Mold isn’t just a nuisance in your home or building. It is something you don’t want to entertain because of the dangers associated with it. It can result in damage to your belongings, and worse, to your health.
Some molds can grow and multiply in damp and humid places, such as near leaks or areas you rarely use. If the humidity is not adequately taken care of, they may spread unseen until it’s too late. That is why mold prevention takes knowing where to look for it and some basic steps to keep your home, and most importantly, yourself safe.
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that thrives on moist surfaces with little or no direct sunlight. It can be found both indoors and outdoors but typically grows in dark, damp places such as those near leaks, bathrooms, basements, and areas that have been wet from flooding.
Not all mold is harmful to humans. In fact, in most cases, mold is not dangerous. However, the problem with damp places is that they may develop an unsightly or musty odor over time, which can lead to health problems when inhaled over a long period.
That said, there are also harmful molds. If you think that mold is affecting your health, talk to a doctor right away. Certain types of mold can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are hazardous if inhaled.
Mold requires food, water, and warmth to thrive. These are all things that must be kept in check in order to keep your home free from any possible outbreaks. Some of the most common underlying causes of a mold infestation are faulty plumbing, sealing cracks in walls or floorings, and leaky roofs.
If the house has had extensive water damage, there may be other hidden dangers lurking in the air, including asbestos and lead paint (if they were used in your building).
How Many Types Of Molds Are There?
There are many types of mold. Researchers have only been able to identify about 100,000 mold types, but there are speculations that there might be several million or even several billion types of molds. The most common variety is black mold or Stachybotrys. It is also called ‘toxic black mold’ because of its potential to be dangerous.
White and green molds are less harmful than black mold but can still cause health problems. One of the most common molds you find in homes is aspergillus. It is also one of the most toxic, but only when you have been exposed to large amounts of it in a building, and you have a compromised immune system or an allergy.
According to the CDC, it is a common cause of asthma. So, if you already have the conditions above or live with someone who does, you should take note of it.
How Do You Spot Mold?
As stated above, mold and mold spores thrive in areas with moisture and high humidity levels. When trying to spot mold in a building, these are prominent places to start the search.
Check for any damp spots in your house and check them thoroughly. These may be caused by leaks or clogged pipes, which you must take care of immediately. Also, you can use a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels in each room. If it is high, like in the 60-80% range, mold should be visible somewhere.
The other indicator is musty smells in your house. If you notice any sort of bad smell which does not seem to dissipate after a little while, it may be caused by high humidity levels and/or mold activity. And if you can see or smell anything, chances are your house is full of mold, and you should do something about it as soon as possible.
You may also want to consider hiring a professional home inspector for this job. They will thoroughly inspect your property, which can be very time-consuming and challenging if you don’t know what exactly to look for.
If you think that your house has a mold problem, it’s best not to delay further. Take some action right away and inspect your home thoroughly for any signs of mold growth. Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to medical or environmental health issues, so you should do everything in your power to prevent a future outbreak from happening in the first place.
Dangers Of Allowing Mold Outbreak In Your Home
How To Prevent Mold Outbreak In Your Home Or Building?
The best way to prevent a mold outbreak is to clean up water damage as soon as possible. This can be prevented by identifying potential sources of water or moisture before they go unnoticed and cause extensive damage that turns into an even bigger problem. Some easy places to look for water leaks are:
- wall cracks or openings
- water leaks from under sinks or behind washers and dryers.
You must also make sure that the humidity levels of your home never exceed 60%. This is especially important during the winter months as decreased indoor humidity can lead to condensation on windows, leading to mold growth.
The best way to maintain humidity levels is through a humidifier or dehumidifier, which you can buy at most hardware stores.
To further prevent mold from growing in your home, avoid using carpeting on any floor because carpeting and floor materials such as particleboard and plywood are highly susceptible to mold growth.
However, the most important thing you can do is to fix any problems that could lead to water damage or leaks in your home. This includes correcting any issues with plumbing and drainage systems on your property, as well as checking for cracks in exterior walls, floors, windows, and foundations.
Another way to prevent mold outbreaks is to take the time to check your appliances. You should always ensure no leaks or faults with appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, dryers, and refrigerators.
It also helps to periodically clean the vents of your washer and dryer, along with checking for any faulty ductwork that might be present in heating systems. It is essential not to allow moisture buildup in these areas because this can ultimately lead to mold growth.
You should always check the caulking and sealant around your windows and doors for any indication of moisture damage. If mold is present, it may be necessary to replace the caulking around these areas as it can delay the spread of mold spores.
Keeping a clean and tidy home is one way to prevent mold outbreaks. You should make sure that you have designated storage spaces for your toys, clothes, and shoes. It is important not to pile up these items as they can make it difficult to clean these areas.
Cleaning the dirt and dust present in your home becomes easier with a vacuum cleaner. You should ensure that the area around your carpets and rugs is free of any debris which may lead to mold growth. You can then dispose of the vacuum contents in a garbage bag and tie them up properly before throwing them away.
Routine cleaning will help you to prevent any mold problems from occurring. It is vital to get into the habit of wiping surfaces such as kitchen counters, tables, and sinks daily. If there is any water spillage, it should be wiped up immediately.
Get Expert Help: Mold Remediation
Even if you clean your house thoroughly, it is important to remember that mold spores can circulate in the air and enter your home through open doors or windows. This means that you should never ignore signs of a possible infestation such as unusual odors, discoloration of walls or surfaces, spotting on ceilings and flooring, or musty smells.
If these signs continue to show even after you clean the surfaces and wash the floors and walls, it is best to call a professional mold removal company immediately for help.
When Do You Need Expert Intervention Regarding Mold Outbreak?
It is always in your best interest to call a professional mold removal company immediately you suspect or notice the presence of mold. They always have all the necessary equipment for testing for mold presence. They will also collect air samples from different rooms in your building for laboratory tests.
The results will show you the type of mold you have in your home, if there are mold spores in the air, and how widespread it is. By the time mold is visible to you, the damage is often widespread.
The presence of mold in your home or office can be detrimental to the health of humans and pets. It can also destroy your belongings and property. It is always in your best interest to take the preventive measures outlined above. This will save you from the stress, health problems, cost of repair and removal, and damage that are all associated with mold.
The most important step you can take to prevent mold infestation is to ensure that the humidity levels in your home are less than 60% and that there are no water leakages anywhere. Moisture is the environment in which mold thrives.