What are mold and fungi?
Mold and fungi are microscopic organisms that are naturally occurring, live on just about any organic surface, thrive in damp areas, and generally reproduce by releasing spores into the air. Some mold and fungus are beneficial while others can be very dangerous and detrimental to your health.
Mold is important as it helps in recycling of nutrients and breaking down dead materials in the environment. These organisms can virtually be found growing anywhere on organic material i.e. foods, soil, plant matter, inside your home; and in some cases on non organic materials as well.
Mold and fungus reproduce by producing spores that are dispersed through the air, carried off by insects and animals, and can even travel with water. The spores act like mold seeds and are capable of growing once they find suitable conditions for growth. In prime conditions, a full blown mold infestation can form in as little as 48 hours.
Types of Mold-
Molds grow and multiply rapidly under suitable conditions. In terms of in and around your home, mold only needs organic matter like dry wall, wood studs, natural fiber carpet, wood floors, ceiling tiles, roofing along with sufficient moisture which can be in form of condensation, humidity, a leaky roof, burst pipes, etc. The growth of mold is rapid
under the right conditions, can encompass a home in a matter of days, and will make you sick if the infestation is not dealt with in a timely fashion.
How can molds find way into your
Mold spores are virtually everywhere as there spores are spread by the air Once they find suitable conditions for growth, the organisms will blossom and flourish rapidly. In short, this means that mold is definitely growing somewhere close by your home (it is probably already in your home) and proactive measures should be taken on a regular basis to make sure you do not fall victim to a mold infestation. As new yorkers, we have to constantly look out to prevent the growth of molds in our homes by quickly dealing with the problem as soon as it is detected.
Common Problems, Causes, and Places Mold Grows
- Roof leakage in our homes – Roof and attic mold problems
- Plumbing Leaks
- Steam from kitchen and bathroom – Not having proper ventilation will lead to excess moisture which in turn will cause mold to grow.
- Crawl spaces and basement
- Condensation due to poor ventilation, insulation, and drainage-
- Humidifiers- Humidifiers can also cause mold to grow as they put out additional humidity into the air in your home. Excess humidity is a prime inhibitor for mold growth.
- Wet clothes in our closets – do not store wet clothes in drawers or closets.
- Water damage and flooding
Some of the indications of moisture problems include warping of your floor, discoloration of the wall or ceiling, and condensation on windows or walls, mold growing under your sink, bathroom mold, warped roofing, mold growing on your foundation or in your basement,etc.The key to keeping mold from your home is through controlling all the moisture problems that can arise in and around your home.
Problems that mold can cause in and around your home
Mold should never be allowed to grow your home because of their destructive nature. Extensive contamination of mold can cause serious health problems to your family and also damage your home if it is not contained early. A frequent mold inspection should be done from time to time to ensure that these organisms are not growing in your home.
How does mold affect you and your family’s health?
Continuous exposure to mold causes serious health problems. The common being allergic reactions mainly due to inhalation of mold spore. The allergic response may be in form of asthma, eyes irritation, irritation in the nose, hay fever, lungs and throat irritations. You can never be specific on how someone will react on breathing
these mold spores, because allergic reaction is different to each individual
and greatly depends on individual sensitivity.
The allergic reaction can either come from exposure of living or dead molds therefore mold removal with disinfectant or bleach does not assure your family is completely free from any future allergic responses. The best way of preventing this situation is by never giving these organisms room to even grow. Deny them the suitable conditions they need to thrive.
Other common effects of mold exposure may include toxic effects and infections. Although, a serious infection from mold exposure is really rare, it can happen to people with highly suppressed immune systems. Some molds may produce toxins but this only happens in specific growing conditions. Very little evidence of lethal effects of mold have been reported, usually caused from eating moldy grains, and there is even less evidence of lethal reactions after inhaling mold spores. Mold’s toxic effects are extremely rare compared to its allergic response and irritation influence.
Symptoms of mold exposure
The most common symptoms of mold exposure are allergic response and irritation to the body. These symptoms vary from one person to the other according to the degree of sensitivity but here are some of the common symptoms due to indoor mould exposure
- Eye irritation like watery eye, red
- Nasal congestion
- Throat irritations
- Respiratory complications e.g.
breathing difficulty, wheezing
- Swollen Tongues and throats
- Skin rashes and infections
Who are at greater risk due to mold exposure?
High amount of mold exposure is not healthy to anyone. There should be a periodic mold inspection and removal procedures scheduled as this is the only effective way to
minimize mold exposure in our homes. This said, some people will be more affected
by mold exposure than other, this include;
1 People with weaken immune system
i.e. chemotherapy patients, people with HIV/AIDS infection, or organ transplant
2 People with high respiratory sensitivity;
this include people with asthma, emphysema or allergies.
Mold can easily be seen or smelled. The growth often appears discolored, furry or slimy patches which increases as they flourish. These organisms also produce musty odors. These are some of the common mold indicators you can easily spot. You can find mold by looking at areas with visible signs of water damage and mould growth or smell your way to the source of the mold odor.
Other clues are drainage water and areas with excess moisture and humidity. Start by looking under cabinets, carpets, wallpaper, attics, basements, etc. These are common areas that are susceptible to mold attack and should be cleaned often in order to keep the mold under control. These areas may include;
- Shower curtains
- Window moldings
- Surfaces around the air conditioner
- Seal on refrigerator door
- Basements and crawlspaces
- Bathrooms and kitchens
- Outside of a foundation
- Inside of walls
How to get rid of mold
The first step towards mold control is to control any moisture problem or water leak in your home. Any source of water leakage has to be identified and corrected immediately. Second, porous materials that have extensive mold growth have to be thrown away .i.e. carpet, ceiling tiles, papers etc. Dry all wet material thoroughly, if this is not possible, throw
them away to prevent a mold breakout.
Molds that are growing on hard surfaces can easily be scraped off and surface cleaned with a mold remover and disinfectant to kill the remaining mold spores. In areas where is it hard to keep dry i.e. bath room; bleach solution can be used to control the mold growth before it gets out of hand. When using bleach, make sure your room is well ventilated because bleach causes eye and nose irritation.
NYC Mold inspection, testing, and mold removal services-
Hiring a reputable and professional mold inspection and mold removal company is the safest way to make sure that you do not have any water damage, water leaks, excess moisture issues, ventilation problems, poor drainage concerns, and/or mold growing within or around your home.
For more information on our NYC mold remediation services, please fill in the form below or give us a call-