Why Is Mold Dangerous?
You may have thought that your itchy eyes, coughing, or sneezing was just seasonal allergies or a slight cold, but what if the truth was that you could be reacting to the presence of mold. Many people have concerns about finding mold or fungus in their home. It's scary to think that there could be something living in your house and on your walls that might be affecting your health and probably damaging your home as well. Mold in your home can pose a number of serious health problems that you may not realize. Since mold can be found in virtually any environment, everyone is potentially at risk for toxic mold exposure, regardless of where you live.
The presence of mold is a serious concern; keep reading to find out why.
Indoor Mold Causes Illness and Health Problems
Indoor mold might be unsightly and smelly, but it will also affect the air quality in your home. Molds reproduce by forming tiny spores that are too small to see with the naked eye. Spores travel through the air and land on surfaces searching for water to grow. Mold spores can survive under most conditions; even conditions that mold wouldn't survive in.
One toxic type that is generally referred to is black mold, which describes "Stachybotrys Chartarum". There are many types of mold that appear to be black, though. It goes without saying that living with mold can be dangerous, and if you have reason to suspect that you need a mold removal specialist you definitely shouldn't chance it. Large quantities of any mold are a major health concern, not to mention the damage it could do to organic building materials like wood throughout your house. If you still aren't sold about how dangerous living with mold could be for you and your family, check out these 50 more reasons why living with mold should alarm you.
Mold is found in Carpet
Just because mold is not immediately apparent or visible on a carpet's surface does not mean that mold growth is not in progress. If you suspect you may have mold in your carpet, you're going to want to kill it right away. Wall-to-wall carpeting, as well as area rugs, can provide an ample breeding ground for mold if conditions are right. So what do you do if you happen to find some mold spots? The first thing you need to do if there's mold in carpet or mold in your home is identify exactly where it is and how deep it goes. Any amount of mold in carpet usually means that the carpet needs to be disposed of. That means prevention is the best combatant for carpet mold.
Preventing Mold Growth in Carpet
Mold always grows in certain conditions that include either humidity or a steady source of moisture. It goes without saying that after any sort of flooding your carpet is likely going to be ruined. Containing any amount of water that makes it into your home and drying any wet areas quickly will do a lot in the prevention of moldy carpet. Any carpet exposed to standing water has problems if not dried and cleaned immediately. Especially if the pad underneath the carpet gets soaked, there will definitely be a good chance for the appearance of mold.
You can always use a dehumidifier in humid areas to help control the moisture in the air. If mold spores don't have humidity they cannot grow. This applies to when you get your carpets cleaned as well. You don't want your carpet to be wet for long periods of time, so after a good carpet cleaning routine, the drying process should be important.
How to Detect Mold in your Home
Mold can cause some serious problems when it takes up residence in your home. When mold is found in a home, it should be handled with extreme concern and caution. Mold can essentially be found in any environment or season, so it's smart to be on the lookout, especially if you have had any leaky pipes or water damage. Because mold grows on organic material, it can do a lot of damage to your home. Most types of mold are allergenic and some are even toxic, meaning exposure to most molds can have adverse effects on your health. The majority of indoor mold growth is potentially harmful and a should be removed as soon as possible. It's important to be aware of the presence of mold on walls or in your home. Below are a few ways to detect mold growth inside your house.
• Be Aware of Leaks or Moist Area – Mold grows quickly and spreads even quicker. All molds thrive in damp or humid areas, and commonly these are spots like within walls or under sinks where mold can easily stay hidden. Because of this, mold infestations can take off and get out of hand before you know it. Most of the time the only way to detect a hidden mold problem is by actively looking for it, or from the presence of stale air and allergy like symptoms.
• Watch for Water Damage – Many homeowners don't notice roof leaks or water entering around windows before the damage is already done. Check your home during and after heavy storms to find any spots that water may be entering form damage or weathered materials. Water damage will inevitably lead to mold damage if left unchecked. This goes for basements and attics big time.
• Be Aware of Odd Smells – If you start to smell musty odors, you should search for mold. Smelling the mold means that it is reproducing by releasing spores, and inhaling these spores could be harmful. Remember that mold grows where water is present, so the best places to look are usually around leaky A / C units or behind refrigerators. If you find mold, it's important not to handle it directly. Some molds can be toxic and cause skin irritation if you come into contact so emphasize safety.
