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Molds are not a problem or issue in the home until mold spores find a damp or wet place to land. If they find this type of place then they will begin to grow and cause a problem. Health problems can be caused by molds. Moulds can produce allergens, irritants and even mycotoxins which are potentially toxic. Generally molds are not harmful to healthy individuals but, elderly people, pregnant women, infants and young children and people with allergies or respiratory problems can experience health issues from molds. The most common types of health problems from mold include:
Irritation to eyes, nose and throat.
Breathing issues such as runny noses, sinus congestion and frequent cold symptoms.
Increased asthma attacks if you suffer from asthma.
Allergic reactions such as rashes which can be immediate or delayed.
If you continually suffer from any of the symptoms above you should visit your local GP and take medical advice. If the GP links the symptoms you have with mold then you need to confront the mold issue full on as soon as possible.
Mold And Health
Preventing Mold Growth In The Home
On this issue one thing must be made completely clear. It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mould spores from inside the home. Some species of mold spores are found just floating around in the air that is present. However mold spores will not grow if there is not any moisture present. So to control mold growth you need to control moisture content indoors. If you are suspicious that moisture levels are rising in the home or in materials you can test the moisture content with a moisture meter to get confirmation.
Controlling the humidity in the home is one way of preventing mold growth. You need to avoid excessively high and prolonged humidity in the home. Using a humidifier in the home is ok to do as long as you use one only on a limited basis. And such things as fish tanks and house plants should be limited in number as well. Both of these can raise the humidity level in your home.
Keeping the home well ventilated will help with preventing mold growing. If you have exhaust fans in the home turn them on when you take a bath or shower. They should definitely be turned on when you cook or do the laundry.
Moisture is a breeding ground for mold. It needs to be controlled in the home. If you have any plumbing problems or water leaks in the home, fix them immediately. If any building materials, timber or carpet in the home has suffered from water damage in any way always throw away the stuff that cannot be cleaned and dried properly.
If you discover that you have small patches of mold in the home, these can be cleaned up using a standard household cleaner of some sort. Simply scrub the area with a detergent and then clean and sponge it dry quickly and thoroughly. When cleaning up mold yourself always ensure that you are wearing the appropriate gear. The gear you require is a disposable dust mask and a decent pair of rubber gloves.
If you have a large area of mold to contend with it is better to hire a professional to do the job rather than do it yourself. You cab check out your local listings for a suitable professional mold remover. But remember, no matter the size of your mold problem, mold will always reappear if you do not take the appropriate action concerning moisture issues. So once you have cleaned up the mold take a moisture meter to test and locate a moisture problem. Then deal with that moisture problem. A good tip is to regularly test your home in suspect areas with a moisture meter to alert you to any potential moisture issues. Prevention is the name of the game when it comes to mold.
On This Site
Moisture And Mold Prevention Tips
Basically moulds are fungi which are a common group or organisms that also include yeasts and mushrooms. Moulds are usually found out in nature but can be carried to the indoors from the outdoors. To date more than 270 species of mould have been found and identified in people’s homes. The usual places molds are found in the home are in damp areas where moisture has affected the area. Such instances include in wallpaper, tiles, carpets, wood and insulation materials. This is why it is important to always be aware of moisture in the home and carry out spot checks once in a while with a moisture meter.
Despite the fact that molds play a huge part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter they should be avoided and prevented from growing in the home. Mold reproduces using tiny minute spores which are literally invisible to the naked eye. These spores float through the air and begin to grow indoors when they land on surfaces that are moist or wet. There are many species of mold that differ in characteristics but what is universal with all moulds is that they will only grow and thrive with water or moisture presence.
Moisture control is the key to mold control. If you have a mold problem in your home, then it is highly likely that you have a moisture problem as well. The mold can be cleaned away but it will come back again if you do not fix the moisture problem. So if you do discover mold in your home, clean it away and use a moisture meter to determine the level and proximity of the moisture problem. Then fix the moisture problem.
If you are unfortunate enough to have water leakage or spillage in your home you need to act rapidly. The water needs to be cleaned up and the area or material dried. If you clean up and dry within 48 hours of the leakage occurring mold will not grow.
Roof gutters collect rain water and take it away from your home. But water is not all that they collect. Old leaves and such find their way in to your gutters and cause blockages and overspills. This can affect the brickwork on any home and even seep in to the interior of the home affecting wall plaster. This provides an ideal environment for mould growth. So always clean out your gutters and repair them if they need repairing.
Water and moisture can enter a building from the outside. It will enter the foundations of a building and rise up. So ensure that all ground slopes away from the building foundation. The last thing you want is water entering the foundations or collecting around the foundation.
If you have air conditioning system these can be a cause of moisture problems. You need to keep the drip pans clean and any drain lines free and unobstructed so that they flow properly.
Inside the home the humidity needs to be kept low. Below 60 degrees is the recommended level. You can use a hygrometer for this measurement.
Moisture Meter Guide 2010 Contact details:email@example.com
The complete moisture meter website
Moisture Meter Guide
When looking around your home you may discover condensation. This is usually a sign of high humidity. It will occur on windows, walls and pipes. Always dry off the condensation and reduce the moisture and water source as soon as possible.
