What to Know about Mold in Your Home
- Date: 04-2020
Today I want to discuss mold, since that is the core of my business. Mold is a common occurrence in homes and buildings. The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. Often times people refer to mold in their home as mildew, however mildew grows only on plants, so that “mildew” you see in the shower is actually mold. Mold grows best in warm damp and humid environments.
How do you know if you have mold? Well mold has a musty smell which is easy to detect, however seeing the mold can at times be difficult. One of the best ways to detect mold by sight is to take a bright flashlight and hold it against the wall, parallel to the wall. Then look at the light being cast on the wall. Light-colored mold such as some members of the Aspergillus sp. and Penicillium sp. groups are often the dominant problem-mold in buildings but these offenders are often missed by a casual inspection because they can be hard to see on surfaces.
How does mold enter the home? Mold can attach itself to clothes, vents, doorways and HVAC systems. When the mold is dropped or falls onto damp and wet places it will begin to grow. Where does mold grow, mold grows on wood, cardboard, paper products, ceiling tiles. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery. Mold spore concentrations can range from 10,000 to 1,000,000 per square inch.
How does mold affect people? Some people have a natural sensitivity to mold. The symptoms will include stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people who have allergies or asthma can have more intense reactions. In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found evidence that links indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract systems, coughs and wheeze in patients who were otherwise healthy. The IOM was also able to link asthma symptoms in people with asthma, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis in patients that were susceptible to that immune-mediated conditions, for example autoimmune disease. People at risk include people with allergies, people with lung disease, people with chronic respiratory disease, asthma, people who have been diagnosed with COPD.
How do you prevent mold from entering your home? Make sure your home is well ventilated, control the humidity in your home by adding a dehumidifier, if you have flooding have it dried and cleaned up as soon as possible, fix leaky roofs, pipes and windows, vent your shower, laundry and cooking areas.
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