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The first thing to know about mold is that mold spores are in every breath we take. Mold is, in the most literal sense of the term, ubiquitous. Mold is everywhere and predates the existence of insects.
While most think of mold as something that can spread, not many consider the fact that it’s a colony of living creatures. And like all living things, it eats and drinks in its own way. So when you see mold on something, that something is its food source and is being slowly destroyed.
The shocking truth is that mold spores are everywhere in your home at all times but can’t take hold and grow unless it finds a perfect spot. So what does that perfect spot look like?
Along with a food source and moisture, mold also does best where the sun can’t reach. Without the sun’s energy, moisture evaporates much more slowly and gives the mold time to drink its fill. So, all you need for mold to grow is moisture, organic material (food source), and limited natural light.
Mold can’t take hold without food and water. If there is mold in your home, it means that there is too much moisture in that area. Yes, you want to get rid of the mold, but its presence tells you that you have other problems to solve as well.
It doesn’t take a whole lot of moisture to make mold happy, so even tiny leaks or just excessive condensation can allow mold to wreak havoc on your home. A seeping pipe or the condensation from your AC coils are enough to create a nice home for a mold colony.
So, before you remove the mold, you need to figure out where it’s getting its moisture. Once you find the culprit, solve that issue, then address the mold.
On the structural side, mold can weaken the structures it’s feeding on, especially if it’s living on structural boards. Mold will cause whatever it is living on to become dry and crumbly as it breaks down for food.
When it comes to your health and that of your family, mold can cause many symptoms, such as:
On drywall, mold will look like an especially vivid watermark until you get close. Then you’ll note either a fuzzy or slimy look to the stain, indicating that you have mold.
When mold grows on your drywall, you need to assess the level of damage it’s done to your wall. If the drywall is soft to the touch, you have no choice but to rip it out and replace it with new material. If the drywall still has its structural integrity, you can attempt to save it with a thorough cleaning.
Before you do anything, make sure to protect your skin, eyes, and breathing with appropriate safety gear.
In cleaning mold from your drywall, step one is to vacuum the area with a HEPA filtered shop vac, using the brush attachment to break away the surface spores.
Step two is to kill the mold. This is the point where you absolutely do not grab the bleach. Bleach is, at best, an imperfect killer of mold. Your best bet, outside of a professional service like Valor Mold Removal, is one of the following solutions and a medium-bristle brush:
Wet the mold pattern with the solution of your choice using either a spray bottle or your brush and let it sit for about ten minutes. (If you are using concrobium, let it dry completely) Then put a little more of the solution on your brush and give the area a moderate scrubbing. The brush will break up the roots of the spores so the solution can reach and kill them.
Once you have successfully killed the mold and scrubbed it away, point a fan at the spot and let it dry for at least 24 hours.
Often, mold will leave behind stains that need to be covered up. The first step here is to use a fungicidal primer to coat the entire area. The chemicals in the primer will kill any spores that you missed and act to prevent future mold growth in that area.
Still, it won’t hurt to double down on your preventative measures and use mold-resistant paint for your finish coat. That way, you shouldn’t ever have to deal with mold in that area again.
Mold can be difficult to find and even harder to eradicate. Often, the cause of the excessive moisture is a mystery because the moisture supply might be intermittent yet still be enough to keep mold happy.
Professional mold remediation contractors have the knowledge, skills, experience, and equipment necessary to solve any mold issues in your home. At Valor Mold Removal, we have what amounts to a portable lab (one of only 70 in the world) that can give you accurate room-by-room results on the spot. Without that equipment, results can take weeks to get back.
With the right mold remediation company, you can get answers quickly and be offered the most cost-effective remedy to your situation. Sometimes, all you need to do is open some windows or throw out a particular rug, and the honest contractors will tell you so.
If you have concerns about mold in your DC area home, contact us at Valor Mold Removal for a complete home inspection. We can give you 99% accurate results in real-time, not two or three weeks down the road.
We remove mold the right way… and it would be an honor to hear from you.
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