Mold 101

Mold and mold spores can be found everywhere. Molds are very common in buildings and homes and will grow anywhere indoors where there is moisture.In your home, mold can most often be found in damp, dark or steamy areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, or recently flooded areas. In fact any part of a building with poor ventilation, wet, or humid conditions can become fertile areas for a mold infestations. Mold is even common component of household and workplace dust. We are constantly breathing in mold spores. It is when mold spores are present in huge amounts that they become health hazards to humans and animals.

Molds biodegrade natural materials. They actually play a very valuable role in the breaking down of organic compounds. Mold is also used  in biotechnology and food science. Mold is used in the production of various foods (Cheese, Tempeh, Soy Sauce), beverages (Sake), antibiotics , pharmaceuticals and enzymes. However this natural process can also be very damaging when food or other property is being consumed.

Some molds also produce mycotoxins that can pose serious health risks. The term “toxic mold” refers to molds that produce mycotoxins, such as Stachybotrys chartarum, and not to all molds in general. The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. There is no definitive information about regarding how often Stachybotrys chartarum is found in buildings and homes. It is much less common than other mold species, but it is not rare (Centers for Disease Control)

Even without the presence of “toxic mold” members of your household can be affected.  Many people develop allergies to mold, especially when large growth areas bombard a home with spores. Symptoms of  mold allergies can be watery, itchy eyes, a chronic cough, headaches or migraines, difficulty breathing, rashes, tiredness, sinus problems, nasal blockage and frequent sneezing.

Mold Remediation

The goal of remediation is to remove or clean contaminated materials in a way that prevents the emission of fungi and dust contaminated with fungi from leaving a work area and entering an occupied or non-abatement area.

  • Assess the area infected with mold, checking for any hidden mold
  • Isolate the area to prevent any further contamination
  • Fix moisture problems before you remove and clean up the moldy area to prevent future mold growth issues
  • Check all air ducts, ventilation systems and air handling units so that the mold problems do not persist in the indoor environment
  • Clean and or Remove all contaminated items and Material

These steps should always be done by a trained professional.

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