We’ve all heard horror stories of families having to abandon their houses because of a mold infestation. Fortunately, these are rare occurrences. But for those people allergic to mold, even small outbreaks of it can cause problems. Maybe you’ve noticed mold growing on your bathroom ceiling, or perhaps your basement has a musty smell. Recognizing the signs of mold and knowing how to deal with it will help keep you and your family healthy.
Keeping your home free of mold is important because of the health risks associatedwith mold. Several different types of mold exist, and they all produce allergens, irritants and sometimes toxic substances called mycotoxins. If people who are sensitive to mold touch or inhale its spores, they can have an allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions can be anything from sneezing, skin rashes, coughing, red eyes and runny noses to lung problems, including asthma attacks. Even those who aren’t allergic to mold can still experience these symptoms. Prolonged exposure makes the health problems worse.
The key to controlling mold, as any mold remediation expert will tell you, is moisture control. You must get rid of the moisture that is allowing the mold to grow. Identifying the cause can sometimes be tricky, so this if definitely a job for the experts. Once the moisture problem has been solved, you must kill the mold that is present with a biocide and then remove any contaminated materials. For example if mold has infiltrated a section of drywall, after you have killed the mold, you need to cut out that part and replace it. You may also need to throw out shower curtains, carpets, fabrics and mats that have been contaminated with mold. This is necessary because even dead mold contains the chemicals and proteins which are the allergens that cause sickness.
If your mold problem is in a large area like a basement, it is important that you let trained experts handle it. Mold remediation companies will be extremely careful during the basement mold removal process. They will isolate that part of the home to minimize contaminating other areas of the house with airborne mold particles.
Homeowners can be proactive to help prevent problems from starting. For example, install exhaust fans in bathrooms and make sure these fans and the clothes dryer are vented to the outside, not underneath your home. Repair leaky water pipes and insulate them. Run a dehumidifier in damp rooms of your house and don’t install carpet in a constantly moist room.
If you suspect you have a mold problem, but aren’t sure, have an expert come in to conduct mold testing. This will give you a definitive answer on how you should proceed to protect the health of you and your family.