Mold is a catch-all term for a variety of fungi that is spread via spores that float through the air. When people hear the term “mold”, they most often think of the mildew scent associated with humidity and dampness in bathrooms and kitchens. But there are hundreds of varieties of mold, and mold can be found indoors as well as outdoors. As a rule, mold thrives in environments that are warm and moist, though mold is found throughout the world and in all temperatures.
Mold on the shadowy side of a tree or underneath rocks may be unpleasant to look at, but it’s the strains of mold that make their way into homes that should concern you, because both your body and your home can be put at extreme risk from mold. Common indoor varieties include Penicillium (yes, like the medication), Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and the most dangerous strain, Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold.
In households, mold can weaken and damage carpeting, wood structures, walls, and foundations. And in the body, mold can cause irritation in the lungs, and certain mold toxins can even lead to skin, blood, and organ infection. But it is the lung irritation and allergic reactions that mold most often triggers, and these health issues can even lead to severe illness. In rare instances, chronic fatigue, severe lung disorders, and even lung cancer have all been attributed to mold. It’s also possible for chronic exposure to mold to eventually create allergens even for those individuals who may initially not present with any allergic reactions.
Symptoms of mold in your home.
Warm and moist areas like bathrooms and pool houses and cool and moist areas such as basements and closed-off spaces are most prone to being invaded by mold. On hard surfaces, mold looks like a fuzzy and/or gritty covering that is usually black, green, or brown in color. On food, mold is often fuzzy in texture, and may be just about any shade of the rainbow, including black, brown, pink, or white.
Unfortunately it is possible to have mold present in your home without necessarily seeing visible signs of it. But common reactions in the body will quickly alert you to the presence of mold spores. These symptoms include:
- coughing and sneezing
- watery, runny eyes and nose
- red, itchy, inflamed eyes
- skin irritations, including rashes
Regular household mold testing Houston, particularly if you live in damp areas or your home is vulnerable to water damage, is of paramount importance for staying on top of potential mold treatment and household mold remediation.
Testing for mold.
Houston mold inspection testing can begin with a visible inspection. Scan walls, corners where floors meet walls, and the backs of carpeting for the presence of mold. But even if your visible inspection comes up clean, it’s essential you move on to other forms of mold testing, as non-visible mold spores can still wreak havoc on your body and on your home.
Specialty tests that scan the air for mold spores are relatively inexpensive, and can be found at almost any hardware store. Execute these tests in all rooms of your home, particularly those humidity-prone rooms such as bathrooms and basements.
Blood tests can confirm the presence of mold spores in the body, and these tests may be essential in determining the proper treatment to use for specific types of mold spores.
Upon finding mold in your home, or confirming the presence of mold with mold testing kits, you will want to use recommended cleansers to remove mold spores from surfaces and the air. Thorough mold removal Houston includes implementing the following tips to keep your home from being a welcome environment to future mold invasions:
Houston Mold Remediation
Green Star – Mold Inspection
- clean up and repair sources of water leaks immediately
- install fans and de-humidifiers in damp rooms
- open windows to improve air flow
- if possible, remove wall-to-wall carpeting and wallpaper, as both provide damp hiding spots for mold
- incorporate bleach into as much of your chemical-based cleaning as you are safely able to, as bleach is a cheap and extremely effective killer of mold spores
Long-term exposure to mold can damage carpeting, walls, ventilation systems, appliances, and even the very foundation of your home. And in the body, mold has the potential to wreak similar havoc. By staying on top of the risk of mold by testing regularly and implementing preventative measures, you will be creating a safe home for you and your family.