• Get a Certified Mold Inspection – If you are weary about the presence of mold in your home, you can call certified mold remediation specialists for a free visual mold inspection. Most companies we are happy to answer any questions you have about the mold remediation process. They are skilled and trained to find even the most hidden mold, like within walls or under tile. After all is said and done, the road to prevention is awareness. Be on the lookout for any signs of mold in your home and call a professional at the first sign to stop mold in its tracks.
Different Types of Mold
So you think you might have just spotted mold on the walls, and now you're wondering exactly what kind of mold it is or if it's toxic. Mold is actually a very common problem because mold spores are literally found almost everywhere. That means that usually any source of water in your home, like a leaky pipe, could give mold exactly what it needs to grow. Many different types of mold can be found in homes, and although they all might look different, every type of mold will usually cause an unpleasant musty smell. No matter what, it is extremely crucial to rid your home of mold as soon as you suspect that it may be growing. Keep reading to find out about common types of mold commonly found in homes.
1. Alternaria – Alternaria is usually found in your bathroom where dampness occurs like in showers or below sinks, but it is also found as a result of water damage in homes. It is the most common form of allergenic mold in the world and usually causes asthma like symptoms. This type of mold is known to spread quickly because it can grow in spaces with minimal water.
2. Aspergillus – This type of mold is usually found in American homes and can be almost any color. It is highly allergenic and under the right conditions will even release toxins. Common symptoms around Aspergillus are asthma attacks, lung infections, and respiratory inflammation. This type of mold is capable of producing aflatoxins, which is known to be a deadly carcinogen.
3. Cladosporium – This is a unique mold that can grow in both warm and cold temperatures. It's frequently found in areas like insulation, carpet, wallpaper, upholstery, mattresses, couch cushions, etc. It usually appears brown or green with suede-like texture. This mold can cause health problems relating to skin and respiratory issues. While not considered toxic, Cladosporium is still very allergenic and should not be handled directly.
4. Penicillin – Penicillin is one of the more easily recognizable forms of mold, as it appears blue or green with a velvety texture. This mold is found in materials like carpets and on walls. It is known for its antibiotic properties, but when found inside your home it can cause serious respiratory problems. Penicillin spores are frequently found in the air in damp and moist areas and are known to cause chronic sinus infections and inflammation of the lungs.
5. Stachybotrys – Probably the most commonly known type of toxic mold, Stachybotrys is usually referred to as "Black Mold". This mold is both toxigenic and allergenic and usually appears to be slimy and dark green or black in color. This mold will thrive in damp areas with high humidity and grows best on materials like wood, cardboard, paper, hay, or wicker. Because of its production of mycotoxins, black mold has been known to cause chronic sinus infections, asthma attacks, allergy symptoms, depression, and fatigue. The affects this mold has on children can be extreme, so any sign of mold should be handled ASAP.
How to Remove Mold
Mold is an annoying issue. Every day that mold is given time to grow and spread just adds to the difficulty of removing it. Once it finds an area it likes, like humid basements or bathrooms with moisture, it will start to multiply quickly. Since molds decompose organic materials, this poses a big threat to the condition of your home. Don't hesitate. If you think you have a mold problem be proactive to remove it as quickly as possible.
1. Killing Mold with Bleach – You've probably been told to reach for the bleach upon the first sight of mold, but is this the best way to kill mold? Although bleach has been used to kill mold for ages, it doesn't work very well on most types of mold that you find on porous materials. This is because chlorine bleach does not penetrate the surface of porous materials, whereas that is exactly where the mold grows its roots. The ironic part about using bleach is that while the mold killing properties sit on the surface of the mold, the water properties contained within the bleach are absorbed into the roots, giving the mold more moisture to feed on. Since the roots of the mold are left behind after using bleach, the mold will almost always return.
2. Killing Mold with Vinegar – The use of vinegar to kill mold is inexpensive and a good green option to use on very small amounts of mold in your home. Vinegar is mildly acidic, making it much safer to use than chlorine bleach. It has been known to kill mold when evenly sprayed or poured onto moldy areas. It won't work 100% every time, but it is a good option for very small mold remediation projects.
3. Killing Mold with Baking Soda – Baking soda is a very common household cleaner that is usually used because of its lack of chemicals and mild basic properties. It might take a little elbow grease, but it's been known to kill mold and remove odors from your home with ease. For the best chance at success, it's a good idea to use vinegar along with baking soda so you can hit it on both fronts.