Keeping a pet store in perfect condition is an important task, since not only are products for animals sold, but different types of pets are usually inside. In this type of business, it is common for moisture to accumulate; the problem is that this can cause the appearance of mold.
Although people often know very well the health consequences of mold exposure, many are often ignorant of the devastating effects it has on pets’ health. Among the most common health problems animals experience after exposure to mold, the following stand out:
- Pulmonary hemorrhage
- Trouble breathing
- Skin problems
- Hair loss from excessive licking
- Lethargy at extreme levels
- Fluids in the nose
- Partial or complete loss of appetite
- Allergic reactions
- Neurological problems
But not only could mold affect pets through the air but if it reached food, they could become seriously intoxicated and suffer problems such as muscle spasms, which would warrant immediate medical attention. That is why when it appears, you should hire specialized service in mold remediation immediately.
How can mold appear in a pet store?
Mold is a fungus that is responsible for the biodegradation of organic matter. Although it is very useful for the ecosystem in nature, some types of mold can be very harmful to living beings.
Mold needs three things to show up in a pet store: heat, moisture, and spores. The spores can come from the outside air as they are everywhere, and it is almost impossible to detect them until they have already caused damage to the store.
This type of fungus can completely invade walls, floors, window frames, vents, furniture, and even the area where pets use to be located. The mold also can quickly grow on almost every kind of construction material, including drywall, insulation, and even carpets.
The process for mold to start invading a pet store usually follow this process:
- The first step to getting mold contamination in the pet store is by introducing the spores through the air (it includes vents systems, doors, and more).
- If the environment is conducive, it is warm, or there is somewhat excessive humidity after a flood, or if there are leaks, the mold will start to grow without problems.
- You will be able to detect mold problems, both visually and olfactory. When this occurs, you should hire a mold remediation service as soon as possible, as this will help you get rid of the problem.
It is essential to know that you can find various mold types. Some of them are highly harmful to health, so you should treat this problem immediately when detecting their presence. As mentioned previously, mold can be deadly, not only for humans but also for pets.
Some animals are much more sensitive to mold exposure than others and can suffer lung bleeding, liver damage, and even cell death.
How can mold be detected?
Mold is a very common problem inside buildings, especially in areas where a lot of moisture accumulates. Because it proliferates on virtually any surface, it is a problem that can quickly become serious.
Although, in theory, mold is very easy to notice in an olfactory or visual way due to its characteristics, it is not always possible to detect it in this way, especially if you do not know what you are looking for.
For this reason, it is crucial to know in advance all the ways and techniques that exist to detect a problem with this type of fungus. In this way, to be able to do a mold remediation process as soon as possible.
Some of the most common signs of mold or spores in the pet store are:
- Allergies: If both people and pets begin to suffer from allergic reactions, especially at the respiratory level, such as irritated eyes, congestion of the airways, or even sneezing, it is likely that there is mold growing somewhere in the building.
- Musty smell: This is another almost infallible symptom that you are having a problem with mold, especially if it is accompanied by allergic reactions. If there is mold hidden somewhere in the store, there may be a slightly musty smell, which is characteristic of mold. This signal should never be ignored but should be interpreted as an alarm, especially if there are no visual signals yet.
- Mold growth: When you think of mold problems, you often think of large patches of mold growing on surfaces, but this is not always the case. Sometimes you can see only small amounts of mold growing that resemble dirt or soot stains, so people ignore them. In any case, if even the slightest sign of mold growth is seen, you should take action immediately as the problem could soon worsen.
- Leaking Problems: If any problem related to water or moisture leaks has occurred in the store, especially if it has been long term, it is inevitable that mold will start to grow. If there are water stains on the surfaces, discoloration, peeling, or warping could be a sign of mold growing on these materials.
- Floods: If there has been a recent local flood, it is possible that mold is developing in the areas most affected by water, such as warehouses, cellars, or even basements, so it is essential to check these areas and dry them properly.
- Condensation: If the environment inside the store is hot and humid, and water condensation occurs, it can be a sign of the presence of mold since a high level of humidity is the perfect food for the appearance of problems with mold.
- Toxic Symptoms: Not only are allergies a sign of mold problems, but more serious physical symptoms such as headaches, short attention span, dizziness, trouble concentrating, and even memory loss can occur. These symptoms are an indication that there are far more severe problems with some type of toxic mold than you might think, so you should take immediate action.
Suppose you have found or experienced any of these signs. In that case, it is important that you contact a mold remediation service as soon as possible, as the problem could become very serious in a short time and could even cause the death of pets or people who are exposed to mold quickly.
Mold remediation: How to get rid of the problem?
