When you start spotting some allergens during the hot days, you know that summers have arrived. Further, you’ll get to know more about the mold mainly. You will also get to know about the effects it can cause on your health and other details relating to its growth and survival at your home. So, let’s start with understanding mold.
What is Mold?
In layman’s term, Mold is nothing but a fungus. It is useful for us undoubtedly but only when it is outside. Mold has the properties of disposing of the decaying matter.
It develops with the help of microscopic spores. If by any chance a spore falls upon a slightly damp area, it will add moisture to the spore. This helps in providing it nourishment, thus growing more of these molds.
Is all Mold Bad?
Generally talking, molds are very essential for the environment for the purpose of decomposition. If there wasn’t mold on the surface of the earth, it would be full of dead leaves, decaying trees, and other masses in unbearable quantity. Not just this, molds are even known for making cheese and a few antibiotics. Out of over 1000 different varieties of mold, Penicillium mold produces the penicillin antibiotic naturally.
However, you shouldn’t appreciate the formation of mold in your home or office, as indoor mold have some adverse effects on our health.
Adverse Health Effects of Indoor Mold
There are multiple reasons why you should not have mold within the premises of your house. Some of them are discussed below:
- Allergies – If you by chance inhale the spores of mold or even touch them, you can catch allergies.
- Asthma – Molds trigger asthma symptoms in people breathing around it.
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) flare-ups – There are many people who cannot bear Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Molds produce these and hence can trouble people with their presence.
- Respiratory Problems – As per the study and research done by the Centre for Disease Control, mold causes respiratory problems. It was even observed in healthy children.
How Does Mold Get Into a House or Building?
Following are a few main sources which can initiate mold formation:
- Overflowing waters from water bodies like rivers etc. Even heavy storms can be a reason.
- Leaking from the rooms or blockage of the gutters.
- The rain that seeped in through windows or doors.
- Leakage from the pipes.
- Improper drainage, hence leading to damping of basements.
- Water released from the surface of cold places.
Common Types of Mold in Homes
The differentiation of the types of mold is possible on the basis of the color as follows:
· Black Mold:
This is the most dangerous kind of mold that you will ever come across. It can cause fatal issues including lungs failure and death if left untreated. It is mostly found in damp basements or other areas which are open to some leakages. The scientific name for these bacteria is S. Chlorohalonata.
· Green Mold:
You can spot this kind of Mold only in the areas where fruits are grown. The penicillin products are also grown using this mold. Despite this being a component of antibiotics, it is also extremely harmful to your body. In case you have direct contact with the mold or you consume it directly, it can cause severe issues. Green mold is easy to occur in units providing refrigeration at your home and at damp places as well.
Penicillin and Mold
Penicillin is an antibiotic which comprises of a group of molds called Penicillium. It cures infections caused by Bacteria and was found in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming. The molds used in medicine are commonly known as green or blue molds. Penicillium is also commonly known for spoiling the fruits.
How to Prevent Mold Growth?
Here are the main reasons which lead to condensation of your surface which you can avoid to prevent mold growth:
· Relative Humidity:
The term condensation usually refers to the phenomena of contact of humid air with a cold surface. This results in the formation of water droplets. Most commonly ignored places include washing machine dryers, coolers, bathroom mirrors, etc. Keep these areas clean. Also, ensure that you dry them up time to time and not leave them unattended for long.
It is a scientific fact that the warm air contains more moisture than the cold air. Also, mainly the warm air is responsible for causing condensation as well. Hence, maintaining the right temperature is extremely important in the house. If you do not have proper insulators installed at the possible areas of moisture, you are prone to give rise to mold formation.
· Poor Ventilation:
Mold growth increases in places where the chances of ventilation are low and trapping of air is highly possible. Condensation rates get higher in the areas where there is no cross ventilation of the air. Ensure usage of exhaust fans; assemble your furniture a little away from the walls etc. You can further ensure that the house is clean. Check all the damp places and dry them up in time. Fix the leaks, check the drainages regularly, and remove standing water immediately.
How to Clean Mold?
Cleaning mold is no rocket science. Following are a few household measures which can help you do the same:
- Baking soda – Take a spray bottle and put in baking soda and water in equal quantity. Spray the formed solution on the area where the mold is forming and alongside it. Wait for ten minutes and then using a wet sponge, you can clean it off.
- Hydrogen peroxide– Form a solution with water and 3% hydrogen peroxide in it. Then sprinkle the solution on to the affected area. Let it rest for ten minutes after which you can clean it off with the help of a cloth.
- Vinegar – Form a mixture of vinegar and water. On the affected area where you can see the mold, spray the made solution. Let it rest for an hour at least. Then wipe it off using a wet sponge.
When to Call a Professional?
Although you can treat molds at home itself as mentioned above, in case you see more than 10 square feet of the area affected, you need to call a professional for help. It becomes necessary then to seek professional help. A Mold Assessment Professional will find the places where the formation of mold is possible and will take action to stop the unwanted overgrowth of mold.
Mold can grow almost anywhere if there is moisture, and it is not at all safe to ignore the formation of mold in your house. As soon as you see mold spores in your place, you need to take action to stop the overgrowth of mold. Hence, these were the basic details about mold. Knowing these facts can prevent you from encountering unwanted harms.