Risks associated with Mold in your home and how to prevent it
Mold are organisms in the fungi kingdom that do not rely on photosynthesis from the sun to grow. The sun inhibits the growth of the mold via its ultraviolet rays. However, mold is everywhere and depends on what it is growing on for food.
Indoors, mold grows on paper, carpet, leather, dry walls, insulations, wood, and food preserved wrongly. Outdoors, Mold can be found on dead leaves and plants or dead animals. Mold removal can be done outdoors by eliminating affected material.
What triggers the growth of Mold in your home?
The fuzzy white patches in the basement, the black spots in the curtain shower, or the orange lining on your drain is quite unpleasant to see and seeks mold removal and restoration. Although Mold helps to decompose organic matter, it may pose health risks in your home.
The presence of organic materials, moisture, and oxygen in your home provide nutrients necessary for mold growth. Moisture is the primary cause since the other two requirements are always available at home. Moisture problems at home can be caused by floods, spills, leaks, condensation, and excessive humidity. When a suitable material is rich in moisture for 30 hours, mold will grow on the material.
In addition to moisture, oxygen and organic material, several other conditions that trigger the growth of mold include;
- A source of food
- The darkness that inhibits Ultraviolet light
- Hardly any cleaning done on wet surfaces
- Most importantly, a moisture problem is a mold problem
What are the common types of mold found at home?
The most common types of mold are;
Allergenic molds have allergic reactions to the body like Asthma. Some examples include the Alternaria mold, Aspergillus mold, and the Aureobasidium mold. Allergenic molds can be dark green or brown.
Pathogenic molds affect people who are suffering from acute illnesses. An example is Cryptococcus.
Toxic molds produce harmful substances that can be deadly to humans. An example is the Stachybotrys or Toxic Mold.
Mold produces Mycotoxins which are the toxic substances that affect multiple celled living things. Some of the common types of mycotoxins are;
- Ochratoxins A, B, and C
- Zearalenone that includes Vomitoxin, T2 Mycotoxin, and Safratoxin
- Fumonisins B1 and B2
Unlike mold spores, Mycotoxins cannot be classified as living things and therefore, cannot be ‘killed.’ Mycotoxins are eliminated by breaking them down thereby altering their toxicity. When the toxicity is compromised, mycotoxins are no longer harmful to humans. This is one way of mold removal in food products.
What are the signs of Mold in your Home?
Some of the common signs to watch out for are;
A Mold smell
If you get an unpleasant odor in your house that smells like wet socks, rotting wood or damp paper. The smell is caused by Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds that are produced as the mold grows and multiplies. The smell can also be pungent and musty. Even when the mold is not visible, have the house inspected and restoration done before it gets worse.
With no idea how mold looks like, it is easy to confuse it with dirt or soot. Unlike soot, Mold is more spread on moist areas and spreads further over time. When the mold is at the visible stage, there is a high chance that there is a mold colony that is hidden away from plain sight. Mold removal at this stage is paramount.
Water leaks, and after flooding dampness
When visible moisture and unusual humidity has been in your home for over 48 hours, even with no visible signs of mold, there is a high chance of mold growth in the area that the water is leaking or spilling from. You should begin a restoration process early enough to prevent damage of organic material in your house.
What are the dangers and health risks associated with Mold?
Mold at home mostly affects people with asthma and allergies. With these conditions prior, mold can make you sick by further complicating your condition. However, even for allergic free people, mold irritates the lungs, eyes, skin, throat, nose, and lungs.
For allergic people, touching mold spores can cause sneezing, red eyes, a running nose, and skin rashes. For severely allergic people, mold can lead to shortness of breath and convulsions. For Asthmatic people, mold can further aggravate asthmatic attacks. If you have asthma, avoid touching mold even in the restoration process. In addition to asthmatic people, people who are most likely to be affected by mold include;
- The elderly
- Infants and young children
- People who have a low immune system due to conditions like HIV, liver disease, cancer, and individuals undergoing Chemotherapy.
- People with chronic lung disease.
For healthy people, the mold may not pose a serious health concern. However, for immune compromised or immune suppressed people due to drug treatment or the conditions above, mold can trigger opportunistic infections in the body. Many of these opportunistic infections affect the lungs, eyes, and skin.
Does Mold cause any structural damage to your home?
In addition to unpleasant stains and bad smell in your home, mold will not cause any structural damage to your home. Mold grows on surfaces, not in the surfaces. However, when the mold is not eradicated, decay fungi will set in and will decay the organic material mold was growing on.
Mold prevention and restoration tips
The best way of mold control is prevention. Mold can be prevented through;
- Drying moist areas immediately
- Proper ventilation in your home
- Using mold resistant paint
- Control humidity in your home.
- Repair leaks in gutters, kitchen, and other water prone areas
For homes that have already been affected by mold, emergency mold remediation is the best way to remove mold from your home. During mold remediation, controlling moisture as explained above is the first step since mold is dependent on humidity. Before mold remediation, you should first;
Document the problem to draft a mold remediation plan- writings, video, and photos will help to determine the best mold remediation plan, when it can be completed, and costs that will be incurred, if any.
Account for the extent of contamination to ensure all areas with mold are identified.
The steps for mold remediation are;
- Repair the moisture problem
- Isolate the mold remediation area
- Remove the affected materials if they are movable
- Clean the affected area with detergent and vacuum the area
- When clean, no more moisture, no dirt and no dust means the mold is eliminated.
- Dry the area and replace the severely affected materials
During mold remediation procedure, always wear protective gear and consult a mold expert on the best way to safely perform the procedure.
Don’t Let Mold Create Further Problems In Your Tulsa Home or Business
When the inevitable happens, and your Tulsa building or home requires mold remediation, contact the Reset Restoration mold remediation experts immediately. Reset Restoration provides 24/7/365 emergency mold remediation response. If you have joined our free PREP program, immediate priority response is included, along with many other special no-charge services.
If your friends, family and neighbors have had significant mold damage to Tulsa homes or businesses you can contact Reset Restoration mold remediation experts in Tulsa 24/7 to inquire about Tulsa mold remediation services. Call Reset Restoration today at (918) 582-7373.
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