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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Recovering from Water Damage: Timely Remediation Removes Mold and Toxins

Jan 02, 2013 03:08PM ● By Susan Aimes

Indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than outside air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As homes have become more airtight and energy efficient, they have also become more prone to problems with indoor air pollutants, as well as moisture challenges arising from leaks, plumbing failures, spills and condensed water vapor.

Indoor air pollutants commonly include dust, which is largely composed of skin and hair cells from people and animals; and volatile organic compounds (VOC) emitted by plastics, adhesives, textiles, finishes and cleaning products. Also in the air are mold spores, mold parts and microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC) produced by mold. Some molds also emit substances called mycotoxins, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have linked to a litany of health problems, including chronic sinusitis, asthma and other respiratory ailments.

After even a single incident of water damage occurs in a building, molds can grow inside walls and then become dormant until a subsequent incident of high humidity. The right conditions reactivate mold, which explains how it can appear to be a sudden issue long after a previous flood or water incident that did not produce such a problem. Studies also show that mycotoxin levels are measurably higher in buildings that have experienced damage from water or moisture.

Water damage, which can range from flooded living areas following a storm to broken drainpipes or a leaky bathroom sink, generally requires the services of a water remediation company. Wet vacuuming or using the service of a carpet cleaner to suck up the water may provide a false sense of security, because mold and mildew can continue living on wood, carpet, sheetrock and particle board. When there is any type of water damage, a qualified remediation company can help; their trained technicians focus on detecting, locating and quantifying the extent of mold growth and mold-affected areas, as well as destroying the growth of harmful bacteria, mold and mildew.

Resource: All Quality Cleaning Inc., Naples Water Remediation Company, 835 11th St. N.W., Naples. 239-566-9271.

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