Mold can be a very big problem when our health is concerned. Mold will grow and spread if the conditions are just right (depending on the type of mold) and do so by releasing spores into the air we breathe. This can cause respiratory issues and lead to very serious health hazards. Our experts have years of experience dealing with mold and can provide you with detailed information because we believe keeping you informed will help keep you safe. We have answered some pretty common questions and provided some general information to get you started. If you have any further questions feel free to contact us ask one of our experts.
Molds are forms of fungi and are found naturally in the environment. Mold is commonly found in abundance in the soil and in dead and decaying matter. Outdoors, molds play a key role in the breakdown of leaves, wood and other plant debris. Molds come in a wide variety of colors; primarily they are green, black, white, brown and orange. Molds can appear fuzzy or in slimy streaks, and there is often a musty or earthy odor around molds.
What causes mold to grow indoors? Molds make tiny spores to reproduce, just as some plants produce seeds. Indoors, these mold spores move through the air and settle on surfaces. When mold spores land on surfaces where moisture is present, they may begin to grow and multiply. Molds need moisture and a food source. Good food sources for molds are cloth, wood, wallboard and insulation, but molds can grow on almost anything. Water or moisture is the factor that limits mold growth. When there is a wet surface or material that is not dried or discarded promptly (for example, sheetrock soaked by water discharged from a burst pipe), molds can grow within 24 to 48 hours on the material and in the area.
How can molds affect my health? Molds produce spores, which are invisible and small enough to travel through the air and into your lungs. You can also be exposed to molds by skin contact. The most common health problem from molds is allergy symptoms, including: Runny nose, scratchy throat, itchy eyes, sneezing, and in more severe cases, wheezing and coughing. Wheezing is a serious symptom that may mean asthma, and should be evaluated by a doctor. Although some molds can produce toxins under certain conditions, research so far has not shown what levels can clearly cause serious health effects from indoor air exposure. If you think you have symptoms related to exposure to molds, you should see your doctor. People sensitive to molds should not participate in cleaning mold from surfaces. If you are cleaning up mold, wear plastic gloves, a filter mask (N-95 rated) and goggles.