Fall is upon us, Missoula! Time to break out the rake!
Raking fallen leaves early and often can help keep mold growth to a minimum in your yard.
With the sudden cold snap we experienced here in the Missoula Valley, leaves have begun to drop from the trees at a rapid rate. Add in all that rain we’ve been getting, and your yard becomes a potential breeding ground for mold. That’s because freshly fallen leaves still have a fair amount of minerals and nutrients in their system, which promote mold growth under the right conditions. For the ‘right conditions,’ look no further than that perpetually shady, dew-covered spot under the tree in your yard or created by the shadow of your house. In other words, mold thrives in moist, dark environments.
However, there is a simple solution to preventing this: rake early and rake often. If you don’t allow those leaves to sit and collect moisture, they’ll have less of a chance to grow mold. That also means bagging and disposing of leaves once they’re raked, instead of leaving large piles in your yard. Leaf mold isn’t all bad, though! If you’re a gardener, you can look into repurposing those leaves as mulch; this gets the leaves off your lawn and puts them to work for you. Or if you’re looking for other ways to keep your home mold-free this autumn, you can also make sure that all of your gutters and water drainage systems are draining away from your foundation and clear those gutters of leaves and blockages.
Missoula Mold 103: The Black Mold Myth
All visible mold growth should be remediated, regardless of color.
Here at SERVPRO of Missoula, we often hear the question: “I found black mold in my home, what do I do?” We are also frequently asked how we test mold, or how we know what type of mold is growing in a home before remediation. Many homeowners urgently seek the answers to these questions because of the popular idea that black mold is more dangerous to human health than any other variety.
In truth, color does not tell you how dangerous the mold in your home is*, and the term “black mold” is even a bit of a misnomer. “Black mold” is often used to refer to a variety of mold called Stachybotrys chartarum, which is thought to be particularly dangerous because of the harmful mycotoxins it can produce. However, three issues arise from this classification. First, not all Stachybotrys chartarum produces mycotoxins. Second, not all Stachybotrys chartarum is black in color. And third, not all mold that appears black is Stachybotrys chartarum
So, the answer to ‘I found black mold in my home, what do I do?’ is, first and foremost, ‘don’t panic.’ But do call your local mold remediation professional. Many types of mold can produce allergens and irritants, which is why here at SERVPRO of Missoula, we follow the CDC guideline that any visible mold growth should be remediated, regardless of color or variety. Our technicians will use advanced methods of containment, air filtration, and removal to make your mold infestation “Like it never even happened.”