Does My Home Have a Mold Problem? It Can Happen, Even in Central Oregon
Central Oregon markets the region as a vacation destination, one that distinguishes itself from other, more lush parts of the state thanks to its drier, sunnier high-desert climate.
Yet, we at SERVPRO of Bend would like to warn local homeowners not to become complacent due to the relative dryness of this area, especially where water damage and mold are concerned.
While mold can be a more troubling issue for those living in the valley and in the coastal regions of Oregon, it also still exists in Central Oregon.
Mold, after all, is everywhere. It exists as microscopic spores that flow through the air around us, both indoors and out. And, under the right conditions, mold spores can settle, colonize, thrive, and produce odors, allergens and irritants.
Where Does Mold Grow?
Homeowners who identify mold in their homes commonly find it growing in drywall and walls, in attics and crawl spaces, under leaky sinks, in showers, in ductwork … anywhere you may find a combination of moisture, cool temperatures and relative darkness.
A type of airborne fungus, mold can germinate in as few as 12 hours and start reproducing within one to two days. This process involves continually shooting microscopic spores into the air.
Mold can also produce an objectionable odor that can best be described as “musty.” In addition, it will typically damage surfaces on which it grows, whether that’s wood, drywall, grout or fabric.
What Are the Signs I Have Mold in My House?
If you know what you’re looking for or where to look, the most obvious sign you have mold in your home is that you simply see it. If you open a bathroom cupboard or duck down into your home's crawl space, for instance, mold will often stand out as dark spots in or around moist or humid environments.
If you’re not out looking for it, however, some of the top signs you may have a mold problem in your home include:
A Musty Odor: You may not notice this all throughout the home, but if you start to recognize a musty odor under sinks, in the shower, around duct vents, behind appliances, in the attic, etc., it may be time to start inspecting for mold.
Water Leaks/Damage: If you find water leaks that appear to have gone unnoticed for a period of time or uncover signs of water damage in your home, these are prime spots for mold. Thoroughly check these area(s) for growth.
Warping, Cracking or Peeling: Moisture that seeps into your drywall will nearly always result in the growth of mold. So, if you notice any bubbling, peels or cracks in your drywall that may indicate excess moisture, you’re likely to also have a mold problem.
What If I Find a Mold Issue?
The first thing to know is that mold spreads quickly, so even if you have a small mold problem today, it can become a major problem before you know it. So, don’t drag your feet. The quicker your response to a mold problem, the more limited the damage (and the costs of the damage) will be.
Secondly, wherever one might find mold in their homes, the one common denominator is moisture. To therefore remediate a home’s mold issue, one must also quickly address the causes and sources of said moisture, otherwise the mold is bound to come right back.
Here at SERVPRO of Bend, we are highly trained mold remediation specialists with advanced education in applied microbial remediation, water damage restoration, and applied structural drying.
After cutting off the source of water, moisture and/or humidity, our team will:
- Inspect and assess the mold damage
- Contain the area using a negative air pressure system
- Filter the air in the infected areas
- Remove the mold and any mold-infested materials
- Clean and restore the area and its contents
We provide these as both scheduled and emergency services. And, if you require these services as part of an insurance claim, know that while it’s OK for an insurance company to suggest a service provider, it’s your right to choose the mold remediation service provider you desire.
To learn more or to schedule your initial mold assessment, call us at (541) 385-7044.