Mold dangers exist anywhere moisture grows. Unfortunately, that means many places in your home or commercial building. Luckily, Extreme Microbial Technologies works with you to cut down on mold growth and other microbes in these spaces. Here are 38 important facts that the CDC has gone out of its way to make sure people are educated and aware of the dangers of mold and dampness problems in a home or commercial environment.
- Molds are quite common in buildings and homes.
- Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture. These places include around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding.
- It grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
- The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. We do not have precise information about how often different molds are found in buildings and homes.
- It can be found both indoors and outdoors
- Mold can enter your home or business through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems.
- Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors.
Why Mold Grows
- When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow.
- Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
Mold Exposure Risks
- Large mold infestations can usually be seen or smelled.
- Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects.
- Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin.
- Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.
- In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance know as the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality, Dampness & Mold
- The guidance suggested that potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.
- There is no blood test for mold. Some physicians can do allergy testing for possible allergies to mold, but no clinically proven tests can pinpoint when or where a particular mold exposure took place.
- People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds.
- People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma) may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds.
Preventing Mold and Dampness Growth
- Inspecting buildings for evidence of water damage and visible mold as part of routine building maintenance.
- Correcting conditions causing mold growth (e.g., water leaks, condensation, infiltration, or flooding) to prevent mold growth.
- Controlling humidity levels reduces mold issues
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes is critical to avoiding mold issues
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding is imperative to avoiding mold issues
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas can help reduce potential mold issues
- Keep humidity levels as low as you can—between 30% and 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
- Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
- Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
- Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
- Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.
- Mold growing in homes and buildings indicates that there is a problem with water or moisture. This is the first problem to address.
- Remove moldy items from living areas. Once mold starts to grow in carpet, insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, or wallboard, the only way to deal with the problem is by removal and replacement.
- It is important to thoroughly clean and dry the area as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.
- Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
- Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
- Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.
- Small areas (such as a shower, or an area the size of a door) can often be cleaned by residents, but larger areas might need more professional help.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.
We want to thank the CDC for providing this helpful information. If you would like to read more about these 38 Important Facts From the CDC On Mold and Dampness and see even more key information on the topic then we recommend you visit the CDC website.
If you have home or commercial mold problems and need the advice of a company that is a qualified professional mold removal company then please reach out to the professional at Extreme Microbial Technologies. We have equipment that eliminates harmful microbes in the air and on surfaces in any type of space. Additionally, the equipment continually sanitizes the air, further cutting down on microbes in your space. If you need this for your home or business, contact Extreme Microbial Technologies now.