Mold Issues: Let’s Talk About Them

When water enters your home, it’s safe to expect water damage to follow it. Before things get too bad, it’s best to get cleanup started. The longer you wait, the better chance your property will sustain secondary water damage. A fairly common form of secondary water damage is mold.

Today, we’ll be talking about that and why you shouldn’t delay if you find any in your home.

Mold and Your Health

Exposure to damp and moldy environments can cause a variety of health effects. Some people are very sensitive to molds. For these people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation. It may even spur skin irritation. People with such allergies are going to have severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses. Those with obstructive lung disease may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed. These people should stay away from areas that are likely to have moldy growth. Such places are: compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas.

In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to moldy growth with upper respiratory tract symptoms. Some symptoms are coughing and wheezing in otherwise healthy people. Others include hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.

Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early exposure to development of asthma in some children. Particularly, among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development. Selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies, but more research is needed in this regard.

Further studies are needed to find out what causes acute idiopathic hemorrhage and other adverse health effects.

Mold and Your Home

Spores needed for growth can be found both inside and outside a home. It can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Spores in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets can and be carried indoors. A sure way it gains entrance is through water damage.

It will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. They grow well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. It can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.

Getting It Under Control

You can control the mold growth in your home by:

  • Controlling humidity levels
  • Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
  • Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding
  • Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas

If you find growth in your home it isn’t enough to just get rid of it. You also need to find and address the source. Growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. You do not need to know the type of spore growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for growth. No matter what type is present, it must be removed. You can make use of bleach to get rid of growth.

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:

  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes
  • Open windows and doors to provide fresh air
  • Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product