Most homeowners have had to deal with mold infestation at one point in their lives. Mold is a form of fungus that grows on walls, toys, books, wood, glass, plastics, and even clothes. The presence of these biological contaminants in your house indicates more significant issues. You could be living in a poorly ventilated home, or there is a leak somewhere.
Molds develop in dark and humid areas, and they produce spores that recirculate through your indoor air. When the spores land in conducive environments, they begin to grow. Molds can damage your home and create adverse health conditions. You need to learn as much as possible about mold to gather the necessary knowledge to prevent an infestation. Here are six key things that you should know about mold.
1. Common Types of Mold
There are numerous types in various textures and forms. Most times, they appear as a stain on a surface. Some of the most common mold types that you can find in indoor environments include:
- Penicillium – It’s a fuzzy mold with blue-green or yellow colors. Penicillium mainly grows on materials with water damage like in the basement or under carpets.
- Alternaria – The mold appears in the form of white or black spots in damp places such as under a leaky sink, near the air conditioner, or inside the shower.
- Cladosporium – This mold can either be green, brown, or black. It grows in both warm and cold areas like on fabrics, wood, and around heating or cooling ducts.
- Aspergillus – It appears in the form of white, green, or dark spots with a powdery appearance. The mold can grow on dry food items, in the attic or basement, or on fabrics.
2. Common Causes of Molds
Mold spores are everywhere, in both outdoor and indoor spaces. They can thus enter your house through open windows, doors, and ventilation spaces. Also, mold spores from the outside can attach themselves to clothing, shoes, pets, or vehicles. If the spores land on moist surfaces with a constant supply of nutrients, they will grow into molds.
One leading cause of mold growth in any house is persistent humidity. This problem mainly affects people who live near bodies of water or reside in homes with poor ventilation. Further, leaking pipes or roofs in your house can attract mold growth. During winter, if there is a buildup of condensation, it creates a conducive environment for molds to thrive.
Also, if you store wet and damp clothing in your house, it can attract mold growth. When you experience flooding, your residence may take weeks before thoroughly drying. This environment attracts the development of toxic black mold.
Additionally, most basements have high exposure to moisture. Others lack proper ventilation, and a combination of such conditions leads to mold growth. Due to poor drainage, rainwater can also pool around your house’s foundation, contributing to mold growth.
3. Signs of Mold in Your House
It is usually easy to spot mold in your home, unless it grows in hidden areas. If you notice a strange and persistent musty smell, it is a sign of mold infestation. Also, there are various mold types that you can see. Some appear in black clusters or white and thread-like, while others are brown, blue, or green.
Additionally, molds create bubbles on a painted wall and areas with high moisture levels. If you spot stains on the floor, walls, or ceiling, these are a sign of mold growth. Note that unchecked mold will continue to grow, but a dirt stain remains the same size.
4. Health Problems Associated With Molds
Molds can pose health problems for people with compromised immunity and those with underlying respiratory conditions or allergies. As molds grow, they release spores, volatile organic compounds, and other fragments into the air. When you breathe in such particles, they can irritate the lungs, nose, and throat. Any person sensitive to mold particles will begin to sneeze, cough, and have watery eyes, a blocked or runny nose, or an itchy throat. Such irritants also increase the chances of an asthma attack. Exposure to Aspergillus, for example, can lead to severe health problems, especially for those with existing lung disease or a weakened immune system.
Additionally, molds can cause hypersensitive pneumonitis and lower respiratory tract problems in children. Mold exposure symptoms include headaches, insomnia, wheezing, nausea, fatigue, fever, sick building syndrome, and skin and eye irritations.
5. How to Remove Mold in Your House
You can use various products to get rid of mold in your home. First, open the windows, and be sure to wear protective gloves, a face mask, and proper eyewear to avoid contact. Use a brush to remove any loose mold particles on surfaces. Discard mold-infested materials like carpets, rugs, or clothing. Next, spray the moldy area with a solution of baking soda and water, scrub with a brush, and rinse the surface.
You can also use white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or chlorine bleach. You should always dilute chlorine before using it, but beware that it produces very toxic fumes when mixed with ammonia. Seek professional assistance to remove molds safely, especially if you are highly sensitive. A technician can also help clean off mold in large or inaccessible areas.
6. How to Prevent Mold Growth at Home
It is impossible to prevent the spread of mold spores. However, since they cannot grow without moisture, the first step in preventing mold problems is controlling moisture. You can achieve this by fixing water leaks as soon as they occur, opening windows and doors to improve air circulation, and using dehumidifiers. Keep the indoor humidity level below 60%. Also, dry all fabrics thoroughly in your dryer or the sun before storing them. Avoid placing carpet in the basement, laundry room, or bathrooms, too.
Clean surfaces in your house often to prevent mold growth. You can use extractor fans in the kitchen to drive out moisture. Also, use mold-killing products to clean your bathroom and ensure that water drains efficiently from your house. Additionally, keep your residence warm in cold seasons and insulate walls, floors, and windows to minimize condensation. It is also crucial that you have an HVAC technician check your unit often for leaks.
The above piece outlines everything that homeowners need to know about mold. By performing a few maintenance practices and making simple adjustments, you can prevent mold growth in your home and create a healthy environment for your family members. Besides the health effects caused by molds, their presence is an indication of moisture issues. When ignored, it can lead to rot, which compromises your house’s integrity. It is therefore essential that you address mold issues as soon as they appear.
DIY projects often prove inefficient, and mold may reappear when you use a weak cleaning agent. Hence, let a professional tackle the problem. An expert can locate and eliminate the cause of molds to prevent further development. The professionals also have special equipment and the right knowledge and skills to perform comprehensive mold removal.
If you need mold remediation services, reach out to Restorerz - Emergency Services. We have certified and trained professionals dedicated to maintaining safe indoor environments. Our company also offers other services, including crawl space cleanup, carpet cleaning, and water and fire damage restoration. We provide our services in Los Angeles, CA, and the surrounding areas. Call our representatives today and book an appointment to enjoy any of our services.