Mold inspections and testing in Orange County, Ca is inspected by 1st Action Restoration and is Orange County’s premier Indoor Air Quality experts specializing in moisture intrusion, moisture control and mold and bacteria problems. 1st Action Restoration services all area codes of Orange County.
Orange county consists of about 948 square miles and has over 3.11 million people. With that many people and homes, water damage and mold growth are common. Most people living in the beach communities accept that mold growth in the home is a natural part of living at the beach, but this should not be taken as acceptable condition. Health related issues are common in many of the homes when common sense corrections can be made in many cases.
The beach communities in Southern California are spectacular. Living in these beach communities offer opportunities for entertainment like no other areas in the world. If you live close to the beach you may be experiencing from time to time or in some cases all of the time mold issues inside your home. When living in the beach communities it is good to understand the potential for mold growth inside the home due to high humidity and lack of air flow.
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Dust can play a large part in growing mold if the occupants are not informed on the proper steps to take to reduce the potential for ambient humidity mold growth. Many of the homes I inspect in the beach areas are growing mold due to high humidity and the lack of proper airflow throughout the home. High humidity for long periods can cause mold to grow on personal items, walls, ceilings etc. and will create an odor that is very recognizable. This type of mold growth is referred to as ambient humidity air mold and grows due to the high humidity (moisture source) and uses dirt, debris, and many times clothes, shoes, furniture, bedding and most anything that is an organic material as its food source.
Controlling the humidity in a home, primarily in the beach communities, is a key factor in controlling ambient air mold growth. Reducing the humidity to 50% or below and maintaining a constant airflow through the home is a key factor in reducing ambient humidity air mold growth. In most cases this type of mold growth occurs in older homes due to the lack of insulation in the walls and ceiling that allows moisture from the outside to consistently penetrate to the interior that insulation would stop. Moisture in the form of humidity and sometimes actual moisture from the outside penetrates the exterior wall and ads to the humidity in the room. The lack of proper airflow helps the high humidity get a foot hold in the items in the home and over time mold will grow. Personal items such as clothing in a closet that are against an exterior wall or shoes placed directly onto the floor will have a much greater chance of growing mold than an item on the other side of the closet. Furniture such as a dresser or bed pushed directly against a wall will also grow mold due to the space against the wall creating a higher humidity and therefore growing mold.
Clothes in a closet should be kept as far apart as possible to allow air flow between the clothes. In many cases this type of mold growth is more prevalent on older paint surfaces and can be greatly reduced if newer high gloss paint is applied to walls and ceilings. The owner or occupant of the home should consider using an enamel or satin finish paint as opposed to a flat based paint. Enamel and satin finishes make debris and dust harder to attach to the surface and therefore reducing the chance of fungal growth.
Personal items that are normally affected are leather items, shoes, belts and jackets. Polyesters are also very common to find fungal growth. Older worn leather items will be affected first as the finish on the item is depleted and allows the moisture to enter the leather and therefore provides a good foothold for mold growth to start. Antique furniture or furniture that has little or no finish is extremely vulnerable to mold growth in high humidity areas. Keeping these types of items cleaned and covered with a leather treatment product can help avoid future growth, but preventing high humidity and increasing airflow, and eliminating dust and debris in the suspect areas is the key factor in eliminating problems. Make sure to leave windows and closet doors open as much as possible and to maintain an air flow through the home. To help monitor possible problems in the home it is recommended to place temperature and humidity monitors in several areas of the home including closets and enclosed areas to better understand when humidity gets above 50% to 55% for long periods, and so corrective action can be taken. This mold growth has the potential of causing health related issues in some people. Not all cases of mold growth in beach community homes are caused by high humidity. In many cases it is caused by actual water intrusion and requires a full review by an Indoor Air Quality Industrial Hygienist.