Discovering mold in your home can be a scary thing. You probably have a lot of questions. Let’s try and help you find some answers.
What is mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in warm, wet environments. There are lots of different kinds of mold with many different forms, colors, textures, and even smells.
Certain molds are fuzzy or velvety, while others have a rough feel to them. They can be white, black, yellow, blue, or green. Sometimes they just look like a dark stain.
Some kinds of mold are more harmful than others, but you don’t want any of them in your house.
Why is mold so dangerous?
As mold grows, it releases spores, cells, fragments, and unstable organic compounds into the air. When the air is damp, the materials break down even faster, releasing more of these particles.
Breathing in these particles can cause a host of health problems.
What kind of health problems can mold cause?
Mold is responsible for many different health concerns, especially for people with compromised immune systems. Some of the more common issues are breathing problems, allergic reactions, and inflammation… which can lead to more serious illnesses.
One of the most dangerous types of mold is called Aspergillus, which can cause a serious health problem, known as aspergillosis. Aspergillosis may result in severe breathing problems, bloody cough, and dramatic weight loss.
In extreme cases, mold exposure can cause psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Is it my fault that we have mold in our house?
No! You come into contact with mold spores everywhere you go…. Both indoors and outdoors. Mold spores are so small that you don’t even know when they’re on you.
There is really no way to stop the spores from spreading. Every time you enter your home or open a door or window, you are potentially allowing those spores in.
When the spores land on a warm, damp place… they start to grow into mold.
Even the cleanest homes can become infested with mold. That’s because mold is resilient and can grow on almost any surface… even glass and plastic!
While you can’t prevent the spores from entering your house, you can do things to prevent them from growing into mold.
How can I get rid of mold?
There are a number of things you can do to keep mold at bay.
Keep humidity levels as low as you can all day long. Between 30-50% is ideal. Air conditioners or dehumidifiers work well for that, but keep in mind that humidity levels change throughout the day and will need to be monitored.
Be sure your home has enough ventilation.
Exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas will keep the air vented outside your home, ensuring cleaner indoor air.
Fix any leaks in your homes walls, roof, or plumbing.
Any dark, warm crevice is a potential home for mold. Promptly fixing leaks will help keep moisture from spreading.
Don’t use carpets in bathrooms or basements.
Even the dryest bathrooms and basements are susceptible to mold. Eliminating carpet and fabrics helps prevent it from growing.
If you do find mold, remove it immediately and clean the area thoroughly.
Once mold starts to grow in carpet, insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, or wallboard, the only way to deal with the problem is by removal and replacement. Scrub cleanable surfaces (such as wood, tile, stone) with soapy water and a bristle brush and make sure to dry surfaces quickly and thoroughly after cleaning.