At Lone Star Pro Services, we take protecting your home or business very seriously. If you are (or suspect you are) dealing with mold on your property, we understand how overwhelmed you must be feeling. Below we have provided answers to some of the most commonly asked mold questions to help you through this process. Reach out to our skilled service professionals right away for dependable mold solutions and rest assured we’ll get the job done right.
All it takes for mold and mildew to form is some moisture and organic material. Some of the most common sources of moisture that cause mold in a home or business include leaking plumbing pipes, high humidity, roof leaks, uncontrolled condensation, overflowing washing machines, poor ventilation, and flooding.
What Does Mold Look Like?
There are different types of mold, each of which varies in form and texture. Mold can appear in the form of fuzzy white fibers, black stains, slimy residue, dirt, soot, or clusters of black or colorful spots. Mold can be black, green, orange, gray, white, yellow, or blue.
Some of the most common indoor molds include:
What Does Mold Smell Like?
Serious mold infestations are often accompanied by a strong musty, earthy odor. Other people have described mold odors as similar to that of dirty socks or rotten wood. Mold typically smells pungent and unpleasant. Mold odors are caused by the microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC) that mold releases as it grows. They can smell different to different people, so it is important to investigate any strong, unpleasant odors in your home or business.
How Dangerous Is Mold?
Mold can pose a serious health problem to anyone exposed to it; however, those with allergies, asthma, weakened immune systems, and existing respiratory problems are at risk of more serious complications. Mold produces allergens, irritants, and mycotoxins that can be toxic.
Below are common health risks associated with mold:
Some people are not sensitive to mold and therefore might not experience any side effects of mold exposure. Whether or not you are experiencing health issues caused by mold, mold growth needs to be treated immediately.
How to Test for Mold?
To test for mold, you have a few options depending on the extent of the suspected mold problem and your specific needs. Here are three common methods:
- Visual Inspection: Look for visible signs of mold growth, such as black or green patches.
- DIY Mold Test Kits: Purchase a kit, follow the instructions, and collect samples from the suspected areas. Some kits provide immediate results, while others require sending samples to a laboratory.
- Professional Mold Testing: Consider hiring a professional mold inspector for a comprehensive assessment.
Remember, testing is just the first step. If mold is detected, address the underlying moisture issue, and consult a professional mold remediation specialist for safe and effective removal.
How Do Professionals Test for Mold?
Professionals test for mold by visually inspecting the area and taking air and surface samples. During the visual inspection, professionals look for water damage, visible mold growth, musty odors, and other signs of mold. If they find evidence that suggests mold growth is present, they will take air samples to measure the levels of airborne mold spores in the area. Surface samples are also collected from sites where visible growth or moisture is present to be analyzed in a laboratory setting. The results of the tests can then be used to help determine if further action needs to be taken.
How to Get Rid of/Clean Mold
For minor mold problems, you can attempt to treat the mold on your own. We recommend using one of the following mixtures: soap and water, ammonia and water, or bleach and water. If you use bleach, be sure to mix 1 cup of bleach and 1 gallon of water. Additionally, it is important to NEVER mix bleach with other cleaning products, especially ammonia. With your cleaning solution and a stiff-bristled brush, scrub the area vigorously. Rinse the area and repeat the process 1-2 times. Once you are done cleaning the area, be sure to dry it thoroughly to prevent regrowth.
When cleaning mold, be sure to:
- Wear gloves and protective eyewear
- Open windows and doors to let in fresh air
- Make sure the area is thoroughly dry once you finish
Moldy items that cannot be cleaned should be removed from your property. In the event that there is mold in your drywall, ceiling, wallboard, or insulation, removal and replacement are likely necessary.
For more serious mold problems, it is crucial that you bring in a team of professionals. Treating mold is very tricky and DIY projects often only provide a temporary solution. Contact us here.