Once the presence of mold has been detected, you must take steps to achieve mold remediation as soon as possible. Steps you can take include the following:
- Mold needs moisture to grow, so addressing moisture problems in the building will be the first step. To do this, you must repair the leaks and all those property parts that have been damaged by moisture.
- Subsequently, it is necessary to remove all those articles or materials that contain mold from the different areas of the pet store, since when the mold begins to grow, everything will be contaminated with spores. Hence, the only way to get rid of the problem is by replacing everything that is contaminated. This includes drywall, insulation material, carpets, and others.
- Once you have removed anything that is contaminated and treated any moisture problems, you should clean and dry the entire area properly, as dead mold could cause allergic reactions. If there is moisture, mold contamination could reoccur.
- You should thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with some cold soapy water, then dry everything entirely immediately. As for upholstery and fabrics, such as carpets, these must be discarded and replaced.
- In any case, when cleaning, it is essential to wear protective gloves and goggles. Likewise, you have to be sure that you get adequate ventilation, and you should also follow all of the cleaning products manufacturers’ instructions to avoid health complications.
If mold contamination is severe, the best thing you can do is hire a mold remediation service since these professionals are usually very experienced and will ensure the best results in a short time and with the least possible damage.
How to prevent the appearance of mold in the pet store?
If you’ve already done the mold remediation process at your pet store, now you must prevent it from reappearing and wreaking havoc. In order to carry out preventive work, you must follow these steps:
- First, conduct a regular inspection of your pet store to see if there is any type of water damage and mold. If you discover moisture damage in this preventive maintenance routine, you should correct the problem causing it immediately, such as water leaks.
- It is essential that you control the humidity levels inside the store since this, due to the presence of different types of pets inside, can accumulate quickly. There are dehumidifiers that can be very useful.
- If there are leaks in the ceiling, walls, and even windows, you should repair them immediately to avoid mold damage.
- If any flooding or heavy rain occurs, you should immediately clean and dry all surfaces thoroughly, especially if you have previously had mold problems.
- Maintenance and cleaning areas should be kept well ventilated and as dry as possible.
- It is advisable to use a dehumidifier or the air conditioner in the wetter months to keep humidity inside the tent at the lowest possible levels.
- Make sure your pet store has a proper ventilation system. Likewise, it is vital to carry out regular check-ups and maintenance to avoid spores’ accumulation.
- Although rugs are popular, consider whether it can be substituted for another type of flooring, especially near areas with moisture and fluid accumulation, to prevent mold infestations.
In any case, it is always highly recommended to have a professional mold remediation team since these services have specialized equipment and knowledge to prevent any problems quickly.
It is very important to prevent mold appearance, especially in pet stores, since if this problem appears, the health of the animals can be seriously affected. This should be avoided at all costs, not only because of the economic losses that it would represent but also because they are also living beings requiring care.
What should you do if store personnel or pets have been exposed to mold?
If you have found evidence that mold has grown inside the pet store, it is vital to take action on the matter, especially if staff or animals have experienced physical symptoms due to the presence of mold. A pet store in Oregon did not do this and the mold took over their store it took Mold Remediation Oregon company several months to clean it out.
First, it is essential to get a professional mold remediation service, as they will be able to perform an evaluation to detect the presence of spores in the air and determine the severity of the problem.
However, it is a very good idea to remove pets from the store and staff before cleaning begins to prevent further health problems while troubleshooting mold problems.
On the other hand, in the case of more serious physical problems, it is extremely important that the staff go to the doctor and a specialist vet evaluates the pets. This is important since they could have severe health damages that will require urgent treatment or could be left with severe consequences, and they could even end up losing their lives.
Likewise, it is also recommended that a specialist veterinarian evaluates pets in an uncontaminated area to avoid being much more exposed to this type of fungus and worsening its symptoms while the mold remediation process is carried out in the store pet’s store.
In the event that the evaluations find that a strain of toxic mold caused the problem, immediate action will be necessary, from making deep repairs in the store, including the replacement of drywall and insulation material, to moving the store to another location and replace all the furniture.
This is because mold contamination can sometimes be too high, permanently affecting pets’ health in the store. The cleaning and disinfection process must be carried out in each store area because these fungi release spores in the air that could cause a rapid reappearance.
Once the disinfection process is complete, and the health personnel has given their approval to both the staff and the pets, it is possible to reopen the store to the public. Of course, after experiencing a mold problem, it is important to carry out regular maintenance checks to prevent the reappearance of this problem eventually.
It is also essential to avoid all types of moisture condensation, water leaks, and dust accumulation in the different areas to prevent mold from spreading again inside the store.
In this type of situation, the best tool in your favor will be timely prevention. By paying attention to the signs of the presence of mold, you will be able to take action without much more dire consequences, such as the death of pets or material losses generated by having to replace all the furniture in the future.