Do I Have Indoor Mold?

Do I Have Indoor Mold?

Indoor mold can begin to grow within 24-48 hours. This happens when spores settle on a surface that is moist such as cardboard, drywall or flooring. Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria and Aspergillus are the four most common indoor molds.

To prevent mold from growing in your home, it’s essential to control the humidity levels. This means having proper ventilation in showers, laundry rooms and kitchens. It’s also important to fix leaks as soon as they happen and to clean up after a flood, being sure to thoroughly dry any surfaces that came in contact with water. Replacing areas of drywall or flooring may also be necessary.

The following are common symptoms of mold exposure:

  • Sinus congestion and runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing, difficulty breathing, tightness of chest
  • Eye irritation
  • Skin irritation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sneezing and sneezing fits
  • Fever

Mold is prevalent outdoors as well as indoors and has been around for millions of years. It assists in the decomposition of organic materials such as leaves, wood and plants, but is capable of breaking down synthetic materials such as paint and adhesives.

If mold has started to grow in your home, it’s crucial to have it removed and the source of the moisture fixed. The process of removing the mold is called “mold remediation”. This involves evaluating the area affected and determining the best and safest way to remove the mold. If it’s not taken care of, serious health issues can arise. If anyone in your family is experiencing these symptoms, call a mold remediation company right away to come out and check your home for mold. It is also recommended to seek medical attention to be sure that everyone in your household will recover from the exposure.

Mold can appear a few different ways. Black, gray-brown, gray-green and white are common colors and mold growing behind vinyl wallpaper can be orange, pink or purple. It often looks splotchy and clustered but can also appear thread like.

Aside from the health effects mold causes, other signs of an infestation include odor. When mold grows, it releases microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) which are the reason for the strong “musty odor” associated with mold.

The best way to avoid mold is to prevent it. Always clean up thoroughly after a flood and get leaks fixed immediately. Remember, where there is moisture, mold is bound to grow.

References: EPA reference on Mold and Moisture

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