What is Mold and Where Is It Found?
Molds are microscopic organisms that produce spores and are found virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Mold can be found on plants, foods, dry leaves, and other organic material. Also susceptible to mold growth are cellulose materials, such as, cardboard, paper, ceiling tiles, and sheet rock. Mold spores are easily detached and made airborne by vacuuming, walking on a carpet or sitting on a couch. In indoor environments, mold can grow in air conditioning ducts, carpets, pots of houseplants, etc.
Below is a list of some signs and causes of mold growth in a home:
⦁ Discoloration or black mold on baseboards, wallboards, or wallpaper.
⦁ Cracks in shower tile, lack of caulking, loose toilet seal, leaks under sink.
⦁ Carpet and padding in direct contact with concrete slab.
⦁ Poorly maintained or dirty air conditioning/heating vents and filters.
⦁ Damp basement or crawl space.
⦁ Water penetration (water marks on walls, mold spots on walls).
⦁ Musty/moldy odor.
How Can Mold Affect Your Health?
Exposure to mold is not healthy for anyone but the following individuals are at a higher risk for adverse health effects: infants, children, elderly, immune compromised patients, pregnant women, and individuals with existing respiratory conditions. When inhaled, even in small amounts, mold can cause a wide range of health problems including respiratory problems (wheezing), nasal and sinus congestion, watery and red eyes, nose and throat irritation, skin irritation, aches and pains, fevers, asthma, emphysema and in some cases even death.