Sometimes a simple water leak can be the start of a much bigger problem. Not only can it lead to structural damage but different types of fungi ,that can develop from moisture, are known to impact the heath of your family and pets. The most common of all the types of fungus that can grow inside your home is mold. We are unsure of just how many types of mold there are but the Center for Disease Control estimates that the number is from between tens of thousands all the way up to over 300,000. If the conditions are just right, wet and humid, it can promote the growth of mold spores. The fungi perform a necessary function in nature, as they help to break down decomposing organic compounds, but when spores breed indoors, they can cause major damage. Some common types of indoor mold include: Penicillium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, Fusarium, Trichoderma, Memnoniella, Stachybotrys Chartarum, Cladosporium.
Where and Why Facts About Mold
The most vital part of mold prevention is to be able to recognize it and lean about its causes. Moisture and the right food source are crucial to the growth and development of mold spores. Out in the open you may typically find mold mainly in areas where there is little sunlight, the surface stays damp and you can find rotting vegetation. Inside your home the areas you would find mold growing should be humid places such as a basement or shower stall. Mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours in an area where wet surfaces or materials are not properly dried or discarded. Places where chimney mold may commonly be found are flower shops, saunas, construction sites, mills, farms, antique stores, and greenhouses. You will finds that mold comes in a variety of colors, everything from orange to black. Most areas where mold is present will contain either slimy streaks or fuzzy patches in the affected area along with an mildewed smell.
Mold Warning Signs
The chance of toxic mold growing in your house of office areas will be greatly reduced if you pay attention to the warning signs and can catch it early.
- High humidity. Many places that have a high humidity climate are prone to develop toxic mold spores.
- Water or pipe leaks. Water leaks or any water damage make your home more likely to carry some form of mold.
- Musty odors. Toxic mold has a tendency to grow in out of sight areas and the best way to tell is if you begin to notice a musty smell in parts of your home. You may encounter an odor from your heating and cooling units and if this is the case you may have toxic mold growing somewhere in your HVAC system.
- Large number of house plants. Plants need to be watered constantly and thus increases the moisture level of your home and its chances to develop mold.
- Discoloration of walls. Stains that appear are a yellowish color on your ceiling and wall are caused by water intrusion. Green, brown or black stains warn you that toxic mold is currently growing.
- Cracked or peeling paint. Cracking or peel i paint is generally caused by the water getting behind the paint. Once you discover that moisture has gotten behind the paint its a good bet that mold is growing inside your walls.
- Blocked gutters. Any blockages or obstructions in your gutters will allow water into your roof and wall and creates ideal conditions for mold.
- Warped wood. Woods requires a lot of water to warp so that raises the moisture level and boost your chances of mold growing in you home. If evidence shows that you have a mold problem you should make sure you take special care when tacking these problems.
Mold Cleanup Tips
If the mold in you home is on either a tile, drywall, hard plastic or wooden surface and the area doesn’t exceed 3ft by 3ft then experts say it is safe for the homeowner to attempt to clean it off. It is recommended that for all upholstery and carpets, that contain small patches of mold, that you use either a steam cleaner or a wet vacuum. For areas with a high volume of mold ,we recommend that you consult a professional rather than attempting to clean it up yourself. One of the biggest safety tips for cleaning up mold is reduce your exposure to the fungus as much as you can. Always wear gloves to make sure that mold doesn’t come in contact with your skin and when working in affected areas make sure that you use an mask or a respirator to avoid breathing in any mold or mold spores. Mold and its spores can cause infections so goggles should be worn to avoid contact with your eyes. Any water leaks must be fixed so that areas affected by water leak don’t sustain any further damage due to any water intrusion. Then you proceed to: Scrub the affected are with a combination of non-ammonia soap, detergent or cleaner and water. Totally dry any cleaned surface to ensure that no moisture remains in the area. You can sanitize the infected area with a combination of 1/2 cup of bleach mixed with a gallon of water and the area must be well ventilated before you use this as it will give off fumes.
Symptoms for Mold Exposure
Allergic reactions are just one of the side effects of mold exposure to humans. Nasal and sinus congestion, a cough and headache, and irritation of the eyes, throat or skin are good indicators of mold exposure The toxic effects of exposure to mold may include infections and while its uncommon it occurs to people in the US each year. As soon as you show signs that you may have been exposed to mold you need to seek medical help because high levels can lead to serious health related problems.
How to Stop Mold From Getting In Your Home
By following just a simple plan, you will keep mold out of you house. Humidity levels on home shouldn’t be any more than 60 percent to prevent excess moisture from building up. They advise you to use a dehumidifier to regulate the levels of humidity during the summer. Make sure that any paints that you use have chimney mold preventing compounds added to them and that you do not use carpet on any parts of your home that are commonly humid such as basements and bathrooms. Many cleaning chemicals contain mold killing properties to help reduce your chances of being affected by mold and these are helpful when cleaning your bathroom.
Does your chimney and fireplace need to have mold removed? Email or call The Fireplace Doctor today, at 888-565-0124.