Most everyone has heard of mold before. The question is, what is mold and is it really harmful? With these two questions answered, you may be able to help prevent mold growth in your home and keep your home safe from mold growth.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a part of the fungi family. It grows indoors and outdoors. Mold, despite the negative connotation associated with it, has a purpose. They play an important role in breaking down material in the outdoors such as dead leaves. Mold has also been used in very common products such as medicine (for instance in penicillin) and in foods (like cheese). So mold isn’t all bad when found in great amounts in the wrong places it can be harmful.
How does mold travel?
Mold travels as mold spores through the air. They can’t be seen by the naked eye so they are all around us but we don’t realize it. These mold spores land where there is a good environment to grow, ideally a moist, dark, and warm environment. The way that mold travels allows it to not only find good growing ground in the outdoors but also the indoors. In particularly humid areas, like Monmouth County and Ocean County, New Jersey, there may be more mold growth than you would see in a dry geographic area.
What is the danger of mold?
So if you do have mold growth in your house, what is the danger of it? Exposure to mold can cause a variety of symptoms such as a sore throat, a cough, sneezing, eye irritation, and in some cases skin irritation. In individuals with underlying health conditions such as asthma, these symptoms may be worse or cause some harm to their respiratory track.
Children, elderly, and those with underlying health conditions are generally more sensitive to mold. The type of mold will make a difference on how severe the danger is. For instance black mold, known as toxic mold, can cause more severe symptoms because of the toxic byproduct that it releases. This byproduct, when inhaled by people or pets, can cause some health issues.
The other danger of mold is the damage that it can cause. Because mold feeds on the material it is growing on, mold can cause permanent damage to your home.
How do I know if I have mold in my house?
There are a couple different ways you are able to know if you have mold growth in your house. Sight and smell or two of the best ways to know if you have mold. Mold will usually present itself by smell before you actually visually see it. The smell is usually a wet, musty smell. If you begin to detect this sort of smell in your home, be on the lookout for mold growth.
Over time, you will be able to see the mold. Depending on the kind it may look differently but commonly you will see dark green or black spots. As well you can keep an eye out for grout between tiles turning a darker color, discoloration of the carpet, dark spots appearing on the wall, or peeling wallpaper. These may be signs that you have mold growth as well. Find out more information about mold growth in your home from the EPA website.
Mold growth is common inside homes and buildings and though it’s important not to ignore it, it isn’t something you need to panic over. When you are able to identify the mold and where it is growing in a timely manner, you can get the mold remediation process underway. Do not wait for mold damage to completely take over your home.