In the home, stoves, tumble dryers and heaters produce moisture. They produce water vapour which in turn will increase the humidity level in a room. So if at all possible keep these types of appliances outside the home if at all possible. Good place for a washing machine and tumble dryer is in the garage.
If the humidity levels are not right in the home use air conditioners or dehumidifiers accordingly.
When taking a shower or hot bath open the window in the bathroom. The same in the kitchen when cooking. You may have exhaust fans in these rooms so use them instead of opening a window if this is what you prefer.
Always try to reduce humidity.
Ventilation is essential. Create air movement by opening windows and doors.
Fans are a good alternative to this.
Any cold surface such as a water pipe should be wrapped with insulation.
Finally if you have moisture problems you can always increase the air temperature to combat this.
To Care Is To Share
Mold And The Home
Without a doubt the presence of mold in your home can have an affect on your health. In most cases this health threat can be minor with just inconvenient symptoms of having watery eyes, a runny nose or an irritating sore throat. All the symptoms of oncoming flu without actually having the flu. Quite annoying to say the least. More serious health issues can arise from allergic reactions to hidden toxic mold. All in all mold is not a welcome guest to the safe sanctity of your home and must be eliminated as much as possible.
But the battle against mold is a long drawn out affair which you are likely to lose in all honesty. You can only do your best and at least contain the problem. Over millions of years, mold has been an extremely successful organism. It requires moisture to grow and thrive and once it has established itself, can be virtually impossible to get rid of. Even if mold does dry out, it will sit dormant and simply wait for moisture to return. If mold was not such a nuisance you could not fail but to admire it’s resilience and survival instincts.
All year round mold can thrive. It is not just a seasonal organism. In winter, dry air can enter the home which is pore infested. The warmer months of the year will see the air become warmer and more moist, an ideal growing scenario for mold. Once mold enters your home it sits tighter than a sheep’s tick.
When people check over their homes and work on removing mold, the attic is often neglected or simply overlooked. Reasons being that the house attic is not a place many frequent too often, yet alone think about. However with giving you home a mold overhaul this can be a mistake.
The attic provides an ideal environment for mold and dust to thrive. It’s common knowledge that where there is moisture, mold will follow. And the attic has the perfect ingredients for moisture. It is the house space nearest to the roof and a leaky roof will allow water to enter the home and begin the snowball effect of mold growth. Keeping an eye on the condition of your roof is always advisable and any broken tiles should always be replaced as soon as possible.
The attic is also loaded with insulation. As good as insulation is at doing it’s job, it is prone to moisture absorption. Damp insulation is an ideal habitat for mold. If you discover any insulation that has be infested with mold you need to remove it and dispose of it correctly as you cannot clean it.
So preventing ideal conditions for mold in the attic are the first steps to having a mold free environment. Keep checking the condition of your roof and once in a while do perform a moisture test on the attic insulation with a moisture meter.
If you do discover mold, clean it up and have a dehumidifier or an exhaust fan in the attic to keep the air dry. The exhaust fan will keep the air circulating and reduce any moisture and dust build up.
Mold has the ability to grow anywhere in your home. However the bathroom will tend to be the most affected room of all. The reason for this being that the bathroom retains a lot of moisture. The air inside a bathroom has a lot of humidity due to baths and showers and the hot steam they cause. This steam will evaporate in to the air and increase the air humidity. Most bathrooms tend not to have sufficient ventilation either which just adds to the problem and allows dampness to remain.
Bathroom accessories such as soap, shampoo and other cosmetic products all add to issues that can cause mold to grow. They are usually wet and add to air humidity. Any products you do not use should be removed from the bathroom and such things as shampoo bottles should always be dried before placing them in cabinets.
Mold can also grow between bathroom tiles because they often remain damp from condensation caused from a hot bath or shower. Dampness can also get behind tiles in a worst case scenario and provide a constant supply of moisture for mold to feed off. If you do notice mold growth between your bathroom tiles, it is well worth cleaning up the mold and then checking the wall with a moisture meter to see if you do have a moisture issue behind the tiles.
Black mold is one of the nastiest and most dangerous molds to have in your home. If you have it you must remove it immediately as the toxins from it can make you quite ill, and continually so, until the black mold has been removed.
A musty and stale odour is the first sign of a toxic mold. If you notice this odour in any room there is a good chance that you have a toxic mold problem. Other signs are grey spots or white substance growing on your walls or ceilings or in wet and damp places. From these toxic molds you will suffer headaches, runny noses, migraines, breathing problems and rashes. Not nice at all and definitely an unwelcome visitor.
Removing black mold from your home is a must. You need to test the air in order to ascertain the scale of problem you have. Depending on the seriousness of the problem you may require a professional company to come in and do the job for you. If it is not too serious you can clean the mold away yourself with a commercial cleaner specifically for black mold.
Such is the seriousness of black mold you may have to remove things that have been exposed to the toxins and spores. Drywall is an example of this as are carpets and wallpapers. It is essential to remove any spores to prevent further spreading.
Mold can be tested to see if it is black mold. A professional can do this for you or you can buy yourself a DIY testing kit. With a testing kit you simply take a swab of the mold in question, place the swab in a sterilized container and then send it off to be tested at a lab. The lab results will notify you of which molds you have in the home and then you will know the appropriate actions to take.
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