You expect your home to be a safe and healthy place for you and your family. Most of the time this is the case, but sometimes it’s not. We’ve all heard of instances when mold became a problem in a home due to flooding or simply because a slow leak went unnoticed. If you find yourself in this situation, help is available.
First of all, if you suspect a problem with mold, have a professional test your home for it. You want to know for sure, because exposure to mold can cause adverse health effects, symptoms and possible allergic reactions. The most common form of hypersensitivity is caused by direct exposure to inhaled mold spores or hyphal fragments, which can lead to allergic asthma or allergic rhinitis. The most common side effects of this are runny nose, watery eyes, coughing and asthma attacks. Another type of hypersensitivity is called hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This is usually contracted by inhaling large spores or fragments in an occupational setting.
In order for mold to grow, several conditions need to be present: moisture and high humidity, a food source and a suitable temperature. If your basement has these conditions present and you suspect mold is growing, have a reputable basement waterproofing professional test for the presence of mold.
If mold is present in your home, the company can then begin the process of mold remediation. Simply killing the mold is not enough. It usually must be removed because dead mold still contains chemicals and proteins that can cause a reaction in humans.
Mold remediation experts will isolate the area of contamination and contain it to minimize the spread of mold spores to other areas of your home. Technicians will then remove and clean contaminated areas in a way that prevents the emission of fungi and dust. If a contaminated item cannot be cleaned, it may need to be thrown out.
A mold remediation company may use several different devices during the remediation process.
- Moisture meter. This tool measures the moisture level in building materials. It can also be used to measure the progress of materials that are drying after being damaged. Moisture meters can be used on carpet, wallboard, woods, brick and other masonry.
- Humidity gauge. This measures the amount of humidity in the indoor environment.
- Borescope. This hand-held tool is made up of a camera at the end of a flexible “snake,” which lets the user see potential mold problems inside walls, ceilings, crawl spaces and other tight spaces. With this tool, you can avoid major drilling or cutting of drywall.
- Digital camera. This is used to document findings.
- Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). This may include respirators, gloves, impervious suit and eye protection.
If you suspect a problem in your home, get help right away. It’s much easier and less expensive to fix a small problem before it becomes a big problem.