By Rick Hovanec
Mold will grow anywhere it can gain a foothold. Higher levels of moisture can support the growth of mold and other pathogens, including bacteria. All that is necessary for mold or other microbial to begin growing is for a suitable medium to remain wet for 48 to 72 hours; even less with elevated temperatures. Mold spore can lie in a dormant state for months or even years, but it can grow quickly once the right conditions are met, often surprising homeowners who find prolifically growing mold where it was non-existent only a few days prior.
Discovery of a major mold infestation often begins with someone in the home or business detecting a musty odor and discovering a bit of mold growing in an area that has been concealed for some time. Behind furniture or inside a cabinet, particularly in the bathroom or kitchen, attics, unfinished basements; places that are visited less often are common points of discovery. A small amount of visible mold can often be just the tip of the iceberg. Slow leaks in concealed areas can go undetected for an extended period of time. Moisture can travel under and through building materials, always searching for equilibrium between dry and humid spots. Finding mold in one area can be an indicator that conditions have been right for growth in a larger area for a substantial amount of time.
In my line of work, I find mold infestations more common in older homes and businesses, where plumbing may have been modified or extended over a long period of time and then concealed behind walls or above the ceiling. It is also more common in homes that have a number of indoor planters, or that were built on sites that were not properly graded to carry ground water away from the foundation. Businesses that employ water in their processes or have extensive landscape watering systems are also more commonly affected with mold problems.
Eliminating the source of the moisture problem is key to any mold remediation, in order to prevent it from recurring. Professionals who repair mold damage employ a number of methods to detect moisture in concealed areas, such as non-penetrating and penetrating moisture meters, and infrared cameras. These instruments can help detect the source of leaks.
For mold damage repairs and remediation, a professional company with extensive experience and training should be sought. Doing so can protect your home by having all of the repairs needed to completely remediate mold conducted at one time.
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