Molds and dust mites are two of the most common health issues that plague homes and businesses alike. They’re both annoying, causing havoc in your home or office. In fact, indoor mold is so common that it’s easy to overlook how it can affect you. If you’re dealing with mold, dust mites, or other odors in your home, office or anywhere else you live and work, consider these tips from experts on how the three can affect your health.
What is mold and where does it grow?
Mold is a fungus that grows on moist organic matter like wood, concrete, paper, carpeting, and fabrics. It’s not a dangerous gas or odor, but it can be inhaled and get into your systems in small amounts. Mold grows slowly, forming a slimy carpet that can cause a wide range of health issues. Your body’s immune system can’t deal with the growth and destruction of mold, so it builds up over time and can lead to health issues.
What can cause mold?
Mold can grow in a number of places, including places where organic materials are present. Common causes of mold growth include Habitat alteration: Humans are attracted to the sweetness of certain odors, so if you have a problem with the smell of fruits and vegetables, you may want to try changing your diet. Poor air circulation: Not enough air circulation means you have more issues with molds growing and creating toxins like ammonia and formaldehyde. Water contamination: Your water supply may be contaminated with toxins from old or incompetent plumbing, or it can enter your home via a plumber. Viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms: Bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms can also get into your home via the water supply.
What can trigger a mold outbreak?
Although many molds grow well in warm, humid environments, some types can grow more abundantly in cold, dry places. Here are some common indoor molds that can cause problems for you: Mold on walls and ceilings due to poor housekeeping Mold on floors and baseboards from dirt and spills Mold on appliances due to poor housekeeping Mold on cooling and heating systems from poor housekeeping Viruses and bacteria: If you’ve recently been in regions where a volcanic eruption or other large-scale event has caused widespread volcanic ash in the air, you may have breathing problems. Mold and moisture problems: If you have a moisture problem, even in limited amounts, it can lead to a mold problem.
How common is mold in homes and businesses?
In general, indoor mold is much more common than outdoor mold. About 60% of indoor homes and 50% of commercial buildings contain some form of mold. That’s because indoor homes tend to be smaller and less well-ventilated than an office or a warehouse. A study of indoor mold in the United States found it was usually confined to a few rooms in the home. It was most common in the kitchen, the bathroom, and the bedroom. Annually, almost 20% of homes and 10% of commercial buildings have a significant mold problem.
How bad is indoor mold?
In general, mildew and mildew toxins appear as white or ivory scummy spots on the walls, ceilings, or furniture. They can be annoying, but they're not life-threatening. Mildew can be treated with a material removal and remediation service. If you have a serious mold problem, however, you may have to deal with the issue head-on. If you spot black or brown streaks or spots on your walls or furniture, you should call a mold remediation company as soon as possible.
The symptoms of indoor mold
Like other allergies, your immune system becomes triggered when you come in contact with mold. Once it gets going, mold can be extremely difficult to get rid of. If you have a mild case of mold in your home, it’s usually harmless and will go away on its own. If you have a more serious mold problem, you may experience the following symptoms: Itchy skin and mucus membranes Cough Runny nose Wheezing Find the source of the problem and fix it. If you’re dealing with indoor mold, it’s important to identify the source and correct it.
Molds and dust mites are common household allergens. If you have allergies, you may be dealing with mold or dust mites. The following tips can help you identify the problem and get it addressed. Keep your home and office clean. Wipe down accumulated dirt and debris from floors, cabinets, toilets, and windows. Use a good air purifier. These can reduce the amount of mold and dust mites in the air you breathe. Ventilate your home properly. Airflow from openings large enough for breathing is vital for healthy lungs. If you have a mold problem, trace the source of the problem and correct it. If possible, use a mold remediator. Mold is a common indoor problem. It’s not dangerous and can be treated, but you should be aware of the signs so you can take preventative measures. If you suspect there is mold in the air we recommend that you have a mold and VOC indoor air quality test performed by your local mold assessor/indoor air quality professional.
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