There is always some mold everywhere – in the air and on many surfaces. Molds have been on the Earth for millions of years. Mold grows where there is moisture.
Health and Mold
While this is part of everyday life, exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed to mold. These people should stay away from areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas.
Mold and Your House
When mold becomes a problem in a home it is likely due to an issue of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there is high humidity in a crawlspace or basement. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
Inside your home, you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
Testing for Mold
If you suspect there is a mold issue in a home the first step is to take a sample of mold in the environment. Mold testing should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.
Remediation of Mold
Depending on the results the next step would be contacting a mold remediation company. There are multiple types of mold remediation techniques available. A professional mold remediation technician advises you on the best solution for your circumstance. Get started with mold inspection from Veterans Home Inspection.