Has Mold Invaded Your Florida Home? Although mold originates from microscopic spores, mold itself is usually easy to detect. While testing is sometimes used to determine the presence of mold, generally a quick investigation with your eyes and nose can tell you if mold is present.
Some signs of mold include:
■ Visible mold growth. Mold can appear in a variety of textures and colors; it often appears as a discoloration, stain, or fuzzy growth.
■ Musty or earthy odors.
■ Water damage and discoloration around the area of the damage
Where to Start:
1. Fixing the Moisture Problem: Mold cannot grow without moisture.
2. Drying of Wet Materials: Especially when overflow or flooding has occurred, drying of wet materials should begin immediately to stop mold growth. Fans and dehumidifiers can help in this process. You may need to discard the items if you cannot dry them well within 48 hours.
3. Treatment or Disposal of Contaminated Materials: Before beginning mold treatment and clean up, you should consider using protective equipment.
4. Cleaning of Surfaces: Non-porous materials such as hard plastic, concrete, glass, metal, and solid wood can usually be cleaned of mold.
5. Disinfecting Surfaces: After cleaning hard surfaces, you may choose to disinfect them. Mixing 1/4 to 1/2 cup of bleach per gallon of water provides an effective disinfectant solution.
6. Closing the Door on Mold: Mold will take any opportunity to grow in your home. Stay alert for moisture problems, musty odors, and other signs that mold may be forming.
• John P. Lapotaire, CIEC • Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant • Microshield Environmental Services, LLC • www.Microshield-ES.com