Mold or mildew which is sometimes referred to as toxic mold or black mold is a specific type of fungus which usually grows on surfaces in the form of a downy or powdery substance. This fungus thrives in humid and damp environments that do not get a sufficient amount of exposure to light. This mold grows on walls, food, carpets, clothing, furniture and just about any other surface. In some cases mold is visible but in other cases it is growing in places that are out of sight such as in the ceiling, under the floorboards or between the walls. In addition, mold may grow inside of air conditioning equipment. Black mold is very dangerous and can lead to a number of undesirable health issues. Conditions can become favorable for mold in a situations such as the occurrence of a leak, causing moisture to build up in one particular area.
How Do You Know You Have Mold?
If there is an area in your home such as any of the ceilings or walls that show evident signs of water damage, there’s an excellent chance that there is mold growing in those areas. If you notice a fuzzy black downy type coating on any of the surfaces in your home, this is usually mold. In addition, mold is most often associated with a damp and musty odor. Rooms which contain mold almost always have that telltale smell that you cannot seem to get rid of no matter what you do. If you suspect that there is mold located anywhere in your home, it is important to find out whether or not your suspicions are confirmed. This may entail calling in a professional service that is trained and skilled in dealing with locating and removing mold.
Poisoning From Mold
One of the most prominent symptoms that there may be mold in your home is the occurrence of a family member becoming ill due to VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which are formed by mold spores. This poisoning is referred to as black mold poisoning. VOCs are extremely dangerous to humans as they affect the nervous system as well as the respiratory system. If a person is exposed to high levels of volatile organic compounds which have been formed by mold, that person can become quite ill. Some of the main symptoms of mold poisoning are labored breathing, chronic coughs, red and irritated eyes, rashes, hives, nausea, asthma, itchy runny nose, as well as bleeding in the lungs. Other side effects of mold poisoning are memory loss, lethargy, dizziness and a lack of concentration. In addition, there are other, much more serious side effects of mold poisoning that may be permanent and even life-threatening. Mold poisoning can even cause infertility in a person who has been exposed to it for long periods of time.
How Can I Prevent Mold in My Home?
The best way to prevent mold from growing in your home is to be sure that you tend to any sort of leaks, condensation issues or any other situations which may cause moisture to build up in your home. The situation should not be left unattended for long periods of time. For example, if you have a leak in your ceiling, do not procrastinate when it comes to having it repaired. There are also moisture control products can be purchased and placed strategically around your house. These are disposable and the best place for them in closets, attics, HVAC systems and any place else that moisture may gather. The way these products work is that you place them in a particular spot and then dispose of them and replace them when they fill with water. It is also a good idea to fix any leaky faucets which may constantly drip water which could seep down into your walls. If you have ceramic tiles installed anywhere in your house, such as on the walls in your kitchen or bathroom or on your floor, you want to be sure that they are grouted and sealed properly as moisture can build up underneath them.
What If I Am Renting and I Have Mold?
If you are renting a house or apartment and you notice that there is mold anywhere within your home, you will want to contact your landlord immediately and make him or her aware of the problem. Your landlord has a responsibility to act right away if there is mold located anywhere on the premises. If your landlord does not take care of the problem in a timely manner, you are well within your rights to contact the health inspector. It is against the law for any person to knowingly rent or lease any structure which is known to contain black mold. Further, you cannot legally be held responsible for any of the costs involved in clearing the mold from the dwelling. In some cases, mold becomes so out of control that the only thing you can do is move. If this should happen to you and you are renting, you may want to ask your landlord for some compensation or help with the expenses involved in relocating.
Mold is a serious health concern and thousands of people become seriously ill every year as a result. Some of the symptoms of mold poisoning may begin quite subtly at first. However, over time the symptoms will worsen until the person suffering from mold poisoning is forced to seek medical attention. Mold poisoning is not something to be taken lightly and can have dire consequences, as well as lead to chronic or even terminal illnesses. If you are unsure whether or not there is mold anywhere in your home, it may be a good idea to call a service which specializes in locating mold and have your home thoroughly checked.