LEARN MORE ABOUT MOLD
What are molds?
Molds are microscopic organisms that live on plant or animal matter. They aid in the breakdown of dead material and recycle nutrients in the environment. Present virtually everywhere, they can be found growing in organic material such as soil, foods and plant matter.
What causes mold to develop in the home?
Mold will develop and multiply under precise conditions. The spores only require sufficient moisture to reproduce (e.g. very high humidity, condensation or water from a leaking pipe, etc.). Organic material (e.g. wood, ceiling tile, drywall, paper or natural fiber carpet padding), all provide the perfect environment for mold to grow. Extensive mold contamination and exposure to the toxin may contribute to health problems.
What are common symptoms of mold exposure?
Allergy and irritation are the most common symptoms of mold exposure. Although symptoms may vary, the most common symptoms include:
- Nasal and sinus congestion
- Eye irritation such as itchy, red, watery eyes
- Respiratory problems such as wheezing and difficulty breathing
- Throat Irritation
- Skin irritation such as a rash
Who is most at risk?
- Individuals with current respiratory sensitivities (e.g., allergies, asthma or emphysema)
- Individuals with
comprised immune systems (e.g., HIV/AIDS infection, organ
transplant patients or chemotherapy patients).
What sources of moisture contribute to indoor mold problems?
- Roof leaks
- Plumbing leaks, drainage problems
- Damp basements and crawl spaces
- Steam from the bathroom or kitchen
- Condensation resulting from poor or improper insulation or ventilation
- Wet clothes drying inside the home or a clothes dryer venting indoors
- Poor or improper
ventilation of combustion appliances
Indications of a problem may include discoloration of the ceiling or walls, warping of the floor or condensation on the walls or windows. The key to preventing mold growth is to control all moisture problems. Most often molds are confined to areas near the source of water. Removing the source of moisture through repairs or dehumidification – is critical to prevent growth.