Mold can develop almost everywhere. It can grow on your walls and even a week-old sandwich. Everybody seems to be afraid of it, too. This is because it’s often a sign that your food’s gone bad or there’s possibly something wrong with your home’s pipes. But how they affect your home and home is not entirely clear. Here’s what you know about mold and its effects.
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that is a natural part of the environment. You can find it in any place with moisture and oxygen. They usually grow on decaying animal carcasses, soil, and plants. They’re essential in forests and landscapes because they help break down dead organisms like fallen trees and leaves, allowing nutrients to seep into the soil.
Indoor mold can accumulate on different walls and surface materials, like wood, insulation, paper, carpet, and more. They can appear as black, brown, green, yellow, and even pink fuzzy growths on different surfaces. When washed off immediately, this fungus won’t cause any issues. However, it may cause problems; when left alone for a long period of time.
Mold’s Effects on Your Home and Health
Mold, in its early stages, don’t pose a threat to your home’s components. However, when you let it grow, mold can eat into them and weaken them. This is especially true for parts with lumber. Mold can absorb untreated lumber’s nutrients and cause it to rot. And once it happens, the effect is irreversible. You’ll be left with a darkened and possibly unstable piece of wood. Mold can also ruin carpets and paper, causing their fibers to degrade over time.
Although still debated among health experts, mold may be linked to a few health problems. The National Capital Poison Center’s Mold 101 cited a 2004 article about the fungus’ possible effects on human health. It experimented on the possible health effects of being in a damp indoor space. The researchers found that being in one seemed to increase the chances of people getting respiratory illnesses and symptoms like couching, wheezing, and shortness of breath. However, there was no conclusive evidence that mold caused these symptoms to occur.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that the health effects of mold depend on the person. Some people may be sensitive to the fungus, causing them to develop mild symptoms. There are others who may have a pre-existing condition like asthma or an allergy to mold. Exposure to it may cause more significant symptoms like:
- Postnasal drip and cough
- Itchy throat, nose, and eyes,
- Scaly skin
- Runny nose
- Feelings of tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
How to Get Rid of Mold
Mold can grow almost anywhere in the right conditions. If your home has high humidity, there’s an increased chance of the fungus growing on different surfaces in your house, especially in damp areas with little to no ventilation. This includes your bathroom or basement. While mold mostly affects those who are allergic to it, you still shouldn’t take the risk. Here are ways to reduce mold exposure at home.
- Prevention.You can’t fully prevent mold, as it exists wherever moisture is. However, you can minimize and control its growth throughout your home.
- Keep your plumbing in check.Leaky pipes can cause your inner walls and basements to be constantly damp, making an optimal environment for mold to grow in. Hire a professional plumbing service provider to inspect pipes for leaks and repair them fully.
- Ventilate your bathrooms properly.Make sure you have a way to let moisture escape from your bathroom, be it an open window or an exhaust fan.
- Get better air conditioning.Mold spores can also circulate around your home through your air conditioner. Make sure yours comes with a high-efficiency particulate air filter. This can help trap spores coming from the outdoors and prevent them from making it into your house.
- Clean it off.If mold has already made it into your home, it’s fortunately simple to remove. Equip yourself with some old clothes and a face mask (N-95, if possible to block out most of the spores). Open your windows to improve ventilation.
Mix a quart of water and half a cup of mold-killing bleach. Apply it to affected areas with a soft brush. Keep scrubbing until the mold is gone. Wipe off as much of the solution as you can after.
Mold can create a variety of problems for both your home and your health. The health effects are especially dangerous if you have a preexisting respiratory condition or have a mold allergy. Use these suggestions to get rid of mold and have a haealthier and safer home.