Mold and Your Health
What is Mold?
- Molds are small organisms found almost everywhere. They can be black, white, orange, green, or purple. Outdoors, molds play an important role in nature, breaking down dead leaves, plants, and trees.
- Molds thrive on moisture and reproduce by means of tiny, lightweight spores that travel through the air. You’re exposed to mold every day.
In small amounts, mold spores are usually harmless, but when they land on a damp spot in your home, they can start to grow. When mold is growing on a surface, spores can be released into the air where they can be easily inhaled. If you're sensitive to mold and inhale a large number of spores, you could experience health problems.
Here are the beginning signs of mold to look for:
- Peeling or cracked paint
- Discoloration and bulging on drywall
- The smell of a moldy odor
- Small mold spots on any surfaces
It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors. Mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem.
- Controlling humidity levels;
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs windows,and pipes
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
· Alternaria -found in showers or under sinks with leaky pipes. Also common in buildings that have had water damage. This type of mold can easily spread through an entire condo unit and into adjacent units.
· Aureobasidium– found in units that has wooden surfaces, wallpaper, painted surfaces and window frames. It is pink and black.
· Botrytis – grows in areas with high levels of humidity, like bathrooms with poor ventilation. Chaetomium – usually grows on drywall with water damage. It can usually be identified by its musty odor.
· Cladosporium –Can grows on fabrics, like carpets, and on wood surfaces, like cabinets and floorboards.
· Trichoderma– This usually grows on damp carpet or wallpaper.
· Stachybotrys- chart Arum-This is more commonly known as “black mold” because it is slimy and black. This can be a very toxic mold, producing toxic compounds that cause severe health issues. This grows in areas that are consistently damp and in air conditioning ducts with leaking pipes or high levels of condensation.
Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours, and can produce allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health effects.
If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, they have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.
Please refer to our Mold Damage Tips to learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives.
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