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Indoor mold species can be deceptively dangerous, considering the toxins produced by mold can cause various allergies, breathing disorders, asthma attacks, and even irreversible lung damage. This makes mold remediation an immediate necessity.
Most of us are content cleaning up visible mold stains. However, mold spores are microscopic, and when disturbed, tend to spread really quickly. If you do not vary, mold cross-contamination can cause it to spread into different areas of your home. But how does mold spread so easily? And what can you do to prevent mold cross contamination?
In this short read, we’re going to talk about how to effectively avoid mold cross-contamination.
How does mold cross contaminate?
Let’s take a look at the multiple ways that mold can cross contaminate your home environment.
Through the HVAC system
The ductwork of your home’s HVAC system is one of the easiest ways for microscopic mold spores to spread. Very often, mold travels from the basement through the HVAC ductwork to contaminate the rest of the house.
Because of improper remediation
Professional mold remediation is not particularly cheap, costing between an average of $500 and $3,000. However, while there are a lot of companies that offer great mold cleaning services, not all of them do.
Very often, unscrupulous companies try to take advantage of homeowners, especially when the mold problem is a result of water damage after a storm or a hurricane. If the mold in your home has not been properly cleaned, it is possible that the spores spread during the cleaning process, increasing the contamination.
From moved items
When a room has visible mold on the walls, it is safe to assume that the spores have already spread to the furniture and other items in the room. So if you move things out of the room before mold cleaning has been performed, you’re going to be spreading the spores to other parts of your home as well.
From contaminated clothing
Clothing is one of the biggest reasons for potential cross-contamination. The toxins in mold sports are basically free radicals that can easily bind with fabrics. So if you’ve been in a room with mold, you ought to remove and clean your clothes and shoes as soon as you get out of the room. If you don’t, you may be inadvertently carrying and spreading mold spores over the rest of your home.
How to find out if you have cross contamination
The only way to confirm cross-contamination and the extent of mold damage in your home is to have a professional mold mold testing company run some tests in your home.
These companies go beyond simply looking for visible signs of mold. Their inspectors take air samples from multiple rooms so they can pinpoint exactly where the mold has spread to. These tests can range from $295 to $1,010.
How to prevent cross-contamination
Obviously, hiring a mold remediation company to get rid of mold infestation should be your primary priority. Remember that mold remediation companies are not the same as mold testing companies. Here’s what mold remediation companies do when they come to get rid of the mold in your home.
- They will wear protective gear to make sure that they do not come into direct contact with the mold spores and risk mold toxicity.
- Once visible signs of mold have been cleaned out, they use tools like HEPA vacuums, HEPA air scrubbers, air exchange, and commercial dehumidifiers to remove all traces of airborne mold spores as well.
- They also use an antimicrobial agent to completely remove any remaining mold that may be invisible to the naked eye.
- To ensure that you do not have to worry about bad odors and to prevent mold growth as a result of water damage, a sealer or encapsulant is applied.
While this ought to help get rid of mold and prevent cross contamination at least for a long time, it is advisable that you have a mold clearance test performed, just so you know that cross contamination has not occurred and that all the mold from your home has indeed been removed.