The high humidity of the Savannah area is the perfect environment for the growth of mold. Anywhere there is moisture is a good environment for mold. A faulty humidifier of a central heating system or the coils of an air conditioner can give mold spores enough moisture to thrive.
Mold spores play an important part in the outdoor environment, but indoors these tiny particles can cause a wealth of problems. Spores can get inside on pets, clothes, or come in through vents. Heating or cooling systems blow the spores around until they come in contact with moisture, oxygen and a food source. The spores thrive and an infestation is underway in very little time.
Exposure to mold can cause an allergic reaction in individuals with or without sensitivity to other allergens. Sneezing, runny nose, eye irritation, and a skin rash are a few common symptoms that may occur during or after exposure to mold. People with asthma may notice an increase in respiratory difficulty. Immune-compromised individuals may be more acceptable to infections from mold.
Mold isn’t always visible. The musty smell of a building can be an indicator. An infestation may be at a critical point before it is detected by the occupants or residents of a building. Walls hidden by furniture, under floorboards, the insides of duct work or the backside of drywall could be hosting a mold infestation without your knowledge.
If you suspect a mold problem contact a professional to have your building tested. Disturbing a potential site of mold infestation can release spores into the air and increase the affected areas.
Mold infestations over 10 square feet should be treated by a professional. Smaller areas may be treated by an individual. Goggles, gloves, and a mask should be used when dealing with a mold affected area.
Steps in treating a mold affected area:
Fix leaks and other water problems immediately. Allow affected areas to air dry completely.
Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water. Allow affected area to air dry completely. Never paint over mold.
Replace porous materials such as carpet, insulation, and drywall.
Preventing the buildup of condensation is key in reducing opportunity for moisture. Allowing adequate ventilation by opening windows or using exhaust fans in areas such as kitchens and restrooms reduces the buildup of moisture laden air. Here are a few other tips for helping to reduce moisture indoors:
Repair leaks as soon as possible.
Keep drain lines clean and free of debris.
Make sure water doesn’t collect around your foundation.
Allow space between walls and heavy furniture.