8 Reasons Mold Can Keep Coming Back
Mold is stubborn. It can spread throughout a property very quickly and even cause a variety of health issues for individuals who occupy the same space. Mold is extremely persistent and has been known to return even after it has been cleaned. Many homeowners and business managers make the choice to handle mold issues themselves and try using ordinary cleaning methods that just are not effective when dealing with this type of problem.
What is Mold Exactly?
Mold is commonly mistaken for and treated as a stain or dirt, however, mold is actually a living organism that grows, especially in damp places. Mold spreads by releasing microscopic spores into the air. In fact, mold spores are naturally in the air all around us. It is actually impossible to completely remove mold spores from the air. Understanding why mold can keep coming back can help ensure that you make the right decisions towards removing it if it becomes your problem to handle. Here are some reasons that mold can return in a property:
1. Neglecting Water Damage
Water damage can occur in numerous ways in properties including roof leaks, overflowing toilets, leaky pipes, faulty dishwashers, etc. Disasters happen. However, making sure that water is cleaned up and any moisture is removed from affected materials quickly can prevent further damage. Water damage that has been neglected or gone unnoticed can lead to mold growth in as quick as 48 hours.
2. Cleaning Porous Materials
DIY cleaning methods can sometimes be effective if the surface being cleaned is non-porous. Most cleaning methods will not work for porous materials, such as wood and drywall, because the mold will avoid the cleaning agent by retreating deeper into the material, only to resurface again later. Cleaning portions of the mold is ineffective if the nucleus is not destroyed. Affected materials should be carefully removed, discarded, and replaced to ensure the mold does not return.
3. Painting Over Mold
It is not uncommon to find that a previous mold problem was simply painted over to hide the temporarily hide the issue from new tenants or homeowners. The mold usually does not take long to eat through the paint and reappear. Not to mention, hiding the mold does nothing to solve the issue of damage spreading behind the wall.
4. Excess Moisture and Ignoring Source
Since mold thrives in damp areas, the first step to removing it is to reduce the moisture levels in a home. Disregarding the source of the mold issue only means that the problem may occur again. Call a professional to fix leaky pipes, broken air conditioning units, roof damage, etc. and use a dehumidifier to get the moisture out of the air. Similarly, it is important that all damp fabric is allowed to completely dry. Hang up towels so that they can fully dry. Kitchens, basements, and bathrooms are common places for mold.
5. Indoor Humidity
Mold is extremely common in Florida due to high humidity levels that allow mold to thrive. Making sure your air conditioning is running correctly and constantly can help prevent high humidity in your property making it more difficult for mold to grow. Indoor humidity that exceeds 60% can become a source for mold all on its own. Also, make sure that every room has proper ventilation so that any excess moisture in the air does not become stagnant and cause an ideal environment for mold to grow in.
6. Generic Cleaning Products
Generic or all-around cleaners will not work on mold. Bleach does not work for all species of mold. It can be effective on certain species of mold but inefficient for others sometimes making the situation worse. Make sure to experiment with natural alternatives and invest in mold-specific cleaners. Be generous as you spray and do not wipe it right away. The cleaner needs to work its magic and kill the living mold at its nucleus. The most effective method is to test for mold and receive a treatment protocol from a licensed mold assessor.
7. Keeping Affected Items
Some items may be permanently affected by mold. If an old couch has a lot of mold on it, you may have to get rid of it instead of trying to save it. Similarly, glass is easy to clean whereas wood is harder and will most likely have to removed and replaced. Wash clothing and discard any items deeply affected by the mold. This can minimize the risk of the mold spreading back to the structural components of your home. To be on the safe side, it is best to hire a professional remediation company with experience in salvaging materials affected by mold.
8. Not Consulting Professionals
If you have dealt with major water damage to your home, it is wise to try and get ahead of mold issues by consulting professionals. Experts know where mold is likely to fester, and they can use the best equipment and techniques to properly remediate the issue. You may not have the expertise to do everything yourself. They know why mold may be returning, and they have the tools to get rid of it for good. Investing in professionals' services protects your home, furniture and family's health. Proper air quality testing by an environmental hygienist can provide accurate insights into the type of mold you have, its source, areas affected, and how to remove it for your specific instance.
Mold is persistent and can grow very quickly. If you have tried to remove it and it returns, know that this is normal. Oftentimes, homeowners can make a mold situation worse, which makes the remediation more costly. For the best results, call in professionals to keep mold from returning. The quicker you act, the better.