Mold growth can leave a lot of homeowners speechless and not in the right way. They may be small in size, but they can be a big problem once they are in large groups. Mold isn’t just something that grows on stale bread or outdated food. Did you know that they also grow in our homes and furniture?
Mold is a type of microorganism from the kingdom of fungi. They’re basically from the same family as mushrooms and yeast. There are over 100,000 species of mold that have been discovered. In the United States, there are over a thousand different types of mold.
Mold spores are everywhere. The conditions for them to grow are quite simple. They only need moisture and material to grow on. They are also incredibly tiny. They’re only 10 microns long in size (around 0.0002 inches), which makes them invisible to us. Due to its microbial size, we can’t stop it from entering our home.
Mold enters our home in several ways. They can enter through the air by coming through windows, doors, and ventilation systems. They can also be carried into your home by pets or people.
Mold flourishes on damp surfaces such as around leaks, floods, condensation build-up, and areas with a lack of air circulation. These areas include bathrooms, utility rooms, basements, and crawl spaces. Once mold spores have found a damp spot, they will eventually spread. Mold infestation typically takes as little as one day to 14 days.
So, instead of focusing on eliminating and preventing it from entering our home, we should be focusing on making mold as unwelcome as possible when it enters our home.
Effects of Mold
Other than its unsightly appearance, mold can cause many problems for homeowners such as impacting their health and damaging their homes.
Mold can cause a great deal of damage to a home’s structure. Other than destroying various materials such as fabric, wood, and even foundation walls. Any porous surfaces can fall victim to mold infestation. Wooden structures can weaken due to mold. As a result, a home’s structure can become significantly damaged.
Fabrics, wooden objects, and paper products infested with mold can be tough to remediate. In most cases, you must throw away mold-infested items. A general rule to follow is: surfaces that are porous and have mold on them need to be removed and destroyed.
Humans aren’t the only species that can be affected by mold. Mold exposure to pets can make them experience many dangerous and life-threatening symptoms such as respiratory difficulties and illnesses, pulmonary hemorrhage, bleeding from the nose, allergic reactions, and even loss of appetite. The effects on pets are far more dangerous and can end in death.
On human health
Mold has very adverse effects on our health. It affects our respiratory tract, which irritates the lungs and throat. If you have a weak respiratory system, mold can worsen an existing condition. People with existing medical conditions should be wary. Those who inhale mold will often have breathing problems, allergies, and aspergillosis. According to the World Health Organization, mold can also cause various health issues such as insomnia and fatigue.
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How to Prevent Mold
After reading the effects of mold, we bet we convinced you that it’s more than just stains on your walls and a mildewy smell. So, what can you do to prevent mold growth in your home? The good news is, the key to mold prevention is early detection. Here are some things you can do around your house to keep mold growth at bay.
Keep everything dry
Mold flourishes on moisture and material. To stop them from growing on your furniture and items, keep everything nice and dry in your home. Items may include clothing, furniture, wooden objects, and paper objects. Water damage in basements can be troublesome. So, keep an eye out for any wet spots in basements or crawl spaces.
Repair leaks and cracks
Leaks and cracks are the sources of water damage, and when left alone, it can worsen. So, be on the lookout for any leaks or cracks in your home. Usually, these can be found in basements or crawl spaces.
Lack of ventilation and good air circulation can help mold grow. If you live in a humid area or if you have a basement, consider investing in a dehumidifier or an air conditioner. It will keep your home cool, dry, and free of mold growth.
Hygiene is vital when it comes to preventing mold growth. Have a disinfectant on hand and regularly clean your cabinets and closed spaces. You can clean small amounts of mold relatively easily with a bit of disinfectant. However, remember to discard any wipes or sponges you’ve used to prevent cross-contamination.
Lastly, be proactive and inspect your home regularly. Doing this may seem tedious, but it will be useful for you in the long run. Not only will it save you money, but it will also keep any mold problems from getting worse. Take some time every month or once every few weeks to look around your home and check your pipes, walls, HVAC ducts, and basement.
Test for Mold
If you don’t know where to start, consider hiring a professional to help you identify any mold problems.
In most cases, they will test the type of mold that is growing in your home.
This is very useful and can help you figure out what steps to take and identify whether or not the mold is toxic.
Mold growth doesn’t just affect the appearance of a home.
It can also impact the health of homeowners and damage the structure of a house.
Mold growth is scary, but you don’t have to wait for it to get worse. Take action today, and follow the simple steps we mentioned above. If you’re unsure how severe mold growth is in your home, we suggest calling a professional. If you do regular inspections, clean often, and keep your home dry, you can keep the damage from mold to a minimum.
RealTime offers an Environmental Mold and Mycotoxin Assessment (EMMA) which detects the presence of toxic mold in your home.
For more information click here.
Diana R. is the business community manager at Basement Guides, which is a perfect place for all basement related problems and projects. She helps spread the word about useful and updated guides for anyone interested in basements and restoration.