The majority of people relate the notion of “mold” to various food decay processes that we witness from time to time in our kitchens. However, mold has many other variations of presence in our everyday life.
It all starts with mold spores, which are usually present in the surrounding environment. They move in the airflow together with millions of other microscopic particles, and under regular conditions are not dangerous to people. Mold, as any fungi organism, likes warm and humid environment. It can live on any organic surface, including food, fabric, wood, organic building materials, like drywall, wallpaper, etc. Organic surfaces are a good nutrition source for mold, that’s why mold spores can easily attach to them and start growing. Mold colonies can grow very fast – up to one square inch per day, providing they have sufficient moisture and suitable temperature (5-25°C).
Although it is usually easy to identify mold visually, sometimes it can take unusual forms and colors, and can be mistaken for dirt or other substances. Only an experienced mold professional can say for sure if whatever you have found is mold. Sometimes special laboratory tests are needed to be certain.
Some mold types can release toxins, which can cause various health reactions, including headaches, nausea, allergies, and other respiratory problems. Exposure to mold toxins can be especially dangerous for young children and elderly people, that’s why it is not recommended to procrastinate with mold removal procedures, if you have found mold in your house!
Mold colonies are often found in basements with a foundation leak or damaged insulation; cold rooms, which are not properly insulated and lack air ventilation; attics, which are usually exposed to various weather conditions and high humidity. Mold is one of the regular consequences of water damages and leaks, if they are not properly cleaned and dried. Bathrooms, kitchen sinks, washers and dryers – are common places for mold growth! Mold can also grow inside your walls – on the drywall, if moisture found its way there, under your carpet, and in other hard-to-reach places.
Mold can be very persistent and may keep coming back, if you try to clean it yourself. In most cases, regular household solutions don’t work – they just temporarily clean mold from the surface, not eliminating the source of the problem, which may be hiding deep in the material! In those cases, mold will come back after a while. Often, surfaces heavily damaged by mold have to be removed or discarded. However, only a professional mold removal company can judge, if the surface can be cleaned or has to be replaced!
Monitoring your home for mold presence is extremely important, because it may influence not only your personal belongings, but your health as well! Installing proper insulation, protecting your house from water damages, arranging efficient air ventilation in the basement, cold room, and in the attic – these are the most important measures to prevent mold growth in your Ottawa household!