Mold can form on organic or porous material in as little as 48 hours after exposure to water. The most common catalysts for mold in residential homes are leaks and flooding. Many residents don't even know they have mold until it becomes visible or during a remodeling project. Below are a list of early indicators you may have mold in your home.
- Poor ventilation in bathrooms
- Wet spots on ceiling
- Dripping pipes under sinks
- Water seeping up between tiles/flooring
- Musty smell in closets
- Any type of flooding
- AC not working, turned off for long period during summer months
- Visible mold on walls, near baseboards, behind appliances
- Leaking during stormy weather
Any of these issues, if left unattended, can lead to serious mold problems and health issues. DON'T WAIT! GET AN EXPERT OPINION NOW. CALL 800-578-1484
Mold, a form of fungi, exists everywhere - indoors and outdoors. There are more than 100,000 species of mold with at least 1,000 species common to the U.S. Mold is commonly found where there water or dampness are present - bathrooms, closets, basements and under sinks. Molds that can grow on anything porous or organic such as wood, paper, carpet and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often flourish. This is particularly true if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed for a significant period of time.
All molds need moisture and can grow almost anywhere there is water damage, high humidity, or dampness. Most often, molds are confined to areas near the source of water therefore, removing the source of moisture - such as through repairs or dehumidification - is critical to preventing mold growth.
Different Types of Mold
Aspergillus - even though found worldwide, this mold is particularly proficient in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Aspergillum spores are generally air dispersed.
Cladosporium - commonly isolated from soil, plant debris, leaf surfaces, textiles, food, lumber and other building materials. This mold is often the most frequently isolated mold in air samples from both indoor and outdoor environments.
Penicillium - indoors Penicillium can be associated with carpet, wallpaper, organic substances, and is also known to grow within fiberglass duct insulation.
Stachybotrys - Indoors, this mold it is commonly isolated from water-damaged materials such as wallpaper backing, dropped dealing tiles, wood and drywall elements. Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra) is the most common mold to cause heath issues when present in the home or workplace.
How Mold Can Affect Your Health
Most types of mold that are routinely encountered are not hazardous to healthy individuals. However, too much exposure to mold may cause or worsen conditions such as asthma, hay fever or other environmental allergies. The most common symptoms of overexposure are cough, congestion, runny nose, eye irritation and aggravation of asthma. Depending on the amount of exposure and a person's individual vulnerability, more serious health effects - such as fevers and breathing problems - can occur but are unusual.
If you believe that you or your children have symptoms that you suspect are caused by exposure to mold, you should see a physician. Keep in mind that many symptoms associated with mold exposure may also be caused by many other illnesses. You should tell your physician about the symptoms and about when, how, and for how long you think you or your children were exposed.
Exposure to Mold
When moldy material becomes damaged or disturbed, spores (reproductive bodies similar to seeds) can be released into the air. Exposure can occur if people inhale the spores by directly handle moldy materials by or accidentally ingesting it. Also, mold can produce chemicals called mycotoxins. Mycotoxins may cause illness in people who are sensitive to them or if they are exposed to large amounts in the air. Large exposures are typically associated with certain occupations (e.g., agricultural work).
What to Do if Mold is Present
If visible mold is present, call in expert help. Mold is like an iceberg - if you can see it, there is probably a much bigger issue you can't see. Professional mold testing can not only definitively determine whether you have mold, it will also tell you what kind of mold and if it is outside the normal levels. This is important step tells the property owner what steps are necessary to completely remediate the mold. Advance Mold Solutions hires independent, licensed testing companies to inform our clients of the best course of action and advise whether professional service are needed. Call us today for a comprehensive consultation 800-578-1484.
Useful Links About Mold
- CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
- EPA: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/molds/moldguide.html
- Florida Department Of Health: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/community/indoor-air/mold.htm