Dangerous Ways Mold Exposure Can Harm You and Your Family
The one thing Florida is most known for is its humidity. This humidity makes Florida the perfect breeding ground for mold. Mold is everywhere, indoors and outdoors. We do not know exactly how many different types of mold there are, but there are estimates in the 300,000s. Mold can grow anywhere where there is moisture such as a bathroom, basement, or any dark and damp place. Breathing in mold is dangerous for humans. Too much mold exposure can have adverse health effects on your body.
How Mold Exposure Effects Humans
There is much debate on what exactly mold does to the human body. Some say the effects are very damaging and can affect you for a long time, while others say illnesses from mold are very mild and temporary. Although there is this dispute, you want to try and avoid breathing into much mold. Some mold produces toxic substances called mycotoxins. Mild symptoms of mold exposure include nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. It is also possible to be allergic to mold. People can also develop more severe mold symptoms such as fever and shortness of breath. The Institute of Medicine in 2004 found that there is sufficient evidence connecting indoor mold exposure with upper respiratory tract symptoms. These symptoms can include coughing and wheezing. Other more recent studies have found a potential link between early mold exposure and the development of asthma in some children. This is particularly true for children who may already be genetically prone to developing asthma.
People with already compromised immune systems or those with chronic lung disease may develop an acute infection from the mold. However, it is challenging and nearly impossible to predict the degree of how severe the health risks associated with mold in your home are. People who are allergic to mold will vary in their degree of susceptibility. Also, any symptoms and health hazard may also depend on the extent and type of mold that is in the home. Although, many people think breathing in mold is much worse for you than it actually is. Some people think breathing in mold can cause pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. Reports of these cases are very rare. A link between the presence of mold and these conditions has not yet been proven.
Structural Integrity of Your Home
The whole point of mold is that it breaks down material. Without mold, the world would be buried in trees, grass, and dead animals. Most soil gets its nutrients from the material mold breaks down into it. However, because mold breaks down materials so well, it can cause considerable damage to your house. When mold grows inside your house, it can grow rapidly. It is important to check your house for mold regularly especially in areas that have more moisture. Consistently checking for mold is crucial because if it spreads and reaches a load bearing wall or support beam, it can compromise the structural integrity of your entire house. If mold does reach this point, it can be a disaster for you and your family. The mold remediation can end up costing you a lot more and cause you a massive headache.
Mold is a type of fungus. This means that mold spreads very rapidly. Mold spreads by opening spores. These spores then become airborne. Once the spores get into the air, they can circulate all throughout the house via the air conditioning unit. It is not very hard to stop mold from spreading and in most cases, you can ever clean the mold yourself. In order to prevent mold from spreading the biggest key is to cut off its supply of moisture. Without moisture, mold can not grow and will eventually die out. You can cut off this moisture by placing a dehumidifier in the room with the mold. Or if your mold was caused by a leak in your home then the leak must be fixed in order to stop the spread of mold.
Mold cleaning can either be done by a professional or just an average person. There are a few different variables that will determine who should handle the mold remediation. Cloth, ceiling tiles, and carpets are all porous or absorbent materials. If mold takes hold on one of these surfaces, it may require a professional to come in and take care of the remediation. Also, it is probably best left in the hands of a professional if the surface area it takes up is very large. If the mold takes up a small space on a hard surface such as a wall, it is doable for anyone to clean it. One way to clean the mold is with commercial soap and scrubbing off the mold. Another way is to use bleach. Mix in one cup of bleach with one gallon of water and again scrub the mold away. After either method makes sure the wall is completely dry.