Mold And Your Health

Dated: June 11 2019

Views: 2659

Mold is a type of fungus. Mold spores are found in both the indoor and outdoor air, but they will only grow if they find the right conditions. Mold requires three simple elements to grow:

  1. Moderate temperatures

  2. Nutrients (food)

  3. Moisture

Mold can start to grow on interior building surfaces and furnishings if there is too much moisture. Eventually, the mold will damage the materials it is growing on and may cause health effects for occupants.

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Mold and Your Health!

Health effects from mold can vary greatly from person to person. Common symptoms can include coughing, runny nose, wheezing and sore throat. People with asthma or allergies may notice their symptoms worsen.

All molds are a potential health hazard

Many molds are capable of producing substances that can be harmful to your health. Molds can produce allergens and irritants that can cause illness. For this reason, all indoor mold growth should be removed promptly, regardless of the type of mold present.

Some people may have more severe reactions

  • Children

  • Individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities such as allergies or asthma

  • Persons with conditions severely weakening their immune systems (for example, people with HIV infection, chemotherapy patients, organ transplant recipients)

Anyone with concerns about health effects from a moldy environment should contact their medical provider.

Home Investigation

The most practical way to find a mold problem is to simply use your eyes and nose to find signs of excess moisture and mold growth. If you see or smell mold, you should assume that a problem exists.

Look for signs of moisture or mold

  • Mold can have a cottony, velvety, granular or leathery texture

  • The color of mold can vary from white, gray, brown, black, green or other colors

  • Mold damage may look like discoloration or staining on the surface of building materials or furnishings

  • Noticeable mold odors are described as musty or earthly

Look for signs of water damage or excess moisture

  • Water leaks

  • Standing water

  • Water stains

  • Condensation problems

Search behind and underneath furnishings, stored items, and building materials (For example, under carpet and pad, wallpaper, vinyl flooring, sink cabinets, or dry wall)

Mold and water can show up in many places

Mold and moisture house diagram

  1. Leaking roofs and ice dams

  2. High humidity in bathrooms and kitchens

  3. Leaking pipes

  4. Flooding in basement

  5. Pooling water at foundation

  6. Condensation on windows and exterior walls

Moisture in Your Home

Mold needs water to grow. Controlling moisture in your home is the best way to prevent mold problems.

Repair Leaks and Spills Quickly

  • Periodically check plumbing, roofing, foundations, gutters, attics, crawl spaces, and sump pumps

  • Dry wet materials in 24-48 hours to avoid mold growth

  • Insulate and seal air leaks between attic and house to prevent ice dams

Divert Water Away from the House

  • Clean and maintain gutters

  • Slope the ground and sidewalks away from foundation

  • Install and use a sump pump

Reduce Condensation

  • Install and use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens that are ducted to the exterior

  • Vent appliances (water heaters, gas fireplaces, furnaces, clothes dryer) outside

  • Insulate or seal cold spots (For example: water pipes)

  • Reduce the use of humidifiers

  • Raise the temperature and increase the air circulation to colder parts of the home

To keep indoor surfaces as dry as possible, try to maintain the home's relative humidity between 20-40 percent in the Winter and less than 60 percent the rest of the year. You can purchase devices to measure relative humidity at some home supply stores. Ventilation, air circulation near cold surfaces, dehumidification, and efforts to minimize the production of moisture in the home are all very important in controlling high humidity that frequently causes mold growth in our climate.

Contract Tricia Schult for more information on this subject.   There are easy steps to protect you and your family.  Tricia Schult 919-356-6478 #justasktricia    Information came from the Department of Health

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