You might have had to throw out bread sometime because of mold. You may have noticed signs of infestation in your basement. You might have hated how it looks; thus, you could try to care for the visible signs. Nonetheless, no matter how much you tried, the signs returned.
Now comes the big question. How much do you know about mold? There are some interesting facts we can share with you. The first is that mold is found everywhere because it is naturally occurring. It plays a significant role in balancing the ecosystem.
Dead organic matter ranging from carcasses to plants needs mold to break down. Imagine the pile–up of such organic matter if there was no mold to take care of it. Indeed, the world would be a very unpleasant place to live in.
The other thing you need to know about mold is that not all of it is harmless. There are toxic and non–toxic varieties. However, with over 100,000 different species, it can be hard to determine which ones you have in your home. Besides, long–term exposure to harmful species can lead to profound health implications, which we discuss a little more in the article.
Another fact we can share is the impact of mold on the structural integrity of the home or building. Mold is a living creature. That means it feeds and continues to grow. Its source of nutrition includes wood and other building material. It is so troublesome that contractors refer to some of the varieties as a ‘building cancer.’
It is crucial to identify, remediate or prevent mold growth. Experts use various methods to deal with the problem. Today, our focus is on this question; ‘how does thermal imaging help with mold prevention in Alexandria, VA?’
What we did not touch on in the introduction is one crucial fact. Have you ever wondered which condition is suitable for the growth of mold? The answer is moist, damp, dark conditions—signs of infestation point to some water or wet spots nearby.
The best way to minimize mold in the home is to take care of any moisture sources. Yet, the fact is that this may not always be possible. Leaking pipes, basement flooding, and more can cause problems.
Running fans, using air conditioning, and dehumidifiers can help. Keep your windows open to ensure proper circulation within the home or building. All those efforts can help keep mold to minimal levels.
But, there is one danger you may not be aware of. You see, moisture does not always announce its presence with physical signs. A lot could be happening behind that drywall or under the insulation. Damp spots may also be under tiles, carpets, ceilings, etc. In the earlier days, the experts had to do a lot of work to detect moisture.
Mold inspection would entail destroying parts of the building to identify the source of the issue. Structural damage of any type can be expensive to repair, and, of course, you can imagine the amount of time that would go into the process. A practical and effective solution lies in the use of thermal imaging solutions. Let’s explore this in a little more detail.
Thermal imaging or thermography is by no means a new technology. Some of its typical applications are in the military. The defense forces can identify the presence of animate sources from remote locations.
Let’s say the enemy is hiding behind a rock. There should be a heat differential. This is because the rock, unlike humans, emits zero heat. The images take on different colors depending on the temperatures. Very high heat shows up as white on the infrared camera. Blue means cold, and warm varies from red to yellow. So how does this apply to identifying moisture sources?
Water, no matter how cool, emits some heat. The same does not apply to the building material. That makes it possible for the thermal imaging camera to get the relevant images. But the question remains when it comes to mold detection and prevention.
Thermal imaging does not detect mold. What it does is detect signs of moisture. As we stated above, mold needs dampness to grow. Once the experts identify hidden water sources, they can recommend what to do. This includes taking care of mold infestation through remediation or removal. The experts also ensure they take the necessary steps to avoid a reoccurrence of the issue. The next is to take care of the moisture problem for good.
We hinted above that mold can cause problems within the home. Long–term exposure can lead to a host of issues, including: –
The challenge for most people is misdiagnosing the source of the health issues. Seeking treatment temporarily will only take care of the symptoms. Within a short time, the symptoms may come back. You may spend a lot of money on health issues that never seem to go away.
Understanding conditions under which mold thrives is a critical step. By now, you know dampness may be an issue. A visual check of the house may not show signs of dampness. Other indicators can give you a pretty good idea.
Have you noticed rusting or metal parts? Wood warps or rot, even if you can’t see water around. Culprit areas include the basement, under carpets, tiles, and even between floorboards. Other areas are in insulated parts and behind drywall. Thermal imaging can also trace the extent of water movement.
A leak in the upstairs ceiling could travel to the lower room walls. Taking care of this helps prevent the growth of mold. Visual inspection can show signs of staining or wall discoloration that only shows up in clearly visible areas. A lot could be happening in the background without your knowledge.
Mold remediation and removal is a complicated process. The professionals must first determine the extent of water damage. Thermal imaging technology provides a clear picture of this. Everything does not stop once the experts clear out. Mold might grow back if the areas the removers worked on did not dry well. So, the building material must retain zero moisture in the future.
Other preventive measures include uncovering locations that could be experiencing thermal energy leaks. Energy loss can result in cold air buildup, so it is essential to take care of this immediately.
Let’s start by saying that you can rent thermal imaging equipment, but there are things you should know from the onset. Learning how to use the imaging equipment takes time. It is not as simple as waving the camera over a section and getting the right results.
A lot more goes into the imaging process. You must have proper knowledge of how to interpret the results. Many factors can make it seem like there is moisture in a particular area. There may be high–temperature differentials in places with transformers or supply ductworks.
You must also be careful when taking images in places with overloaded electrical lines. The same applies to insulation. Lack of it can impact the readings you get. Professionals are in an excellent position to identify areas that could result in errors. They also know how to read and interpret images.
You should know that experts use the equipment in conjunction with others. Moisture meters tell them how much dampness is in a specific location. Room temperature and humidity sensors provide critical information on atmospheric conditions.
Envirotex has been in the mold detection and removal industry for over 30 years. We use the best technologies to serve our clients. We are ready to answer more questions about how thermal imaging helps mold prevention in Alexandria, VA.
Fill out the form on our website for an estimate, and we’ll get in touch soon!
About Envriotex Environmental Services
Established in Northern Virginia in 2000, Envirotex Environmental Services was founded on military service. While serving his country, the company's owner Mr. Freeman gained vast knowledge and experience in the environmental services field. His expertise in air monitoring and hazardous materials testing prepared him for his post-military career.
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