10February

10 Facts You Need to Know About Mold

1.) What is Mold?

Mold (mildew), mushrooms and yeast are all types of fungi, found both indoors and outdoors. Hundreds of different types of mold are commonly found in the U.S.

2.) What does mold need to grow?

Well, like most living organisms, it needs food and water. It grows anywhere there is water, high humidity, or damp conditions. It can feed on vast materials such as paper, wood, fabric, wallpaper, sheet-rock, soap scum, and leather.

3.) How does one become exposed to mold?

Mold releases tiny spores into the air, that can be breathed in. You can come in physical contact with mold by touching it or by accidentally eating spoiled food.

4.) What does mold look like?

Mold can come in many different colors and textures. It may appear furry, slimy or powdery. In most cases mold is black or green, however it can also be red or white.

5.) What does mold smell like?

The most common mold has a musty, stale or earthy odor. It usually grows in damp places, such as bathrooms and basements.

6.) What are common symptoms of mold exposure?

Allergy and irritation are the most common symptoms of mold exposure. Although symptoms will vary depending on the individual, below are the most common problems.

  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Eye irritation, such as itchy, red, or watery eyes
  • Respiratory problems, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • Throat irritation
  • Skin irritation, such as a rash
  • Headache

7.)  Who has the highest risk for health problems from mold exposure?

Being exposed to mold, is not healthy for anyone. However it is especially not healthy for those with the following health effects.

  • Individuals with current respiratory problems, such as allergies, asthma, or emphysema.
  • Individuals with a compromised immune system, such as HIV/AIDS infection, organ transplant patients, or chemotherapy patients.

8.) How to keep mold out of buildings and homes?

Buildings should be inspected for evidence of water damage and visible mold. Simple conditions can cause mold growth, such as water leaks, condensation, infiltration, or flooding. These problems should be corrected to prevent mold from growing.

9.) How do I prevent mold growth?

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can all day, no higher than 50%.
  • Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months. This can significantly help to keep the level low.
  • Be sure that all rooms in your home have adequate ventilation. It’s important and extremely helpful to have exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Add mold inhibitors to your household paints.
  • Clean your bathroom with mold-killing products.
  • Do not carpet bathrooms.
  • Remove and replace flooded carpets.

10.) How do I test for mold?

An individual’s reaction to mold can vary depending on the person’s susceptibility, type of mold, and the amount of mold present. Sampling and culturing are not recommended to perform on your own, since you are increasing your health risk. If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, you should arrange for its removal by contacting a professional at Certified Mold Inspections.