Causes, effects and mitigation of Mold

The author of this blog is Rueben, a trained and certified home inspector working at HomeInspeKtor. You can get in touch with him here.

People are frequently exposed to more than 200 types of fungi indoors and outdoors. These include mold-like fungi, just as other fungi, for example, yeasts and mushrooms. Mold symptoms, particularly black mold symptoms, are dangerous, and can even be life threatening. If you or anyone in your household is already ill or suffers from an autoimmune disease, you’re at a higher risk of dangerous symptoms of mold exposure.

What is Mold? 

The expression “mold” is ordinarily used to refer to any fungus that grows indoors. Mold settlements may seem cottony and might be white, black, yellow, and greenish in colour. Many reproduce by dispersion of pores. They for the most part feed on dead organic matter and when provided with adequate moisture content, can live off of numerous materials found in homes, for example, wood, and cellulose in the paper backing on drywall. 

Stachybotrys chartarum(toxic black mold)
Mold infestation due to severe dampness on ceiling and walls

What causes mold growth? 

Mold growth can be caused by any condition resulting in excessive dampness. Common dampness sources include rain leaks on roofs and wall joints; surface and groundwater leaks due to poorly designed or clogged rain gutters and footing drains, plumbing leaks and stagnant water in appliances like dishwashers, refrigerator drip pans, and condensing coils and drip pans in HVAC systems.

Dampness issues can moreover be because of uneven indoor temperatures, poor air circulation, soil air entry into basements, contact of humid unconditioned air with cooled interior surfaces, and poor insulation on indoor chilled surfaces

What are the effects of Mold?

Certain molds can cause a combination of unfavorable human health impacts, including allergic reactions and immune responses (e.g., asthma) and infectious diseases like histoplasmosis, upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Mold can also cause direct lung damage causing pulmonary diseases The subject of mold has gotten growing public consideration over the previous decade. The term “Black Mold” is regularly a reference to the toxin producing mold, Stachybotrys chartarum which are more incessant now than in past years. Modern construction may be more defenseless against mold issues because tighter construction makes it harder for water vapor to get away, as well as the wide use of paper-backed drywall in construction and widespread use of carpeting.

Molds are thought to play an important role in asthma in a few different ways. Molds produce numerous allergenic compounds and mycotoxins that influence immune reaction.

Molds additionally produce mycotoxins that can be a potential risk on ingestion, dermal contact or inhalation. Fungi related with wet structures, for example, Aspergillus versicolor, Fusarium verticillioides, Penicillium aiurantiorisen, and S. chartarum, can produce harmful toxins depending on the substrate it is using, temperature, moisture content and humidity. Since toxin-producing molds by and large have a higher water prerequisite, they will in general thrive on surfaces under severe water damage. For instance, Stachybotrys commonly grow under constantly wet conditions. It has been suggested that very young children may be especially vulnerable to certain mycotoxins.

Mitigation of Mold

Common methods of mitigating mold problems include:

  • Regular maintenance of heating, ventilating, and cooling (HVAC) systems
  • Keeping gutters and downspouts in working condition and guaranteeing that they channel water away from the establishment
  • Regularly checking, cleaning, and drying drip pans in air conditioners and refrigerators.
  • Increasing ventilation by utilizing exhaust fans or open windows to eliminate humidity when cooking, showering, etc.
  • Maintaining relative humidity level in the home of 40% to 60%
  • Finding and eliminating sources of dampness 
  • Discarding materials with severe mold growth

Whether your home is 10 years or 100 years old, it may contain a hidden danger and health risk: mold. Your house is not only your biggest investment but also the place you live and raise your family. So, you want the healthiest environment possible. For that reason mold testing for your home is paramount. You may be surprised to discover the hidden dangers lurking.

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