Recent Mould Remediation Posts
Common Types of Mold in your Home
Mold comes in all shapes, sizes and colours. Learn how to identify the type of mold in your home and develop a plan of attack for treating it.
The most common types of mold include aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra (more commonly known as black mold).
Aspergillus is a fairly allergenic mold that is regularly found in foods and in-home air conditioning systems. Cladosporium is typically a black or green “pepper like” substance that grows on the back of toilets, painted surfaces and fiberglass air ducts. While this mold is nontoxic to humans, it can trigger common allergy symptoms, such as red watery eyes, rashes and sore throat.
Mold that looks orange or red is typically found outdoors, due to its nature to thrive on decaying plants and moist wood. This type of mold, which can appear slimy, is harmless and should only be removed for aesthetic purposes.
White mold is not technically a type of mold, but the good news is that this typically indicates the mold is only in the early stages of growth and can easily be treated.
Stachybotrys atra or black mold is a toxic mold commonly found in cellulose-rich building materials from damp or water-damaged buildings. When wet, Stachybotrys can look greenish black and slimy, but can also look sooty and black. It’s been associated with several symptoms which are highly controversial. If you find stachybotrys in your home, you must seek professional assistance immediately to remove it.
SERVPRO of Ajax is here to help with any mold problems you may have, whether toxic or non-toxic. Call us at 289-460-5124 for more information.
Key Signs Your House May Have Toxic Mold
Despite what you may think, mold isn’t always visually seen or easy to find. Here are some of the most common warning signs that may indicate there is toxic mold growing inside your home.
Some of the most common signs of mold growth are:
- Dormant allergies or allergic reactions
- Aggravated asthma or other lung problems
- Discoloured walls
- Black spots
- An increase in negative health symptoms such as a fever or feeling itchy
- Musty, moldy odor
- Visual indicators of mold growth such as greenish black areas, slimy textured residue, and even simple mildew are all signs that a mold inspection needs to be scheduled
If your home has had any issues with moisture, condensation or other water problems, you can be certain that mold has started growing. Thus, if you had or have any water issues, you probably have mold and should hire a professional mold inspector such as SERVPRO® of Ajax make sure your home is safe.
Roof Leaks and Mold
Knowing how to care for your roof can protect you against multiple things: water damage, mold, critters and so on. An aged roof may contain worn or broken shingles, which can lead to leaks inside your home. If you don’t check on your roof regularly, leaks can go unnoticed for a significant period and can not only cause water damage, but also mold growth. Intermittently checking up on your roof and attic can help you catch small problems before they turn into big ones.
How long does a roof last?
Obviously replacing your entire roof is a major expense, and because of this, most homeowners want to prolong their roof’s life for as long as possible. If water infiltration starts to become a problem, you may be wondering whether it’s time to replace your shingles. A lot of roofs wear unevenly due to sun damage, exposure to natural elements like wind and improper installation. In these instances, you might need to replace part of your roof before its lifespan is complete. Climate is also a big factor when it comes to lifespan. The average asphalt shingle roofs last approximately 20 years. Replacing your entire roof ranges around $7000-$10,000.
How to care for and maintain your roof
Because of the dangers of working at heights, roof maintenance should only be done by professionals. With that being said, as a homeowner you should keep thorough records of maintenance, warranty information and roof inspection record. If shingles or fallen debris end up in your yard, keep them to show your contractor. Typically, a roof inspection includes: a visual inspection of the roof, a check on seals around areas where water could potentially come through and identifying damaged or worn out shingles. As a homeowner you should: clean out your gutters, trim back or remove any trees that are at risk of hitting your home, and properly seal roof openings such as skylights, chimneys and vents.
Signs of a roof leak
Often, signs of your roof leaking can appear out of no where. There’s a chance you may notice the first trickle during heavy rain, or a damp spot on the ceiling. A roof leak can also be detected when yellow or brown stains appear on your drywall/ceiling. Leaking through the fireplace is also a good detection of a leak, as well as warped woodwork. If you sense a musty odor, that is an indication that mold may be present – which ultimately was probably caused by a leak.
What to do if your roof leaks
If your roof is leaking, you should first take immediate action to prevent damage to the interior of your home. If water is dripping, place a bucket under the leak to preserve your fabrics and wood. After you do this, speak with SERVPRO® of Ajax to determine where the leak is coming from. All roof inspections and repairs should be done by a professional because of safety concerns. Your consultant at SERVPRO® of Ajax will recommend the best course of action to repair your home and prevent any future water damage or mold invasion.
If you suspect mold
Dampness leads to mold. That is why it is important to treat a leak as soon as you find it. Mold can cause damage to your home and cause health issues for those living in your home. In addition to drywall damage, the insulation behind the walls may be wet or moldy. Mold may also damage the wood underneath your roof shingles. Left untreated, indoor dampness and sitting water associated with roof leaks can lead to problems with mold and should be taken care of as soon as possible. If you’re unsure whether you have a mold problem, you can schedule a free home inspection with SERVPRO® of Ajax. If we find mold, we will let you know what’s involved in removing it and give a price quote. We work with insurance companies to leave you feeling at ease.
