Mold removal is not something that any home or business owner wants to encounter, but if you’re worried you have mold, you need to act because there’s a real risk of danger. Large mold infestations in a residence or workplace are not overly common, but they can occur under the right conditions. With a mold infestation comes a very real medical and health threat to the people in that building. Mold is not the kind of problem that goes away by itself if you ignore it.
Like mice, termites, a problematic foundation, or even just leaky basements, an issue with mold will only get worse over time. You care about the health and safety of your colleagues, tenants, family, and of course yourself, so do not neglect mold and seek the help of mold remediation experts immediately, like those at Steri Mobile. These professionals will assess your home, identify the mold, suggest the best course of action, and carry out mold removal.
Read on for more information about what mold is, where it occurs, the types you should be concerned about, and your next steps. If you know you have mold, get in touch with experts in mold removal in Montreal.
What is Mold?
First, let’s get the essential question out of the way. What exactly is mold? The important thing to remember when it comes to mold is that it’s not just dirt or dust that accumulates if you don’t sweep a home or vacuum regularly. Mold is alive and, in fact, a colony of micro-organisms, belonging to the fungus family, like mushrooms.
Mold takes on many colours and textures, but often resembles a layer of dirt or rot. Like mushrooms and other fungi, mold operates very differently from plants, which need water and sunlight in order to survive. Plants thrive through a process known as photosynthesis, which means that they can absorb sunlight and use that as the fuel to create their nutrients, provided they’re also getting enough water.
Mold, on the other hand, is what is known as a heterotroph. That means it cannot manufacture its own food and must draw its nutrients from another source. For that reason, mold appears on bread, vegetables, and even other fungi, drawing nutrients from that source and consuming it.
Why Does Mold Occur?
Mold is one of the essential factors for ensuring a healthy environment in natural areas. Mold, unlike animals, isn’t especially picky, and so things like dead trees, leaves, and other plant waste material are the perfect targets for food. Mold is part of the natural cycle of things breaking down and returning to rich, fertile, constituent components, such as soil. So wherever something natural is deteriorating, mold will likely appear.
But what about indoors, in houses and other buildings?
Why does mold occur inside? Is there food for mold in a less organic or natural space? The truth is, a home or commercial building has plenty of food sources for mold and not the types you’d expect. Most people are familiar with bread mold, but different types of mold are just as happy to draw nutrients from substances like drywall, carpet or furniture fabrics, plywood, and other home materials, provided there’s enough moisture in the environment as well. Mold finds plenty of substances to “eat” indoors.
How Does Mold Spread?
Unless you have a residence or office that was built with a NASA-level airlock, aggressive air purification, and windows that never open, then you probably already have a form of mold in your home, just not in any harmful form.
Mold reproduces by sending tiny, microscopic spores into the air, just as small or smaller than the dust motes that you might notice in sunlight. Under normal circumstances, a mold spore isn’t particularly harmful. It’s in the air, around us, all the time, especially outdoors. Whenever we open a window or open a door, we are admitting mold spores into our home. So you never really “get away” from mold spores, these are always present to some degree in the air.
Mold becomes a problem when an infestation begins. In this case, mold spores find the right environment in which to settle, germinate, and breed in greater numbers. Once mold finds an area that meets its particular criteria, such as bread, for bread mold, an orange, for penicillin, or even just a damp basement for black mold, the spores settle down, grow, and spew out even more mold into the air to reproduce dramatically increasing in density.
There Are Different Types of Mold
There are a variety of different mold types, and they have very different effects. There are thousands of strains of mold. Some are not dangerous, are naturally occurring, are cultured for food or medicine, and are only removed for cosmetic reasons. Meanwhile, some mold strains are dangerous to human health through its presence or the by-products of its metabolic reactions. Three harmful classifications of mold include allergenic, pathogenic, and toxigenic.
The allergenic variety, as the name suggests, spreads allergens and induces allergic reactions. Pathogenic molds aggravate existing medical conditions and can also lead to infections in healthy individuals. Finally, toxigenic molds can cause a variety of health concerns from minor irritations to severe long-term illnesses. All living building occupants can suffer the effects of toxic mold if it is left untreated for an extended period of time.
Where Does Mold Form?
Mold can potentially take root in any portion of a building, provided that the area meets the requirements of that particular mold. Bread mold, for example, only requires bread, since its water and light requirements are pretty generous. On the other hand, something like black mold needs a dark, damp environment. A flooded basement or leaking pipe in the wall are perfect examples where black mold can form.
The same is true for other parts of the home. An attic is another common place where mold breeds. These spaces are often dark, and if there is a leak in the roof, that can add the moisture mold needs to thrive in a humid environment. Bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas where humidity and moisture can regularly accumulate are all prime locations for mold spores to settle down and infest.
Where Mold Occurs Most Often
The Health Risks of a Mold Outbreak
If you suspect or know that your house or commercial building has mold, you need to move ahead with mold remediation. Some types of mold can be very harmful to people.
Food-based molds can make you sick if you decide to take your chances and eat it. In that case, however, you’re only at risk if you ingest the mold. Other types of mold, such as black mold, only need to accumulate to the degree that you’re constantly breathing it in, and then you will start to experience symptoms.
On the low end of the mold-risk scale, mold spores constantly present in the air can create a permanent “allergy season” in your home, bringing with it symptoms of coughing, sneezing, throat irritation, difficulty breathing, and other typical reactions to allergens. Read more about mold effects on young children’s health.
A medium risk of mold spores in a home is a significant issue for people with weak immune systems and respiratory conditions, such as asthma. Mold can exacerbate pre-existing illnesses or health issues, causing more discomfort or even intensified attacks.
At the serious end of the spectrum, mold can actively cause debilitating illnesses. Black mold, as one example, can initially cause respiratory issues, then lead to organ failure or immune system suppression, and even end in death.
The longer mold is ignored, the more widespread it will become in a structure, affecting air quality and the health of living beings. It can even lead to nuisance smells and impact the structural integrity of organic materials like wood. That is why you should always contact mold removal experts once you think you’ve got a serious or even toxic mold problem.
What to Do if Your Building Has Mold
If you need mold removal in Montreal for your building, there are a variety of different methods to achieve this. Some older methods, such as using dry ice, will displace the mold in an attempt to vacuum it up once it is back in the air. Other methods of mold removal involve “fogging,” which is injecting a fungicide into the air and then covering the affected area with an anti-fungal paint.
Our preferred method, which is more modern and comprehensive, involves a quarantine process. Contaminated material is safely removed. Then negative air pressure is introduced into the treatment area to prevent leakage or the spreading of spores. Finally, we use a fogging technique that penetrates deep into materials, add a spray to kill any remaining spores and then apply a borate-based inhibitor to prevent new growth. As a final precaution, we then ozone shock the entire building to clear out any remaining spores that may be present in other less invested areas.
Don’t Take Chances with Mold Removal
If you are seeing discoloration in parts of your building or even detecting pervasive smells that don’t seem to have a clear source, like rotting food or garbage, then there may be mold in your building. Don’t risk the health of occupants, whether they are employees, tenants or family members, always take appropriate precautions and get mold remediation for your home, commercial building, or workplace.
Mold Removal Montreal
We can assess the state of your structure, tell you if you have mold and what type it is and then devise an action plan to get you fast, efficient mold removal in Montreal. You deserve the peace of mind that comes from having a safe, healthy environment and our mold remediation techniques will provide just that! If you have any questions about mold removal, please contact us today. it will be our pleasure to answer your questions.