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Mold: Things You Should Know

Mold affects different people in different ways. Some people are more sensitive to it than others. Exposure to mold can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnThings you should know about moldesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop infections in their lungs.

There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and their spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. If mold is a problem in your home, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent future growth.

Water in your home can come from many sources. Water can enter your home by leaking or by seeping through basement floors. Showers or even cooking can add moisture to the air in your home. The amount of moisture that the air in your home can hold depends on the temperature of the air. As the temperature goes down, the air is able to hold less moisture. This is why, in cold weather, moisture condenses on cold surfaces (for example, drops of water form on the inside of a window). This moisture can encourage biological pollutants to grow.

Pay special attention to carpet on concrete floors. Carpet can absorb moisture and serve as a place for biological pollutants to grow. Use area rugs which can be taken up and washed often. In certain climates, if carpet is to be installed over a concrete floor, it may be necessary to use a vapor barrier (plastic sheeting) over the concrete and cover that with sub-flooring (insulation covered with plywood) to prevent a moisture problem.

Also of Interest  Mold, Moisture and Your Home

Moisture problems and their solutions differ from one climate to another. Here in the South it is mostly hot and wet. The use of air conditioners which cool the air too quickly may prevent the air conditioners from running long enough to remove excess moisture from the air. The types of construction and weatherization can lead to different problems and solutions.

Important points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems:

Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection. You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For about $50, some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it.

If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced. If the conditions causing the mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will recur.

If you suspect you may have a mold problem in your home, you may need a professional to take care of it for you. NEVER try to treat it yourself, as mold must be treated the correct way, or you could just enhance the problem.

It’s possible that a mold problem could be coming from your air conditioning system. We’d be happy to check your system for you to make sure it’s not creating or enhancing a mold issue in your home.

Also of Interest  Mold and Moisture in Your Home


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