5 Things to Help You Deal with Mold and Mildew in New Haven CT
Mold And Mildew
A 2014 survey of 3,000 homes in New York shows that over 89% suffer from mold and mildew growth. While you may say this is as a result of recent flooding caused by Sandy among other storms, there is no denying that mold and mildew growth is now a more prevalent problem for home owners. A study by the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) says that on average, over 60% of homes older than 6 years suffer from this toxic growth.
The Basement Health Association (BHA) says over 90% of mold growth problems are found in the basement. This is due to high humidity caused by moisture leaks through the walls. With the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) indicating over 70% of homes older than 10-15 years’ experience basement moisture issues; it is obvious the problem is bigger than homeowners know.
To fight this toxic growth, here are some things you need to understand:
Ideal Growth Conditions
A guidebook by the University of Florida IFAS Extension says that for mold to grow there must be moisture and organic materials such as wood, textiles, or leather. Temperature ranges of between 20°C to 30°C are ideal and a high level of oxygen is also required because these organisms are aerobic. Your basement provides these ideal conditions.
Difference between Mold and Mildew
While they are closely related fungi cousins, there are some differences. Both produce enzymes that enable them to decompose and digest organic matter. However, mold appears blackish and can survive non-living surfaces such as plastic. However, mildew appears powdery and settles on organic products.
EPA says the larger amount of air breathed indoors comes from the spaces below the floor. Well, if there was no mildew infestation that would be fine. However, BHA says mold and mildew cause a myriad of health problems including sinus congestion, asthmatic attacks, nasal congestion, coughing, running nose and skin and eye irritation among other medical problems.
Mold remediation and removal needs to be done early enough and you need to know how to identify the symptoms. There will always be a musty odor in the basement but there are also visible signs you can use to identify this infestation. There are powdery substances or speckles of clusters on fungi-infested surfaces. If in doubt, do not touch but instead call a mold and mildew specialist for diagnosis.
Use Professional Mold Removal
It is true that simple house-keeping activities such as aeration, ventilation, dehumidification, waterproofing and cleaning your downspouts among other DIY techniques can help. Nevertheless, you need to appreciate that mold is toxic and should only be handled by a professional. This protects your family from exposure because these experts have prerequisite skills to remove and remediate safely.
Mold and mildew can devastate your family but when you call a specialist, you are assured of effective removal. These experts go a step further and remedy underlying moisture leak problems in your basement.