Hidden Mold Dangers Exposure and More
Hidden mold dangers and your exposure to mold is more common than you may realize. Most people don’t like to talk about the hidden mold dangers in their own homes when out socializing. However, when exposure is so extreme that the effects can’t be hidden, they usually will talk openly about it. So, what is hidden mold? It’s the mold we can’t see. It’s the mold growing behind walls, under flooring, behind base trim, airborne mold, and more. The only way to test for mold you can’t see is by air quality testing.
We once believed that viruses were the leading cause of health problems in the US. However, now we know that mold and fungi are the leading cause of health related issues within our own homes and work places. This information has lead the public to seek direct information about air quality testing and the safety of the air in their own homes.
Hidden Mold Dangers – Which Ones Are Harmful?
There are over two hundred known molds that cause health related problems in humans and animals because they are in the toxic mold family. The most harmful of all molds is Stachybotrys, also known as “black mold”. While Stachybotrys is the most dangerous mold known, many other molds can cause serious health problems. Therefore, hidden mold dangers are always a cause for concern.
Mold is everywhere we go, inside and out. It is the levels of mold that you are being exposed to that should concern you. We can all tolerate a certain amount of mold exposure in very, very low levels. It is when levels get really high that we start see the ill health effects.
Hidden Mold Dangers – Causes and Symptoms
Mold is brought in with us from outdoors. Mold will not increase in spore count unless it is introduced to humidity or water. If your home or work place is too humid or is affected by water damage, it will cause mold to multiply. When you see mold growth, the problem is huge. Just remember, mold spores are invisible to the naked eye individually. So, when you see it, that means there are millions of spores multiplying. And no, they don’t grow bigger is size, they increase in numbers. It only takes 24 hours for mold to start growing after water damage.
Some of the symptoms you may experience can include runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, nose bleeds, sinusitis, asthma, infections, hair loss, eczema, and rashes. On the more serious end you can develop lung problems, blood infections, cancer and die from mold exposure.
A new study shows that 1 in 12 Americans have asthma. Many doctors believe this to be partially due to mold exposure in the persons own home.
Hidden Mold Dangers – Testing for Mold
Any time you suspect you are being exposed to mold or you have a concern about mold, you should have an air quality test. Air quality testing is the only way to determine if you are truly being exposed to airborne molds, what type of mold, the level of molds and more. The DIY petri dish in ineffective in telling you if you are being exposed to high levels of dangerous molds. Yes, the dish will grow mold. It will grow mold in the cleanest home that has no air quality issue at all. That’s because we all have mold in our homes. It is effective if you just want to know what type of molds you have. However, if you want to know if you are truly being exposed to dangerous levels of mold, air quality testing is currently the only way to determine that.
Mold Prevention Tips
- Keep it dry – Use a dehumidifier in damp areas such as basements. Change the water often or purchase an auto emptying type. Repair any water damaged areas as quickly as possible.
- HVAC – Keep your HVAC in circulation. This helps to improve the air movement around your home. Your HVAC system works as a dehumidifier. Clean your filters as directed by the manufacturer.
- Clean it up – Clean gutters twice a year to prevent build up, which can cause water damage. During the winter, remove ice dams to prevent water damage.
- Check it out – Look for hidden mold in your home every few months. Look in cabinets with plumbing, behind refrigerators, laundry rooms, and garages.
- Crawlspaces – Make sure your ground barrier is not damaged and your insulation is securely in place at all times.
- Exterior of property – Make sure the ground slopes away from your property for proper drainage. If the ground slopes towards your foundation, this will cause water to flow toward your home instead of away from. Water intrusion will eventually cause mold.
For more information about mold, visit EPA.gov.