Can Mold Cause Health Problems?
Molds are usually not a problem
indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.
Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens
(substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some
cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold
or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny
nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are
common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma
attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold
exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both
mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and
irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.
Research on mold and health effects is ongoing. For more detailed
information consult a health professional.
Why is mold growing in my Home?
Molds are part of the natural
environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead
organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold
growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the
spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor
air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that
are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without
water or moisture.
How do I get rid of mold?
It is impossible to get rid of
all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating
through the air and in house dust. The 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. If you
clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the
mold problem will come back.
I know I have mold because I can see it. Why should I
is not necessarily the dangerous type! Some surface molds are considered
“cosmetic” molds, easily killed with the right cleaning product. This type
doesn’t normally have to be tested. Invisible mold spores ARE in the air –
testing will tell if they are abundant, indicating a problem.
mold inspector cannot reliably identify a mold genus or species growing on a
building surface by the naked eye – he or she must TEST.
testing methods, an experienced, certified mold inspector can screen a home
or building for excessive mold.
certified mold inspector for pre-screening a home for mold is not expensive.
“Dead” mold sends spores into the air, which
can be allergenic or toxic. Testing the air is the only way to determine if
and what types of mold spores exist in large amounts, or if toxic dangerous
mold is present.
Sensitive or immune deficient people,
infants, children, the elderly and even pets can be affected. Of course,
health and allergy screening tests performed by health care professionals
Your air conditioner could be a breeding
ground for spreading mold spores throughout your home. The heating and air
conditioning system has humid and moist air passing through it. Moisture is
one of the elements needed for mold growth. If it is not functioning
properly or has ducting problems, mold can grow on or in the duct system,
blower assembly, and the evaporator coil.
If you have concerns about mold in your
home, an initial non-intrusive inspection
of all accessible areas of your home and sample collections are recommended.
This should be performed by a certified and experienced mold inspector. Detection
Inspection, Inc. is certified to inspect and collect samples, using standard
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