies can absolutely produce enough organic compounds to cause allergic reactions, sickness, and extreme cases cause you to be hospitalized with an acute asthma attack.

Question: How does mold enter my home in the first place?

Craig: Mold is considered ubiquitous, meaning it is everywhere. It needs three things to start a colony. #1 Temperature 45 degrees F – 120 degrees F. #2 Minimal moisture source – 60 percent relative humidity or above.  #3 Food: wood, sheetrock, paper, etc. That being said, mold is most likely to grow where there is water or dampness – such as the areas we discussed earlier.

Question: If I do discover a problem, how do I choose a water/mold damage company?

Craig: The first step is to call your insurance company and also a water damage company.

I would use this checklist:

1. Guarantee — Look for a company that provides a guarantee for mold remediation after the water dry out is complete.

2. Experience — Make sure that the water damage/mold remediation company that you choose has the training and the certifications that are necessary for the type of job they are doing for you.

3. Containment — A 1-inch by 1-inch area of mold creates millions of spores that are released into the air during the cleaning process, which can be very dangerous to the health of everyone in the home.

Only water damage companies that utilize what’s called a HEPA Negative Air System to direct the contaminated air should be the ones you use.

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