Mold forms in your house if it is damp and wet, and if the atmosphere is extremely humid. Mold poses health risks and must be removed as fast as possible. So, when you know that you have mold in your home, you must make a priority.
It is not uncommon to see a fence, a wall, or the roof of a house infested with mold. This can be a big problem because not only does mold have health risks, but it can also damage the structure they grow on, especially if that is a wooden object. Hardwood floors and wooden furniture are vulnerable to it too.
If this concerns you, we invite you to continue reading to learn some important facts about mold in your home.
Mold in Your Home? 6 Health Risks, Removal, and Prevention.
• What exactly is mold?
Mold is a type of fungi that grows on moist surfaces and thrives if there is high humidity in the atmosphere. Also, mold that grows on household objects is referred to as household mold. It grows mostly on rough surfaces like stone walls, fences, or wooden floors. You need to eradicate it as soon as possible. If the mold starts to grow at a fast rate, you need to call mold removal services to take care of it.
It cannot grow smoothly on metallic objects. Although some molds can occur during winter, they are mostly seen during summer.
A different variant of mold is mildew. They are also fungi that are very similar to mold and often are mistaken to be mold. The difference between these two is the color.
Molds can be black, green, or grey, while mildews can be brown, yellowish, and black. They both are equally harmful and need to be destroyed as soon as possible.
• How does mold form inside your home?
As mentioned before, molds thrive in high humidity. So, they will usually not grow if the atmosphere is dry.
Mostly during summer, these mold fungi spread microscopic spores, which they use for their reproduction. These spores are very light and can spread through the air, water, and even by bugs or insects.
During the wet season, the atmosphere is humid and there are a lot of wet surfaces in your household. When these spores drop onto these wet surfaces, mold begins to grow immediately. And before long, you will notice a mold colony forming right inside your house. The more humid the weather is, the faster it will grow.
Another interesting fact is that mold will only grow on wooden or porous substances, which they use as their food source. They will never grow on clean metallic surfaces or on plastic. The only time they grow on top of the metal is when there is a layer of dirt or grease which they use as their food source. But if the metal surface is clean, mold will never grow on it.
• How does mold affect your health?
Although mold might seem small and harmless, it actually poses some serious health risks. Here is a list of health issues that mold might cause in your home.
1. Red eyes and stuffy noses.
Some people are sensitive to mold. When it’s the wet season, molds spread their spores. If these people inhale these spores, they will have a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and itchy skin too.
2. Allergic reactions.
Some people are allergic to molds as well, especially mold spores. When they inhale these spores, they face much more severe reactions. These reactions include fever, shortness of breath, tiredness, red skin, etc.
3. Asthma in children.
Scientific research by the World Health Organization (WHO) has found out that long exposure to environments with mold can develop asthma among children. They will wheeze most of the time and suffer from shortness of breath. It can become much worse if they are not treated immediately.
4. Life-threatening for elderly people and smokers.
Elderly people who have weak immune systems and smokers who have damaged lungs are more susceptible to health issues created by mold. If they are exposed to mold for a long period, their weak lungs cannot handle the adverse effects of mold, which might be fatal for them.
Mold also releases a type of toxin known as mycotoxin. If this toxic substance comes into contact with your skin, your skin will feel very itchy. Long exposure to this substance can develop a skin rash, also referred to as dermatitis.
6. Unknown health issues.
All health issues related to mold have not been fully discovered. Researches and scientists suggest that apart from shortness of breath and skin rash, molds can cause other health issues as well. Interestingly, Studies find that an indoor mold named Stachybotrys chartarum is responsible for causing pulmonary hemorrhage.
Some pre-existing diseases can worsen due to mold exposure too. So, you must contact your medical professions if you learn that you’re experiencing exposure to mold over a long time.
• How to remove and prevent mold from forming in your home.
If you want to eradicate mold from your house, you can follow the steps listed below.
1. Check the level of contamination.
The first thing that you need to do is to check the contamination level of mold. You need to see how much it has spread before you try to eradicate it. This will impact your following steps, so you need to be thorough while measuring the contamination.
2. Isolate the contaminated area.
The next thing that you need to do is to isolate the contaminated area from the rest of the house. This means locking all the doors and the windows. Make sure there are no open spaces because, if mold spores leak through these open spaces, they will contaminate a different part of your house. So, tightly lock the whole contaminated room down.
3. Prevent dust spread.
If there is a lot of dust while you clean, it will be a problem as you will not be able to clean the mold colony easily. To make sure there is no dust in your way, suppress it by misting the contaminated area.
4. Remove the mold colony.
Now, onto the main part. After locking everything down, you need to remove the colony itself. Since molds are small fungi, you will not be able to completely remove them, unless you completely remove the object they contaminate.
This is how the entire mold colony can be removed. This will be a bit difficult if mold has contaminated your wall. Because then you will need a metallic tool, which will help you remove the mold colony.
5. Place the mold colony in a plastic air-tight bag.
After removing the mold-infected material, you need to place it in a plastic bag and tightly secure it. The bag must be airtight and has to be at least 6 millimeters thick. Otherwise, there is a possibility that mold spores leak through the bag and start contaminating your entire house again.
You should also not use paper or cloth or even leather bags because they are porous and mold spores can easily leak through them.
After securing the bag, wipe the outer surface of the bag with detergent and dispose of it by putting it in the trash can.
6. Clean the previously contaminated area.
Disposing of the mold colony does not mean your work is done. You need to clean the area which was previously contaminated. There are two steps to cleaning the infected area. First, you need to wipe the entire area with a damp cloth and soap. Second, you need to use a HEPA vacuum cleaner to vacuum the contaminated area. This will ensure that there are no dirt particles that mold can infect once more.
7. Keep the contaminated area dry.
To make sure mold does not form again, you need to keep the contaminated area, and the rest of your house dry, even during the rainy season. The best way to do so is to use a dehumidifier. They are not very expensive and can save you from a lot of trouble.
8. Determine if the area is mold free.
After doing everything, you finally need to check if the area is completely mold-free. You can check by following three simple steps. Check if there are any visible signs of molds, such as dark dust particles, and check the humidity of the contaminated area. If it feels damp, mold will likely form again.
Lastly, check for odors. Mold has a smelly odor which will also cause sneezing. If you feel itchy in your nose or smell something bad, then there is likely some mold left that needs to be cleaned.
• How to make sure mold in your home never grows back.
To make sure mold never grows back, you need to follow two things.
1. Replace all the contaminated objects.
If the contaminated object was something such as wooden furniture, then you need to replace that furniture. It is likely that the structure of that material is damaged and it is very susceptible to mold infection.
2. Keep the room dry.
Honestly, this is the most important thing if you wish to keep mold out of your house. You cannot let your house, under any circumstances, be wet or humid. If it rains too much, use a dehumidifier or an HVAC system to maintain the airflow and keep your place dry.
Mold is a serious problem if not treated immediately. If you see any signs of mold in your house, be sure to remove them unless you want to lead an unhealthy life. If you have suggestions or questions, please let us know in the comments below. Also below, you will find links to more great articles about ALL things DESIGN for your home or business.
Images Courtesy of Canva.