The presence of mold is very common inside the average home or office. Therefore, it can be difficult to know when it is normal or when it can pose a possible problem for you or those around you. Maypole is able to run various tests to determine not only the size of the mold growth, but also the actual type of mold present and the corresponding health risk.
What is Mold?
Mold is a term used to describe a type of fungus that is multi-cellular and grows in the form of thread-like structures called hyphae. You are exposed to mold every day as mold is always found outdoors where they play an important role in nature. In small amounts, mold spores are most often harmless; however, when spores land on wet areas within your home, the mold can grow into a substantial problem. Many people think mold is either black or green but mold can come in many different colors depending on the type of mold.
The Many Shades of Mold
Types of Mold
Distinct spore types possess different characteristics and health effects, so it is imperative to know which genus is present. Through a mold inspection and lab analysis of the samples taken, we can determine which spores are present and in what quantities. This will help us to understand how big of a problem there is and the best course of action to take. For more information on why mold testing is important please click here.
Allergenic mold spores can cause and produce allergies and allergic reactions such as asthma attacks. An allergic reaction occurs when a substance, such as mold, causes a susceptible person to form antibodies. The reaction may be immediate or delayed. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include: sneezing, burning of the eyes, difficulty breathing, and skin rash.
Alternaria is the most common form of allergenic mold
Only a small group of fungi have been associated with infectious disease. Health effects can be severe for those with an already suppressed immune system; however, they are unlikely to cause issues for a healthy person.
Aspergillus is the most prevalent form of pathogenic mold
Toxigenic mold spores produce toxic substances that can lead to dangerous or even deadly health effects. These are sometimes referred to as "toxic mold". Toxins can damage a variety of organs and tissues in the body, including the liver, central nervous system, digestive tract, and immune system.
Stachybotrys is the most concerning form of toxic mold
How Does Mold Grow?
Mold or Fungi can be found almost anywhere and can grow on virtually any organic substance (food) as long as moisture (water) and oxygen (air) are present.
Organic food sources may include:
If excessive moisture accumulates in buildings, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed.
It is impossible to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be managed by controlling moisture, temperature, and humidity.
When moisture problems occur and mold growth results, people may begin to report odors and a variety of health problems.
How Can I Prevent Mold Growth?
The #1 key to mold control is moisture control. Do everything possible to solve moisture problems before they become mold problems!
Have you had a recent leak or flooding? It may be beneficial to have a professional assess the damage and determine the best actions to minimize further issues down the line.
Fix leaky plumbing
Watch for condensation and wet spots and fix any problem areas
Prevent condesation by increasing surface temperature or reducing humidity
Keep heating, ventilation, and AC drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed
Vent moisture-generating appliances such as clothes dryers to the outside when possible
Maintain low indoor humidity, ideally between 30%-50%
Perform regular building/HVAC inspections and maintenance
Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 24-48 hours
Don't let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away