Moisture and Mold: What’s the problem?
Mold comes in all shapes and sizes from the black specks on your shower curtain, the white spots that grow on your cement floors or the orange patches that grow in the corners of your shower or on the drain. Mold is a fact of life but it can be a dangerous one. Mold may be present but as a homeowner you need to know just how it can make you sick and why it is a problem that needs attention.
Some people are allergic to mold, some are not. Whether you are allergic or not , it is important to know that it can and will make you sick; severe or mild if left untreated. Mold exposure can aggravate your skin, eyes, nose, throat and lungs and in some if not many cases cause allergies and even asthma. For those that have susceptible immune systems, exposure and inhalation can immediately cause a respiratory reaction like sneezing and coughing as well as moderate to severe skin rashes and sensitivity. And in more serious cases a reaction to mold can cause shortness of breath and ultimately which can lead to asthma attacks. The more susceptible family members are infants and children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Exposure to mold can lead to substantially severe reactions within these groups, reactions that over a short period of time can be deadly.
So what do you do if you notice mold in your home? While it is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores from your home, there are many easy tips to control mold growth. Mold spores cannot grow without moisture so that is a good first place to start. A reduction in moisture within the home is the best way to prevent further mold growth within your home. If you already have mold present and growing in spaces within your home, it is important to clean that space and then eliminate the moisture problem and source. For a large-scale issue, a qualified mold abatement service is important. Additionally, there are some useful tips for around your home to eliminate excess moisture:
- The use of dehumidifiers and air conditioners in hot weather and especially in hot, humid climates will help reduce moisture levels in the home.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and dry, paying close attention that no standing water is present.
- Keep the home warm in cool weather
- Open doors in the interior of the home, between room to encourage proper circulation between rooms.
- Check for leaks around sinks and faucets throughout the home and if a leak is discovered have it repaired immediately.
The bottom line is that in life you are exposed to mold in the environment everyday. The moment you step outside you come into contact with microscopic organisms and spores continually. The difference though is that you are exposed in passing, you are not experiencing a constant contact with mold. If there is presently mold growing in your home, it is crucial to attend to the mold and fix the problem that is responsible for the dampness. If you clean up the mold but don’t fix the problem, the mold will most likely return.