For everyone out there who thinks their home is mold-free, you are probably not right on your claim. As per WHO, an estimated 10% to 50% of residential homes and commercial buildings have damp conditions and approximately 50% of buildings worldwide have suitable ripe environments for mold to thrive.
Mold is a fungus in the soil that spreads by releasing spores into the air. It travels to a new location so quick that you just open your bedroom’s window or the front door, and your home is straightaway infested.
But, you must note that not all mold species are dangerous. They become toxic only when they attach themselves to the organic material around and find the right humid conditions to grow in. In fact, humidity is the only condition that allows mold to colonize and reproduce at a rapid rate.
Mold spreads and grows anywhere as long as moisture and oxygen are present. You can usually encounter it on surfaces such as insulation, sheetrock, tile, damp fabrics, bathtubs and wood. And since it is not immediately visible, your family and home can be exposed to it for a prolonged amount of time before developing any major symptoms.
Mold and Your Health
Till date, there have been hundreds of studies associating the presence of dampness and mold with respiratory allergies and asthma. Many people have known to experience basic symptoms such as watery, itchy, or red eyes; wheezing, sneezing or coughing; runny nose; and skin rash as soon as they get exposed to mold.
In some cases, the reactions can be more severe and can link to upper respiratory tract issues, coughing, wheezing, asthma attacks and hypersensitivity pneumonitis as well.
The impact of mold on health can go from mild to uncomfortable, and then to dangerous for people that are already struggling with a compromised immune system; especially infants and elderly and individuals suffering from chronic lung disease, HIV, cancer, or liver disease.
Even the seemingly healthy ones are not spared. Their continuous exposure to a moldy environment can make them sick and get serious infections in their throat and lungs.
Mold and Your Home
Mold not only poses a risk to your family’s health. It also affects the safety and overall value of your precious home. Because mold can grow anywhere it finds darkness and dampness, your home’s roof, windows, pipes, flooded basements, showers, and kitchen sinks are more vulnerable to it.
It first appears as mildew and then later transforms into fuzzy or slick black, grey, white, or brown spots. It releases musty odor and gives way to strange allergic symptoms in people residing in the area.
However, with these basic measures, it is easy to achieve effective mold removal:
- Immediately fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
- Avoiding water build-up
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying of surfaces
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas
- Using dehumidifiers and air conditioners
- Consulting mold remediation professionals