New Yorkers are natural born survivors. When Darwin wrote about survival of the fittest, he must have been talking about us. We want to kill everything that doesn’t belong in the house - rodents, insects and mold. Who can blame you because your home is your sanctity. Don’t get too ahead of yourself, Killer. Every type of mold is not harmful. If you go about your house spraying Clorox bleach and scrubbing every surface, you are bound to get sick. In fact, mold is a fungus. Most fungi you can’t even see. It’s when it accumulates and sprays mycotoxins, that’s when we want to stop it in its tracks.
What Causes Mold to Grow
Mold doesn’t just pop up out of no where. Certain conditions must be present for mold to thrive. It’s best to think of mold as a living, breathing organism – because it is. First, moisture, oil and/or water must be present. Like any living thing, it must eat. Guess what it eats on? Any organic materials will provide a hearty meal for mold. Wool, drywall, wood, cotton; you name it. Mold likes to do its dirty business in the dark. It doesn’t like the light. So, look out for mold in dank, dark places. Mold gets real cozy in warm spaces. Near your furnace, hot water heater, behind the refrigerator or stove. Give it time and it will flourish; usually between 24 to 48 hours.
To Be or Not to Be
Many clients want to know if they have to vacate while we remediate the premises. It really depends on the level of infestation. If it’s one room, you don’t need to inconvenience yourself physically or monetarily by temporarily relocating to a hotel or relative’s home. We can contain the area and go to work. In many cases, you can use bleach to clean surface areas. The problem with bleach is that it will only work on non porous surfaces. It is so powerful that it can seriously compromise the surface you’re attempting to clean. For that reason, we recommend vinegar. It does the same job but is not toxic or harmful to you or the surface.
Indoor Air Quality
We take air for granted. This is probably the understatement of the year. Of course we do because you cannot see it, taste it or feel it (unless it’s particularly windy outside). We don’t even control the breathing process. Our lungs and heartbeat work on their own. The reality is that what you cannot see can hurt you. Indoor air quality is a major piece to the wellness puzzle. Many of us work in sealed buildings. If you got the notion to get some fresh air, you can’t even open a window. When our spaces are filled with carbon dioxide, monoxide and mold spores, humans and animals suffer. Take control of your health by improving your indoor air quality.
No Two People Are Exactly Alike
One of the mysteries of life is that no two things are exactly the same. This applies to how we react to mold infestations. In several cases, we have entered a home to find a husband and wife. One spouse is complaining of dizziness, headaches, coughing and itchy eyes, while the other spouse is just fine. This difference exacerbates the problem because it seems as if the sick individual has a unique issue that’s not caused by mold. Like food poisoning, two people can eat the same contaminated ground beef but if one person has an iron stomach, she will not suffer the consequences.