How to prevent mold in your home
Mold. Yuck. It’s not a pretty topic.
Yes, mold can be good and is necessary for the decomposition of organic matter in nature — but it can also be very, very bad, especially when it grows undetected in your home.
Mold spores spread easily and cannot be completely eradicated. And, it can grow anywhere, which is kind of scary. Not only is a mold problem difficult and costly to fix, but mold can also produce allergens and irritants that may compromise your health.
The best way to approach mold is to prevent, before having to restore and the key to this is moisture control.
Here are nine ways to avoid moisture indoors, and the mold that prospers in it.
- Identify problem areas in your home and correct them.
- There’s no way to mold-PROOF your home, but you can make it mold-RESISTANT. Check the problem areas in your home. Any water stains on your ceiling? Wetness in your basement? Frequent condensation on your bedroom window? Preventing a mold build-up can be as simple as ripping up a carpet in a damp basement or replacing a window. It can also be more of a major excavation. Addressing the problem now will save you a large amount of money down the line.
- Dry wet areas immediately.
- Moisture is mold’s best friend, so confront wet areas immediately. Whether the moisture is caused by floods or even just leaving wet clothes in the laundry, mold does not pick and choose it’s battles. Dry any wet areas right away, even if it’s just a spill. Hang them to dry or put them in the dryer straightaway. Mold is preventable if moisture is tackled properly.
- Prevent moisture with proper ventilation.
- Your everyday routine could be what encourages mold in your home. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn’t invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Vent appliances that produce moisture – clothes, dryers, stoves – to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers. Open windows while cooking, washing dishes or showering, or run a fan.
- Equip your home with mold-resistant products.
- Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock and mold inhibitors for paints. Of course, these are solutions that coincide more with building a new home or renovating an old one, but if you are doing so – these preventative measures work wonders.
- Monitor Humidity indoors.
- The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity using a moisture meter which can be bought at any local hardware store. You can also detect humidity by keeping an eye out for potential problem areas in your home. A good way to tell is seeking condensation on windows, pipes and walls. If you notice this, dry the surface immediately and address the source.
- Direct water away from your home.
- If the ground around your home isn’t sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.
- Clean or repair roof gutters.
- A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking due to full or damaged gutters. Regularly clean and inspect your roof gutters. Keep an eye out for water stains after storms.
- Improve air flow in your home.
- According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air can hold less moisture. Excess moisture can appear on your walls, windows and floor if there is bad air flow in your home. To increase circulation, and open door between rooms, move furniture away from walls. Fresh air is a great way to reduce moisture.
- Keep mold off household plants.
- Mold loves plants. The moist soil in indoor plants is a breeding ground for mold. You don’t have to get rid of these beautiful plants that keep your air clean, just add Teheebo tea to the water you give to the plants. The oil of this tree, which withstands fungi even in rain forests, helps hinder mold growth in plant soil and can be found at natural food stores.
What’s the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?
When it comes to home repairs, few things are worse than mold. Mold and mildew, a specific type of mold, are similar in many ways. They smell awful, don’t look the prettiest and can create long-term damage to your home and health. If you come across mold or mildew in your home, you should take immediate action to rid yourself of it and take preventative measures to stop it from returning.
There are several differences between mildew and mold. Knowing these differences can help you identify the type you may have in your house, and how to treat that specific fungi.
Mildew comes in two forms. Powdery mildew and downy mildew. Powdery mildew, is of course, powdery, resting typically on top of a given object. Downy mildew, on the other hand, will look like a stain, normally yellow in colour. Comparative to mold, mildew grows in a flat pattern making it easier to predict which direction it will grow.
Mold comes in one of two forms, either fuzzy or slimy. It lays on a spectrum of colours: blue, green, yellow, brown, gray, black and white. Mold will attach to anything that it touches and spreads from place to place making it difficult to remove.
Mildew typically causes damage to plants and crops, but that does not mean it cannot damage wood, fabric and other materials. It can cause breathing complications and headaches, but the smell is what most people say bothers them the most.
Mold can cause a spectrum of problems depending on the type of mold. Health problems like respiratory diseases, allergies, headaches, joint pain and fatigue, are all common when mold is existent in your household. Mold is also a threat to the structure of your house due its ability to spread. Because mold doesn’t grow in flat patterns like mildew, it can grow in all directions. Because of this, it is more damaging than mildew.
Both mold and mildew thrive in moist conditions, with little air circulation. Ventilation and proper air treatment are the best ways to prevent mold and mildew.
Mold and mildew take similar steps when it comes to removal.
First, turn off the air conditioning or heater and seal off the vents in the area with mold.
Second, put on a respirator and turn on a small fan to create circulation.
Third, use a cleaner meant for fungus and scrub the affected area. Make sure to scrub beyond the affected area to get any spores that have spread but haven’t grown to the point of visibility. Wear gloves and clothes you can throw away.
It should be noted, this cleaning process is not 100% effective, and typically only a process taken by homeowners who spot mold/mildew in the early stages. If you spot any mold at all in your home, but specifically a larger area, it’s best to call a professional like SERVPRO® of Ajax, to ensure all mold is taken care of.