So, What’s the Big Deal with Mold?

Molds are a fungus found almost everywhere. Scientists estimate that there are thousands of different mold types and they can grow on just about any organic surface, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. Molds can grow on wood, concrete, carpet, food, insulation, clothing… I think you get the idea. They can grow just about anywhere! This is why it’s such a threat to so many of our homes and businesses.

When any type of fungi reproduces it releases spores into the air which are undetectable to the eye. These airborne spores produce allergens, irritants, and toxins which cause negative health effects through inflammation, and infection. Some of the common short-term symptoms of those who have been exposed to toxic mold include:

• Sneezing
• Itching Skin
• Redness and skin irritation
• Watery Eyes
• Itching Eyes
• Headache

Of course, the severity of symptoms depends on the extent of exposure and any number of other variables including age, allergic sensitivities, mold type, etc…

According to research at the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification), mold can begin to grow just hours after a flood or water leak in your home. Usually, the reason mold grows so quickly when you have had a flood is because your relative humidity within the home has been raised dramatically. And this usually happens because our homes are kept relatively warm and the moisture that has entered the home is evaporating into the air and has nowhere to go.

It isn’t uncommon to walk into a home after a flood and find relative humidity levels as high as 85 and 90 percent. This is not good at all. If you think about it… what would happen if the relative humidity levels reached 100% within your home? Well, we’d reach dew point. Have you ever seen those small drops of water that form on the mirror when you’ve taken a long hot shower? It’s the same concept. And what do we do to clear the mirror up again so we can pretty ourselves all up? We flip the fan switch on.

The same concept is used when dealing with water in your home to prevent mold growth. This is done by removing water from all surfaces including wood floors, carpet, drywall, insulation, and wall cavities while simultaneously removing moisture from the air to lower relative humidity levels. The relative humidity level of your home should always be lower than 50%.

Direct airflow coupled with ventilation is the key to drying fast. For even faster drying, heat can be applied. Heat drying technology is fairly new but is changing the face of the water damage restoration industry. The bottom line is that when any kind of moisture enters your home it is crucial that you call a professional to ensure that it is removed quickly and effectively, especially if you or someone in your family is sensitive to mold or has respiratory problems.

Five Point Restoration is trained and certified to safely and professionally inspect and remediate mold. We are also certified water damage restoration experts. We have all of the necessary equipment and expertise required to handle your mold problem. If you are making an insurance claim, your insurance company may try to have you use their “preferred contractor”. This is ok. It’s likely that they are a company trained and certified to handle your problem if they are being referred by your insurance company. But don’t let them fool you into thinking that you are required to use the company they refer. In actuality, you can use any company you want.

If you do choose to find your own company, it’s probably a good idea to ask for a detailed explanation of how they intend to take care of the problem though. You’ll want to listen for words like “containment”, “negative air”, and “HEPA”. They should also be making plans for workers to wear respirators and protective clothing. If not, find another contractor.

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