Twelve Things you should know about Mold
Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions, asthma, an other respiratory complaints.
There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold is to control moisture.
If mold is a problem in your home, you must clean up the mold and eliminate the sources of moisture.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
- Reduce indoor humidity (to 30% – 60%) to decrease mold growth by:
- venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside.
- using air conditioners and de-humidifiers.
- increasing ventilation; and
- using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
- Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings with 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely.
- Absorbent materials that are moldy (such as a carpeting and ceiling tiles) may need to be replaced.
- Prevent condensation. Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, and floors) by adding insulation.
- In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting.
- Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, provided moisture is present.
- There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
Millions of homes across America have hidden water leaks that are promoting mold growth that can expose homewoners to mold spores. Mold has a potential to cause health problems like allergies, irritation (to lungs, eyes, skin, throat, nose) and are potentially toxic. Inhaling and touching mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals and normally healthy individuals may become sensitive to mold after exposure.
The EPA states that, “It is important to take precautions to limit your exposure to mold and mold spores. Avoid breathing in mold or mold spores”. The EPA also recommends that if you suspect you have a hidden mold problem you should consider hiring an experienced professional to avoid exposure to potentially massive doses of mold spores.
Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows the more damage it can cause. If there is a mold problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly. Mold can be hidden, growing on the water from a hidden leak, and can develop into a potentially large problem if not caught in time.
Testing your home on a regular basis is a prudent way to prevent small problems from growing into a costly and unhealthy situation, and always avoid exposing yourself and others to mold.
Whether you are buying or selling, be sure to give and receive the assurance of clean air.