Understanding How Mold Spreads
Stop mold from existing in your home
There are few homeowners who haven’t heard of mold, and many have unfortunately had to
deal with the expense of mold removal. More mysterious, however, is often how
mold spreads and what you can do about it before it’s a big problem. If preventing
spreading mold in your Pico Rivera, CA home matters to you, here are some clues
to understand just what helps this pesky fungus thrive.
What Mold Is
Smelly, destructive and seemingly everywhere, mold is best described as a fungus. It’s often fuzzy looking, though it can be slimy too, and has an unpleasant, musty smell. It’s often black or grayish, but it can come in a variety of colors including:
While black mold has a particularly nefarious reputation, all household mold is problematic and should be stopped from spreading early.
How Mold Spreads
Spreading mold occurs via spores, which are like seeds for fungi. These lightweight spores are invisible to the naked eye but are all around us. They’re not a problem, however, until they land on a surface where they can thrive. Such surfaces include leather, wood, paper, drywall and basically any organic surface they can use for nutrition.
Lightweight and Airborne
What makes these spores so easily spread is that they are airborne. That means a breeze can carry them over great distances to find a place to take root. In your home, the HVAC system can achieve this. A few spores landing in moist AC vents, for instance, can multiply and spread through your home as soon as you turn your system on.
Stopping mold from existing is impossible, but you can stop it from multiplying in your home easily. Start by minimizing dark, damp areas, especially in bathrooms, attics, crawlspaces and beneath sinks. Work with a mold remediation company to remove moisture and you’ll have taken a major step to stopping spreading mold in its tracks.
Moldy Artwork: Removing Artwork Fungus
Removing Artwork Fungus
Whether you have a priceless Pollock, or your own Bob Ross inspired masterpiece, mold damage to a painting can be disheartening. It is easy to see the work as beyond repair, but thankfully mold cleaning is a fairly common practice, although cleaning artwork is a somewhat specialized niche. There are steps you can take if the damage is not too severe, but it is always wise to check with a professional.
1. Know the Medium
Different paints react differently to chemicals and liquids. For instance, oil paintings, while durable, can react well to water but terribly to chemicals. Watercolors and acrylics are likely the most vulnerable paintings to dampness of any kind, which is why choosing experienced cleaners and restorers may be best.
2. Work on the Frame First
If you choose to attempt the remediation yourself, then start the mold cleaning at the frame. Removing the frame before cleaning is recommended so that you minimize the risk of further damage to the painting. You can use an alcohol-based solution to clean and sterilize the frame.
3. Be Patient and Conservative with Cleaning
When you move to the painting, it would be wise to use a cotton swab dipped lightly in the cleaning solution. This ensures that you have control over the application, and it also minimizes the amount of damage done to the painting if any.
4. Hire Outside Help
A mold remediation specialist in the Santa Fe Springs, CA, area is usually a better choice if you are a novice. It is easy to damage a painting. While not every specialist will be experienced in salvaging and restoring artwork, they will likely know of an expert in that specific niche.
Mold cleaning of any material is usually best left to professionals, especially when dealing with artwork. The variety of paints and cleaning chemicals makes it difficult to figure out the best cleaning solution. The key piece of advice is to work conservatively and be patient.
The Best Way To Test for Mold
Mold damage in Pico Rivera, CA
With weather patterns changing nationwide, many regions are experiencing greater extremes in temperature and intensity and duration of major events. Those affected by increased rain and flooding may feel particularly vulnerable to mold in their homes and may want to do some mold testing. Regardless of location, taking steps to prevent the spread of mold before it becomes a problem is a good idea.
What To Look For
If you suspect you have a mold problem, there are a number of signs to be aware of:
- A moldy smell — mold has a distinctive odor.
- Visible colored patches (especially black) of growth around areas of condensation.
- Past or present issues with humidity, moisture or flooding.
If you notice any of these signs, it can be a good idea to test for mold.
Who Should Test
If a homeowner is inclined to attempt DIY mold testing and utilize a mold kit, it should be noted that, in most cases, collected samples will need to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. Further, because of the constant presence of mold spores in the environment, a home test will almost always yield a positive result. Therefore, residents of Pico Rivera, CA, would be well advised to call a professional hygiene service to address any perceived or potential issues. A certified industrial hygienist has the knowledge, experience and resources to provide the assurance that homeowners want with mold testing.
What Can Be Done
An expert can perform a variety of tests to ensure the most accurate results. One strategy is testing the air to determine what types of mold spores are present. This is particularly helpful when there are no visible signs of mold. A second regimen uses several techniques to lift samples off of household surfaces. Third, bulk testing involves removing items from the home and lab testing them. Another option is to culture living spores obtained from the previous techniques in the lab. This can be the best way to determine which mold species are present.
Using a home kit may at first seem practical and efficient. However, the most reliable way to do mold testing is to use a professional.