Mold is all around us; it can be found in our homes, outside and virtually anywhere there is moisture. As a naturally occurring fungi, outdoor molds help make room for the new by breaking down dead organic material, like leaves in the fall. However, indoor mold isn’t always so benevolent.
Mold growth in your home should be avoided. Because mold reproduces by means of invisible spores, it is important to keep an eye on the areas of your home where moisture can be found, such as the basement, bathrooms and laundry room. These spores flow through your home and may grow mold if the spores land in a damp or moist area.
You should know: There are many types of mold, none will grow without water.
Exposure to mold may cause a number of different side effects for some, or none at all for others. Symptoms for those who are sensitive to damp and moldy environments may include stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing/wheezing, or skin irritation. Individuals with allergies, mold allergies, compromised immune systems or chronic lung disease may show more severe reactions to indoor mold or develop an infection. Molds produce allergens, irritants and potentially toxic substances and may not cause symptoms right away.
Some studies have suggested a potential link between early mold exposure and the development of asthma among children, particularly among those who may be genetically predisposed to developing asthma. It’s also suggested that improving indoor air quality conditions can reduce asthma and allergy symptoms – however, research is ongoing.
“In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IoM) found sufficient evidence to link evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people and asthma symptoms in people with asthma. They also found limited or suggestive evidence linking exposure to damp indoor environments in general to shortness of breath, to respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children and to potential development of asthma in susceptible individuals.”
Additionally, in 2009, WHO (the World Health Organization) issued the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness & Mold, which provides further information.
Where to look for mold:
For a homeowner, parent or generally health conscious person – all of the above can sound pretty scary, but don’t worry! There are things you can do to prevent mold from growing and spreading, and they’re quite easy to do:
You Should know: A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home by the EPA
Oftentimes, mold can be easily remediated with household products. If you find mold in your home, it is imperative that you clean up the mold and fix the source of the moisture problem. Mold growth can be easily removed from hard surfaces with household cleaning products, soap and water, or a bleach solution (1 cup bleach, 1 gallon water).
You should know: If you choose to use bleach, please keep the following in mind
Mold can be identified as spots of varying colors and can smell musty. If you can see the mold, there may be a health risk present. If the mold is visible and has grown beyond an area of 10 square feet (3ftx3ft) or if the mold continues to reappear, it’s time to consult a pro.
Mold certainly can’t be removed from everywhere, but our experts can help you make your home’s indoor air clean, fresh and harmful-allergen free.
If you are experiencing mold issues in your home, contact us today to speak to an expert and schedule your free estimate.