Molds are a kind of fungus that may be harmless in small doses. However, in large quantities, they can be very toxic, making exposure to them potentially lethal. This dangerous living substance can grow and spread rapidly in certain conditions. Typically favoring moist and dark environments, molds enjoy temperatures that range between 60–80 degrees Fahrenheit. This deadly fungus can sprout anywhere and cause mold damage. Your workplace, car, and your home are all potential breeding grounds for mold.
Therefore, it is essential to be able to recognize molds, be aware of their repercussions to your health, and deal with the issue swiftly. In many instances, the mold growth is so widespread that the average homeowner cannot deal with remediation on their own. Thankfully there are professional mold removal companies that are experienced and possess the right tools to control and eliminate mold properly.
Common Health Concerns
It cannot be stressed enough how critical it is to identify and eliminate molds immediately. Known for its toxicity, mold can have long-lasting effects on the health of those exposed to it. Individuals with preexisting health conditions, seniors, children, and those who are pregnant are the most vulnerable to the effects of mold.
Sneezing, coughing, wheezing, nasal congestions, headaches, and watery eyes are just some of the most common symptoms of mold sensitivity. Some react to mold immediately, while others develop sensitivities due to prolonged exposure.
Based on the symptoms mentioned above, it is no surprise that some develop lung infections and respiratory conditions. Even the healthiest person can be struck down with these illnesses just by breathing in this harmful fungus.
Severe chronic conditions can be developed as a result of mycotoxins that are produced by certain types of mold. This dangerous by-product is easily absorbed by the skin and can attach itself to airways and intestinal lining. Pulmonary bleeding, cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, liver and kidney disease, heart conditions, and immune disorders are just some of the more severe symptoms of mycotoxin exposure.
Types of Molds
At least 12 different types of molds can be found in the home. Of the 12, there are three types that are the most common. These are Cladosporium, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys atra (aka the dreaded black mold).
Cladosporium resembles a “pepper-like” appearance. This mold is usually green or black, and you can spot them behind toilets, in air ducts made of fiberglass, and on painted surfaces. Although considered non-toxic to humans, it does have the capacity to trigger an array of allergy symptoms. Expect to see watery eyes, rashes, and sore throat. Capable of growing in both warm and cool conditions, it is advised that you avoid handling it directly.
Aspergillus, or the allergenic mold, is typically found on food and in many air conditioning systems. Easily distinguishable by its flask-shaped spores, it can form walls of mold damage or thick layers of mold covering. There is no specific color associated with Aspergillus because there are close to 200 species that come in a wide range of hues. Toxicity can depend highly on the species and the environment it is in. Asthma attacks, respiratory inflammation, and lung infections are symptoms to look out for.
The bad boy of molds, the Stachybotrys is a type of toxigenic mold that can cause severe health issues. This type of mold is greenish-black with a slimy texture. This nefarious black mold loves growing where the humidity levels are high. It loves feeding on wicker, wood, cardboard, and paper.
Due to its ability to produce mycotoxins, this mold causes severe health issues to those exposed to it. A few examples of exposure symptoms are chest tightening, breathing difficulty, burning sensation in airways, pulmonary bleeding, and very painful headaches.
Where to Find Molds
The very first step in mold elimination is the identification of the common areas they love growing in. Locating household mold is not too difficult. If you have a keen sense of smell, you probably already sensed something in your home is amiss. Molds in dwelling places tend to thrive in humid and damp areas. Look around in your basement, shower areas, and around your cooling and heating appliances. Additionally, it would pay to take a peek at crawlspaces, carpeting, and ventilation ducts.
How to Avoid Mold Growth
Your best line of defense against mold damage is to ensure that there are no areas of the home where moisture regularly collects. This could be anything from air pockets or window sills that aren’t sealed correctly. Also, ensure that there are no active leaks from pipes or appliances like your air conditioning unit, fridge, etc.
Should you discover any leaks, make sure to have them repaired immediately. Air out any damp room, and do not leave wooden surfaces like floors, doors, or walls moist since this inhibits mold growth. Similarly, avoid leaving damp clothes in laundry hampers or in a washing machine where it can grow quickly.
Go easy on those indoor plants. Keep in mind that plant soil is the perfect spot for incubating molds. Better yet, make sure you keep those plants out of your bedroom. If you really must have plants in these areas, practice regular dehumidification. Use dehumidifiers, utilize exhaust fans, or even open up a window or two every now and then. Don’t neglect cleaning those dehumidifiers because the same appliance you used to eliminate mold growth can also be a nice little condo for these spores.
Wash rugs, carpeting, and bathroom mats regularly. Going without rugs every now and then also allows the flooring underneath to breathe and dry up if any signs of dampness is found.
Eliminate Dampness to Keep Mold Growth At Bay
Not all mold damage is difficult to clean. The early stages of its growth can be dealt with easily. As a rule of thumb, you do not want anything damp festering in an enclosed space. However, it is best to leave extensive mold damage remediation to the professionals.
Do You Have Water or Mold Damage?
Americon Restoration is here for you! We are Cleveland’s mold removal experts. With years of experience removing mold damage, we can help you restore the safety and comfort of your home! We know you may have concerns about COVID-19 and we want to assure you that we are doing everything in our power to keep our employees and our customers healthy and safe. Americon Restoration is taking all necessary precautions before entering our customers’ homes and closely following CDC guidelines. We want you and your family to feel safe and stay healthy! Please contact us through our website or by phone at (216) 221-5200.