Molds: The Bad and the Good
Molds are a key part of the natural environment, and can be found everywhere. There exist over 100,000 types of mold. Mold is not usually a problem — if it is outside. Outdoors, molds serve to break down dead organic matter such as dead trees and fallen leaves, etc. Indoors, however, mold growth should be avoided, as it can affect the indoor air quality of a building. The best method of containing and controlling mold growth is controlling moisture, as no type of mold will grow without a source of moisture.
Why Mold Is Hazardous to Health
When mold spores start growing in wet spots indoors, they produce allergens, which are substances that trigger allergic reactions. They also produce irritants, and other potentially toxic substances (known as mycotoxins).
The symptoms/reactions of both allergic and non-allergic people to mold include –
-Fever-like symptoms (sneezing, runny nose, red eyes)
-Irritation of eyes, skin, nose, throat, lungs
-Also, can cause asthma attacks in asthmatics
How to Get Rid of Mold
Because mold festers and grows due to water/other moisture, the key to stopping mold spread is to clean up the mold and the moisture source. This is where a mold inspection comes in.
A professional, or team of professionals, must conduct a mold inspection of the infested building in order to determine both the moldy areas and the areas containing the moisture breeding the mold. They then will clean up both the moldy areas and the source(s) of moisture. Mold testing and mold remediation will vastly improve indoor air quality.
There are preventative measures that one can take to keep mold from even manifesting in a building. Some tips include:
-Act quickly when water leaks or spills indoors (dry damp things no later than 48 hours after a spill or leak)
-Make sure that ground slopes away from the building foundation foundation so that water does not collect or enter at foundation
-Keep air conditioning drip pans clean
-Keep drain lines unobstructed/flowing properly
-Regularly clean/repair roof gutters
These maintenance tips are a big way to ensure that mold does not breed within a building. Because air pollution is one of the top 5 environmental dangers, keeping high indoor air quality standards by preventing mold is highly important.