White patches of fuzz on your basement floor, green flakes on your backyard wall, black spots of slime on your shower curtain. You probably see mold every day in your home. It’s never a stranger even though you might not know exactly what it is.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a foul smelling, fungus that grows in multicellular filaments, thrives in damp or wet areas, appears in different colors and multiplies very quickly. Mold has the ability to grow on any surface and requires special care to get rid of. A lot of places have mold, and so it is not unusual for the question to arise, ‘is mold really all that bad?’ Well, yes, and I’ll tell you why.
Why Mold Is Bad And Should Not Be Tolerated
Apart from smelling very awful and being a major sign of water damage and the dilapidation of your home and furniture, the manner in which mold affects you healthwise is actually mostly dependent on you. If you do not have a mold allergy, then you might be just fine in areas with mold, but for those with allergies, mold can be very bad, causing a range of disturbances from irritated throats and stuffy noses to coughs and wheezes and swollen eyes and irritated skin. The elderly and children are at huge risk of reacting to mold.
Mold can also have even more severe reactions with people who have low immunity or chronic lung diseases. The mold could cause serious lung infections that could end up being life threatening. Asthma patients also could have their asthma triggered by mold.
While you may feel you have no allergies and as such you shouldn’t have to worry about mold, other members of your household or visitors and even neighbors and pets could end up suffering the consequences of your inaction.
Toxic Black Mold
Black mold is a special kind of mold that is either very dark green, or black and smells significantly worse than other mold. Black mold grows on surfaces that offer it a lot of cellulose, like paper, wood and even fabric. It prefers damp and warm areas and so it can be found in places like bathrooms, and laundry rooms and after a flooding you could find it under carpets or between wall layers.
Black mold is a very dangerous mold because unlike others, it is toxic and can make you sick regardless of whether you have a pre-existing allergy or not, by poisoning you. Black mold poisoning is a form of mycotoxicosis which can occur if a person breathes in too many mycotoxins released from mold for a long period of time.
Mold poisoning has symptoms resembling that of a common cold or flu at first, but long-term exposure can have severe consequences as serious as memory loss, inability to concentrate, sensitivity to light, anxiety, growing nerve issues (like numbness in the feet or hands), body pain and cramps, and weight gain.
How To Control Mold
At this point it is obvious that mold is no man’s friend and cannot in fact be tolerated as it is very unsafe, so here are a few ways to control mold growth and keep your household safe.
- Always use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially if you live in areas with hot, humid climate. This would reduce the moisture in the air and the chances mold could get to grow in your home.
- Make sure to keep your air conditioning drip pans empty and clean. Also ensure that your drain lines flow properly and there is no obstruction.
- If there is water spillage anywhere, always make sure you thoroughly dry wet areas within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Take care of all leaks and all seepage. Ideally, the ground outside your home should slope away from the building. If it is not, and water then flows into your house from outside, you could either have a simple landscaping or waterproof your home.
- Try to keep the doors in your home open as often as you can. Opening doors between rooms increases the air circulation in the house which prevents mold growth by keeping the place breezy. You could also increase air circulation by using fans and moving your furniture from wall corners.
- Make up for the weather when you can. When cold, keep your house warm not just because you don’t want to freeze, but also because as temperature goes down, the air loses the ability to hold moisture and so, said moisture would condense on cold surfaces. This encourages mold growth.
Mold is a hazard to any home and is very unsafe to live with, so it must be avoided at all costs. If mold is already present in your home, then it is best to call in the services of Dry Effect Restoration Services as mold is very tricky to remove and the presence of mold could be an indication of serious underlying water damage in your home.