Mold : What You Need to Know

Mold Exposure Symptoms

Mold is not a plant or an animal.  It is part of the Fungi species. They can be either found indoors or outdoors.  They have an essential role in the food chain since they are by nature, decomposes.  They break down organic material and reuse the substance from once-living organisms. There are thousands of different species of molds around us.  They grow in warm, humid, and damp environments.

It come in different colors like orange, yellow, green, brown, pink, purple, white, and black.  These do not indicate anything at all. Different species have different effects on different types of individuals.  But one thing is certain though, our environment is filled with it, and we will never completely eliminate them.  

They growth needs four factors.  First, you need the mold spore. They are microscopic structures which are around 2-100 microns in diameter.  This is how they reproduce—they send out their spores out into the air. Next, they need food to grow, and that constitutes an organic material like wood, paper, or natural fiber clothing.  In short, mold food is all around us! We have dry walls, wallpapers, wood panels, etc. A lot of the things that can be found in our homes are susceptible to mold invasion because we have a lot of organic stuff we use in our daily lives.  

Next is the temperature.  They grows fast in warm and humid conditions.  For example, we have crawlspaces. If you didn’t know crawlspace mold is a problem, and that is because over thirty-five percent of the air in your home comes from the crawlspace through the normal breathing process of the house.  These crawlspaces usually trap in moisture for or provide a humid environment wherein they can thrive. The last factor to its growth is moisture. This is the only component which is more or less controllable, and this is what we can use to help with any problems indoors.

Mold: What You Need to Know if You Have it in Your House

First of all, we must come into terms that no house is free from exposure.  As I mentioned earlier, spores are found everywhere and at any time of the year.  There is no escaping since the spores can be easily carried away by anything and can grow on anything organic; our houses are very susceptible to their growth.

Naturally, they helps the environment.  However, the problem is the majority of them are allergens. The effect it will have on an individual’s help depends on the person’s sensitivity to the type of mold in question.  In addition, some can produce mycotoxins. Different species of them usually have their own set of weapons against other molds. Some but not all of these defense network systems that happen as a response to the presence of other molds produce a toxin that is harmful to us humans.  Another problem with molds is that they worsen allergy symptoms, so people who do not have their immune systems in the best condition can also develop more severe symptoms and are more prone to get sick. Studies even show that some types of mold are carcinogenic. Therefore, while they pose a great benefit to the natural environment, having them in the presence of our homes is not at all that great.

So, if you find mold in your house, what should you do?  What you need to know is that you must contain the area and prevent further damage to the other parts of the house.  While you might think that you can just remove a particular item from your house, usually a thorough assessment is your best option.  You see, you won’t actually see the visible mold structures until they have been growing there for quite some time. So, chances are, your mold problem is more than what meets the eye.

Experts have studied how mold operates and how they move so they will be more likely to give you the true extent of your mold problem.  It is better to fix the entire issue than shorthand it and pay thousands of dollars later. Some people opt to use simple remedies for their mold problems, not knowing that it only aggravates the mold growth.  Let me give you a typical example.

Mold: Using Bleach: What You Need to Know

Contrary to popular belief, bleach is actually a big no-no.  Bleach actually increases mold growth. If you check the label, the active ingredient for bleach is three to six percent sodium hypochlorite, which means that the rest of the ingredients are most likely composed of water.  As we all know, moisture helps mold to grow.  

Another fact is that sodium hypochlorite does not penetrate porous material.  It can address the mold on top of the porous organic material so it gets rid of staining and everything else that you can see.  However, it does not kill the root of the mold, since mold growth involves hyphae, which serve as its roots. They anchor deep into the organic material and cannot be easily removed.  Since this active ingredient does not go in deep into the porous material and its water ingredients can, the bleach in totality actually feeds the mold more moisture as it only gets rid of what is visible to the eye.

Mold Prevention: What You Need to Know

Since moisture feeds mold, it only figures that moisture control is the key to prevent it from overtaking our houses and property.  Some of the things you can do to help prevent mold problems are to keep areas of your house clean and dry. If you have any instances of water leaks, make sure to fix the leaky plumbing as soon as you can.  It is also important to dry any incidence of water flooding thoroughly.  

For example, do not just mop the floors but check to see if carpets have been drenched in the fluid that you should clean and dry them too.  If you let two days pass and you don’t do anything, mold will most likely be a problem. Always remember water and mold does not get better with time, so it is better to address it when the problem is still manageable.

Another tip I can give you is to buy a hygrometer.  A hygrometer is an instrument that can measure the humidity of the environment.  It is cheap to buy, and you can monitor your home’s humidity. When it comes to preventing mold growth and infestation, it is best to maintain low indoor humidity.  It is best to keep it below 60 percent relative humidity (RH), ideally, 30 percent to 50 percent if possible.

Always remember, avoid mold exposure whenever you can.  Do not touch them with bare hands; do not let them get into your eyes.  As I said, regularly check your home for any mold growth that has started.  One indicator of this would be a distinct moldy or earthy smell. If you can, attend to any moisture and humidity problem right away.  As they say, prevention is still better than cure, and you wouldn’t want to get sick just because you were too lax in addressing a mold growth in your house

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