Have you seen any signs of mold in your home? Whether it’s the slick orange film in your fridge, the green patches on your floor, or the black spots on your walls, household mold may pose serious health risks. Most buildings are contaminated with mold. These microorganisms grow where there is moisture. Exposure to mold can cause severe allergies, respiratory, problems, eczema, coughing, runny nose, and even death. Over time, mold will damage what it is growing on and affect your overall health.
What Causes Mold?
Mold is one of the oldest microorganisms on earth. Outdoors, it breaks down dead organic matter. Indoors, it grows in areas where moisture is present. Its spores travel through the air and can not be seen with the naked eye. When inhaled, they cause serious health problems.
In general, mold grows on floors, walls, furniture, carpets, and clothes. It can be also in paints, insulation, ceiling tiles, and cardboard as well as in areas where there has been flooding. Controlling excess moisture is the best way to prevent and stop mold exposure.
The Dangers of Mold in Homes
Thousands of studies indicate the mold may cause severe allergic reactions coughing, watery eyes, sneezing, difficulty breathing, and nasal congestion. The risk is higher for people with asthma or respiratory problems. According to researchers, some molds produce mycotoxins that may lead to hay fever-type symptoms, neurological problems, and premature death.
How to Get Rid of Mold?
Even though it’s impossible to completely eliminate mold indoors, there are a few things you can do to prevent and stop its growth. The mold spores won’t grow unless moisture is present. Homeowners should focus on controlling humidity levels, cleaning after flooding, and fixing leaky roofs and pipes.
If you find mold indoors, you need to clean it up and get rid of moisture. Mold needs water in order to grow. Thus, it’s essential to fix the water problem in order to stop mold from coming back.
Mold Removal Tips
The first step is to decide who should do the cleanup. You can either remove it yourself or call a mold removal professional. If mold covers less than 10 square feet, it’s safe to handle the job yourself. However, you still need to take precautions to minimize your exposure to mold spores. Before getting started, make sure you have goggles and long gloves made of rubber, PVC, or neoprene. Consider wearing an N-95 respirator to limit your exposure to airborne mold.
Once you get adequate equipment, remove mold from the affected areas using water and detergent, and then dry completely. Check your heater, pipes and other potential sources of moisture. If mold is present on carpets, ceiling tiles and other porous materials, it’s better to throw them away. Do not paint the affected areas unless the mold has been removed. To prevent mold growth in the bathroom and other wet areas, clean more frequently and increase ventilation.
Mold prevention is crucial to your health. To prevent mold growth, keep indoor humidity low, repair roof gutters and leaking pipes, and use de-humidifiers. Cover cold water pipes and other cold surfaces with insulation. If you suspect hidden mold in your house, seek professional help.