What is Mold?
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees. The growth of mold indoors should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
A recent study discovered that mold often flourishes in places you’d least expect. Here are some interesting statistics: on 88% of windowsills, on 83% of refrigerator seals, under 82% of sinks, and on 49% of shower grout.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
Molds have the potential to cause health problems, because they produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) irritants and, in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold.
In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.
Toxic Black Mold
If you think you have Black Mold, don’t panic! Most molds look black. The toxic black mold that has made recent headlines is formally known as Stachybotrys Chartarum, or Stachy (STACK-ee) for short – and it is actually green-black. Black Mold typically grows in dark hidden places – under carpets, behind your walls. Exposure to black mold has been linked to some serious health effects. If you suspect that you have a black mold problem, do not try to get rid of the mold yourself – call a professional.
Everyone suddenly seems aware of black mold – homeowners, insurers, builders, folks in the medical field. So far, government and private research is still spotty and often contradictory. We await further results from the ongoing research surrounding mold and its harmful effects.
Fortunately, we already know more about practical issues – what black mold is, how you get it and how to prevent it. It’s time to learn what the enemy is so you can avoid it. Catch any mold early, and it will be easier to eliminate. Let black mold grow a long time, then you’ll face a more expensive problem.
A word of warning to the property owner: Black Mold is becoming the newest home repair scam. Don’t deal with anyone who just shows up at your door or calls on the phone to offer you mold testing. That’s not how reputable mold inspection or mold remediation companies operate.