Today, I will take you to learn about water damage and mold related information, as well as how to best deal with these two issues that arise at home.
No one wants to find unsightly water damage or mold in their own homes. However, these issues are not just about aesthetics: they not only pose a potential threat to the structural integrity of the property, but also, in some cases, may endanger the health of the occupants of the property.
Therefore, homeowners need to be familiar with the unique signs of water damage and mold, as well as the next steps to be taken to ensure a safe and livable environment.
Mold or water damage?
1. Visually distinguish
Visually, mold can appear in various colors, such as white, green, or black, while water stains are usually yellow or brown.
Mold is a type of fungus that grows under humid conditions, and its appearance, texture, and color may vary. Depending on the species and environment, mold, especially those caused by water stains, may exhibit white, green, or black hues. Mold growth may exhibit a spotted appearance and change color over time.
Water damage is caused by excessive accumulation or long-term existence of water. The most obvious sign of water stains on the walls is yellow or brown stains. These stains may feel damp to the touch and manifest as discoloration or patches on walls and ceilings. Those who are not familiar with the appearance of black mold may sometimes mistake water stains for black mold, as both are circular patterns, but water stains may be lighter and have less color change.
2. Different textures
Water damage can cause blistering or peeling of dry walls, but mold can produce a sticky, blurry, or powdery texture.
Water damage caused by leaks, floods, or sustained humidity may cause significant problems for building materials such as drywalls. When water penetrates, the dry wall and the wallpaper or paint covering it will bubble, peel, or peel off due to absorbing water and losing its structural integrity.
Fungal colonies can exhibit various textures based on their type and maturity. Active growing molds may feel sticky, while inactive molds may have blurry textures similar to cotton or velvet, and may even appear powdery, easily peeling off the surface when touched.
3. Spread speed
If not treated in a timely manner, mold usually spreads to the entire house, but water damage is limited to the area where water infiltration occurs.
Mold can spread far beyond its initial point of appearance. Even if the problem starts with just a small piece of mold on the ceiling, when spores are released, they can spread in the air and settle in various parts of the home.
Water damage is still limited to areas directly affected by water infiltration or leakage, and will not "spread" like mold.
More than 50 employees at this New York hospital reported symptoms of mold in their obstetrics department
4. Odor judgment
Water damage does not always have a noticeable odor, but mold is often accompanied by a strong musty odor.
Water damage is mainly a visual issue and is not always exposed through odor. It may manifest as surface discoloration, staining, or deformation, but may not necessarily emit a noticeable odor, especially in the initial stage. Over time, accumulated water or prolonged dampness can sometimes produce a moldy odor, but this is different from mold, where the odor is more pronounced.
As mold grows and reproduces, microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) are produced during mold metabolism, often emitting a strong musty odor.
5. Physical reactions
Water damage itself may not have adverse effects on health, but if it becomes moldy, contact with water may cause symptoms such as coughing or sneezing.
Although water damage damages the structural integrity of houses, it does not directly have adverse effects on the health of residents. Of course, if not addressed, water damage may provide an ideal environment for mold growth.
As mold propagates, it releases spores and other compounds into the air, which may be inhaled by indoor occupants. Long or strong exposure to certain molds may lead to various symptoms of mold poisoning, especially for those with allergies or respiratory diseases.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some common symptoms and signs of mold exposure include:
● Stuck or runny nose
● Throat irritation
● Red, teary, or itchy eyes
● wheezing or difficulty breathing due to lung irritation
● Increased sensitivity in asthma patients
It is worth noting that although not all molds themselves are toxic to humans, even non-toxic molds can cause allergic reactions or exacerbate existing respiratory diseases in sensitive individuals after prolonged exposure.
6. Simultaneous occurrence of greater risks
Water damage and mold often occur simultaneously. The risk of moldy houses affected by floods is high.
Some common types of mold that grow due to water damage in houses include:
● Blackhead grape genus. This type of mold, commonly known as "black mold," is green black and mainly grows on materials such as paper, dust, and cotton wool. Black mold is often found in shower rooms or other areas with excessive humidity or water leakage.
● Aspergillus genus. This type of mold is usually black with yellow or white shadows below the surface. Exposure to Aspergillus may lead to infection with Aspergillosis, which can affect the respiratory system.
● Cladosporium genus. This mold looks green with black and brown hues. It may initially appear small, but eventually it will expand into larger patches. Mycobacteria are particularly common in bathrooms and sinks, but they can also grow on carpets and wall panels.
● Alternaria genus. This green, gray, and/or black mold can have a velvet like texture. Although Alternaria mainly grows outdoors, once spread through the air, it can penetrate houses and take root in walls and attic spaces.
What should I do if I find mold or water damage?
After discovering mold, please immediately call the mold repair company for inspection to resolve and eliminate any water damage to mold growth as soon as possible. Mold removal technicians will be able to identify black mold or other toxic species (such as mucus mold) and provide recommendations on subsequent steps.
1. When a flood occurs
Immediately contact professional personnel who have the equipment and experience to thoroughly clean, dry, and repair the affected area, and greatly reduce the possibility of mold growth. Action must be taken quickly, as under appropriate conditions, mold can begin to grow within just 24 hours.
With the help of professional repair companies, the need for flood repair can be effectively addressed and the risk of mold growth can be reduced. On average, the cost of flood repair ranges from $1305 to $5707.
2. After discovering mold
If mold begins to grow after the water stain problem is resolved, it is recommended to hire a trustworthy mold removal or repair company. In addition, a small amount of vinegar can kill mold, and bleach can also be used, but it is not recommended to paint on mold or ignore it.
Top mold repair companies may use specialized tools to locate mold (even if it is hidden behind walls or under floors) and use a combination of various methods, including physical removal of contaminated materials and the use of HEPA vacuum cleaners and antibacterial treatments to kill tiny mold spores.
They may also use containment methods such as negative pressure and sealing the affected area to ensure that mold does not spread to other areas of the home.
Finally, mold repair professionals can help homeowners identify the source of moisture in their homes and provide advice on how to maintain a mold free environment, such as using a dehumidifier, ensuring proper ventilation, or using anti mold coatings.
For water damage, most of it is caused by inevitable objective reasons, but we have a high chance of avoiding the production of mold. The growth environment of mold is humid and cold, so as long as we do not create such an environment for mold, there is a high chance that mold will not produce. This will not cause damage to our body, but also save us a lot of money by hiring professional mold repair personnel. Why not?
Places like bathrooms are the most prone to mold growth, as the environment and mold growth requirements are exactly the same. Therefore, I recommend this DOACE heated towel bucket. When you use it, not only can you use a warm towel to wipe your body, but after use, it can also be heated for dehumidification and perfect sterilization. I have been using it for a while and feel very good. Not only does my towel not have a moldy odor, but my bathroom also does not produce harmful mold due to the low water droplets on the towel. I think it is a very good method.