Common household mold can cause a wide range of serious health related issues in humans.
Decades ago our knowledge and understanding of mold was somewhat limited. Today science, research and advanced detection tools have allowed us to understand mold and to find mold in ways that were never before possible.
Common household mold can cause a wide range of serious health related issues in humans. In fact, in large quantities, mold and mold spores can result in severe allergic reactions as well as substantial respiratory problems. If you suspect that mold may be growing in your home, it is imperative that you have a mold inspection performed sooner rather than later.
How does mold grow?
In the simplest of terms, mold thrives on moisture. Mold spores cannot be seen by the naked eye and are easily carried through air currents. Mold spores can land on almost any type of surface that is suitable for its growth. Any location inside or outside where there is moisture, warmth and darkness will support the growth of mold.
The growth process can begin in as little as 24 hours after spores become wet. Anywhere that water or moisture is present can be the perfect breeding ground for mold development. Leaky pipes, floods and spills can all promote unwanted growth.
Where does mold grow?
As stated, mold can grow anywhere that there is moisture. A leaking roof, leaking pipes or even a wet carpet can all promote mold growth. Basements, kitchens and bathrooms are prime locations for the growth of unwanted mold. In fact, anywhere where there is little to no sunlight, poor ventilation and humidity, there is likely some amount of mold growing or attempting to grow.
What are the signs of mold?
Perhaps one of the most obvious first signs of mold is that of a musty odour. Even though mold is not visible to the naked eye, a musty odour is a clear telltale indication that it may be growing behind walls, under carpeting or in other areas that are not so obvious. Anytime a musty odour or smell is detected in your home, plan for a mold inspection. Another more convincing sign that mold is growing is when you can see it with your own eyes. While mold sometimes looks like common dirt, it is frequently the growth of mold that should be met with immediate action.
Mold can cause allergies
A few of the more common symptoms of mold allergies are skin rashes, itchy eyes, runny nose, headaches, unexplained skin irritation, persistent coughing and sneezing, shortness of breath, sinus congestion, throat irritation, and wheezing.
It is important to note that there are many different types of molds and mold spores in existence. That said the reaction to mold exposure varies substantially. The most toxic molds can have a very serious effect on human health. These highly toxic types of mold produce hazardous chemicals known as mycotoxins.
Unlike the common symptoms associated with regular mold allergies, the symptoms of extremely toxic mold exposure include organ damage, various cancers, bleeding, impairment of mental function, and loss of life in severe cases.
How do I prevent mold growth?
Staying proactive when it comes to a leaking roof, leaking pipes and even a leaking shower or any other type of water leakage is the best way to stop mold growth in its tracks. Even less obvious condensation that occurs on metal pipes, windows or concrete walls should be suspect and addressed as a way to prevent mold growth.
Reducing humidity through the use of a dehumidifier is also an excellent option. Opening windows frequently to allow for fresh airflow through your home is another good practice. Avoid piling up wet clothing on the floor as this can promote the growth of mold as well.
At the end of the day, having a routine mold inspection performed on occasion is always a smart move for homeowners.
About Peter Jesal
Peter is an accredited and experienced home inspector with over seven years of experience in working with both residential and commercial properties. He is a Certified Level 1 Thermographer and Indoor Air Quality Inspector and offers infrared thermal imaging inspections, indoor-air-quality testing and mold inspections. Visit jesalhomeinspections.com
today to learn more.