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FAQ about Mold Damage

1/10/2023 (Permalink)

Black spots of mold on a white wall Mold found behind a dresser in a Santa Barbara, CA apartment

Mold is a microscopic fungus that grows in places that are damp and dark. Whether you're an expert or new to the world of mold, this FAQ will answer your questions about how it grows, how to prevent it and what you can do if you have a problem with mold.

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that grows in damp places with poor ventilation. The spores (tiny fruiting bodies) of the mold spread throughout the air and can be carried by the wind. Mold requires food and moisture to grow, so it is most likely found where water has been present for some time, such as basements or crawl spaces where there has been flooding or leaky roofs.

There are many different types of mold that can grow indoors, some common types include: Aspergillus niger (black mold), Cladosporium cladosporioides (environmentally friendly), Penicillium chrysogenum (yellowish-green mottled with white), Stachybotrys chartarum (greenish black).

Where Does Mold Grow?

Mold can grow in any damp place—including your home, workplace and vehicle. Mold is a fungus that grows on surfaces where it finds moisture. The type of mold that you see will depend on the material it’s growing on and its location:

  • On porous materials like wood, paper or drywall, molds produce spores that spread through the air when disturbed.
  • In warm and humid environments like showers or bathrooms, mold will grow quickly on moist surfaces such as grout lines between tiles or under wallpaper due to high humidity levels there.
  • On foods (such as bread) that have been exposed to moisture for long periods of time without refrigeration.

Is Mold Common Indoors?

Mold is everywhere, but not all mold is harmful. For example, you can find some molds growing on your food in the refrigerator or inside of cardboard boxes. However, when it comes to indoor buildings and homes, there’s a difference between harmless molds and those that could cause major issues, like property damage.

Mold can grow indoors in areas with high humidity or moisture like bathrooms and kitchens because these rooms tend to have less ventilation than other parts of the house. If these areas become too moist over time due to leaks or condensation buildup from appliances like air conditioners then you may have an issue with mold growth on surfaces such as drywall, wood beams/joists/flooring etc.

Will Opening the Windows and Doors Help When I am Cleaning up Mold in my Home or Business?

No, opening the windows and doors will not help. The spores are still in the air, and they can still grow on other surfaces.

Mold can continue to grow for up to 2 weeks after you've cleaned it or removed it from your home or business. You may think that if you open up all of the windows and doors, then you'll be able to remove some of those mold spores from your house—but this is not true! Mold grows best in dark areas with high humidity levels, so it'll just continue to grow elsewhere inside until you're able to fix all of those issues.

If you have a lot of debris built up around your home (like leaves or grass clippings), make sure that they're removed before cleaning any water damage caused by flooding so that there aren't any more places where mold could start growing again.

Doesn't Bleach Kill Mold?

If you've ever owned a house or apartment, you've probably heard about bleach as a solution for mold. However, it's important to understand that bleach is only effective at killing bacteria and viruses—it doesn't kill mold. In fact, some experts say that using bleach to clean up after a mold problem can actually make things worse because it damages your home's structure.

Do I Need to Have my Home Tested for Mold Before I Clean up a Minor Mold Problem?

If you're just cleaning up a small area of mold growth, you don't need to test for mold. However, if the affected area is 10 square feet or greater, we recommend testing for mold before removing it. This will ensure that you're taking all proper precautions to avoid ingesting any harmful toxins and prevent the spread of spores throughout your home.

How Do I Clean up a Small Area of Mold Growth (Less Than 10 Square Feet)?

If you have a small amount of mold growth in your home, use a HEPA filtered vacuum to remove the spores. Be sure to clean the area with soap and water, then dry it well with a fan or hair dryer. If you need to remove some of the moldy area from walls or other surfaces, use a utility knife carefully so as not to damage any existing wallpaper or paint on those surfaces.

Getting Rid of and Preventing Future Mold Problems

To prevent a mold problem from recurring, you must take action to fix the source of moisture that caused it in the first place. There are several ways to do this:

  • Remove all porous materials from the area and replace them with non-porous ones, such as vinyl or linoleum.
  • Repair any leaks in your home's foundation, roof or walls so that moisture cannot enter anymore.
  • If you have an appliance that uses water (such as a dishwasher), make sure there is adequate ventilation for air circulation around it so that humidity levels aren't too high inside your home at all times.

You can also try using a dehumidifier if needed to keep humidity levels low in areas where mold appears often or stays long after cleanups are complete. In addition to cleaning up after any mold growth has occurred and preventing further damage by removing its causes once again, keep windows open whenever possible during warm weather months across entire house so fresh air can circulate throughout interior spaces. In order ensure success when dealing with moldy spots on items like floorboards wool carpets etc., use products containing bleach.

If you discover mold in your Santa Barbara, CA home, start by contacting a professional for help. Mold can be a large problem, so it’s important to have it professionally removed if possible.