What You Need to Know About MoldDecember 6, 2017 7:00 am
Look up the word “mold” on Google, and you’re sure to come upon some scary stories. A lot of people have shared their experiences about having to run from – or even burn – their mold-infested houses. Many attorneys have started specializing in mold exposure, and the DIY mold testing kits are more popular than ever. If you’re interested in mold, however, your first step should be to gather some more information about it.
First of all, not all molds are toxic. Only a few types of mold – including the infamous black mold – are capable of producing toxins that can quickly cause serious health problems. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that all molds can make you sick. As a matter of fact, nontoxic molds are more likely to make you sick due to how widespread they are. Some common symptoms of mold exposure include headaches, nausea, asthma attacks, rashes, dizziness and allergic reactions. People with low immune systems can also develop a mold infection in their lungs.
Like most other members of the fungi kingdom, molds don’t need a lot to grow. As long as they have access to water, they’ll eat the material they grow on and reproduce by releasing spores into the air. These spores will then surf the air currents, arriving to your home in the form of dust on your shoes and clothes. If they find enough moisture inside your house, they’ll keep proliferating – probably somewhere out of sight.
As mold spores enjoy humidity, they’ll be particularly active during the summer. If you want to make sure they won’t invade your house, check some websites that provide the daily mold count. In case the count is high, close the windows and turn on your air conditioner. The AC also dehumidifies the environment, which will stop the spores that might already be inside from spreading. If you don’t have an air conditioner, you’ll have to keep the humidity down by opening the windows.
Another way to keep things dry is to turn on a fan (or open a window) every time you’re doing something that produces water vapor, e.g. showering or cooking. If you’re worried about excessive moisture, you can check the humidity levels in your home by using a hygrometer. Anything above 55 percent is a sign to turn on the AC or a dehumidifier. Finally, any water leaks should be dealt with immediately, as most molds only need 24 hours to start reproducing. If you can’t deal with the problem quickly enough, contact a professional.
Vincent J. Attardo is the President/CEO of Coastline Environmental Solutions, Inc. He provides Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) investigations, mold and bacteria testing, water damage/mold remediation and repair, and is available for consultation and public speaking. For more information please visit www.coastlineclean.com. Readers may contact him at 800-847-3867 or email at [email protected]