Select Basement Waterproofing Mold Facts And Other Mold Information
Mold has certainly made its way into people's homes as well as the headlines recently, we hope to provide you with Mold Facts so you can clearly understand what mold can do to you, your family and home.
Many people still don't fully understand the health hazards of fungal exposure. The term toxic mold is somewhat misleading as it exudes an idea that certain molds are toxic, when actually certain types of molds produce secondary metabolites that produce toxins.
The correct term is mycotoxins. Airborne mycotoxins can definitely destroy one's health and home. Sometimes, people are unaware that they are breathing mold spores and mycotoxins until they are very sick.
Non-toxic molds usually produce minor allergic reactions - and once you leave the affected area - you most likely recover with few serious side effects.
However, if you have been exposed to the dangerous molds such as Stachybotrys or Chaetomium, they could suffer from a myriad of serious symptoms and illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, learning disabilities, mental deficiencies, heart problems, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple chemical sensitivity, bleeding lungs and much more.
Mold can come in several varieties; some are healthful, while other types, such as the black mold that may grow in your home, are toxic. With the prevalence of black mold comes health problems in your family.
The problems can range from common health problems, such as allergic reactions up to more serious health conditions, which include: breathing problems accompanied by flu-type reactions, asthma, memory loss, and even respiratory bleeding.
- Additional Mold Facts: Everything you want to know about mold and mycotoxins »
Here is a list of health symptoms commonly associated to toxic mold:
Your health may be in danger with toxic mold growing inside your home. If you, your family or pets are experiencing any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to contact us for a free mold removal estimate!
Types of Allergies: Mold Allergy
Mold, also known as fungus, is a family of organisms that are found throughout nature. Unlike plants, mold need food and water sources in order to thrive. This food source is often in the form of a carbohydrate material, such as wood or cellulose.
Mold grows in units called mycelium and reproduce through the formation of spores. Spores frequently become airborne, and like pollen, can cause allergic disease.
What Types of Diseases Can Mold Cause?
Mold has well-known associations with human disease. People can develop fungal infections of various types, especially those with poorly functioning immune systems. Fungi are also known to produce toxins, which have been blamed for causing various diseases.
Molds can also cause severe immune reactions as a result of colonizing (living in, but not causing an actual infection) the lungs (hypersensitivity pneumonitis) and the sinuses. Molds are also well known to cause various allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma.
Which Molds are Known to Cause Allergies?
There are thousands of types of mold, however, only a few of these are currently available for allergy testing. The following are the most likely causes of allergic disease based on the types of mold spores collected in the air:
- Alternaria. A common outdoor mold; allergy to this mold can be associated with severe asthma.
- Cladosporium. The most common airborne outdoor mold.
- Aspergillus. A common indoor and outdoor mold; also associated with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.
- Penicillium. A common indoor mold; allergy to which is not associated with antibiotic allergy.
- Helminthosporum. More commonly found in warmer climates.
- Epicoccum. Found in grassland and agricultural areas.
- Fusarium. Commonly found on rotting plants.
- Aureobasidium. Common outdoor mold, commonly found on paper, lumber, and painted surfaces.
- Phoma. An outdoor mold, especially common during wet periods.
- Smuts. Found in areas of agriculture.
- Rhizopus and Mucor. Commonly found on decaying leaves and damp indoor areas. Airborne forms of these molds are less common.
- Yeasts. Commonly found in the air during wet periods in agricultural areas. Allergic disease to Candida albicans is controversial, despite some people having positive allergy testing to this type of mold.
What Times of the Year Does Mold Allergy Occur?
In colder climates, molds can be found in the outdoor air starting in the late winter, and peaking in the late summer to early fall months (July to October). In warmer climates, mold spores may be found throughout the year, with the highest levels found in the late summer to early fall months.
While indoor molds can occur year round and are dependent on moisture levels in the home, indoor mold levels are higher when outdoor mold levels are higher. Therefore, a common source of indoor mold is from the outside environment, although can also be from indoor mold contamination.
What Measures Can Be Used to Decrease Indoor Mold Levels?
- Prevent outdoor molds from entering the home by keeping doors and windows closed and using air conditioning equipped with allergen-grade air filters
- Control indoor moisture with the use of dehumidifiers
- Fix water leaks in bathrooms, kitchens and basements
- Ensure adequate ventilation of moist areas
- Clean (or replace) contaminated surfaces with diluted a chlorine bleach solution (one part household bleach in nine parts water), while using proper protective gear (mask and goggles)
- Utilize HEPA filters on vacuums or as a stand-alone air filter
- Limit indoor houseplants, and ensure those that are present are free of mold on leaves and in potting soil
If you have Mold Facts questions or about removing mold from your home - contact us today with questions or for your free estimate!