Mold is a part of nature. Molds are important in breaking down dead organic matter in the outdoors however mold occurring indoors is a problem. Studies have shown that the indoor air quality in homes can be worse than the air outside. Mold growth indoors can occur when mold is reproducing. The invisible spores can float on air from outside to inside and begins growing if it lands on a wet surface. Mold spores can also be introduced to the indoors by attaching itself to pets, clothing, or shoes to be carried indoors. Mold spores can live on oxygen, a place to grow, and a food source however without moisture, the mold cannot grow. Mold spores grow well on certain materials found indoors such as wallpaper, drywall, insulation, carpet, upholstery, fabrics, and even in your air conditioning system. The most concerning part is that most people are unaware that mold is even growing in their home!
Over 1,000 types of mold and mildew can live indoors. Mold growth often looks like spots, can be a variety of colors, and has a musty smell to it. Signs of mold damage include warping or discoloration of ceilings, floors, and walls. Cracked or peeling paint, musty odors, and drywall tape coming loose are also signs of mold growth. However mold growth can be controlled. Taking precautions such as ventilating areas such as the bathroom, or laundry room, controlling humidity levels, and promptly fixing any leaks in the home. If a flood occurs in the property it is extremely important that it is thoroughly cleaned and dried afterwards to prevent mold growth.
Mold indoors can be toxic. It is dangerous and can cause numerous health issues. These health issues can range from minor to serious conditions, even death in some cases. Problems range from itchy eyes, throat irritation, skin irritation, headaches, fatigue, coughing, and sneezing. More serious reactions can range from asthma attacks, fungal infections, to serious respiratory issues. People with mold allergies will have more severe reactions such as lung infections, lung tissue damage, and bronchitis. Mold is a common cause of death among individuals with compromised immune systems. Surprisingly, a study even found a correlation between a high mold presence indoors and depression!
If you suspect a mold issue in your home the best step to take is to call a mold remediation professional to perform an inspection. Any type of indoor mold can be dangerous and a great health risk if it is not addressed. There are two types of inspections that can be done to determine mold growth indoors. The first is a visual inspection. The technician will inspect the suspected areas and also take moisture readings to determine if the area has moisture. The second is an air spore test. With the air test two samples are taken- one outside and one inside the home in the suspected affected area. The outdoor reading acts as the control, giving a baseline to measure the indoor sample against. The samples are brought to a lab for results. The report given by the lab will show what types of mold and how much is present in each area. If the mold spore count inside is higher than outside, it can be determined that there is a mold problem indoors. If the inspection results are positive, no matter what type of mold is present, mold remediation needs to begin immediately.