Do you know that mold is present in every house? Knowing what causes mold in your house and the effective strategies to getting rid of them will help you protect all your consumable and non-consumable goods from being infected by molds. In addition, you are at the same time guiding yourself against life-threatening diseases that might surface as a result of mold infection. However, discovering these effective strategies could be difficult unless you understand what causes mold in a house and how molds operate in a house.
What Is Mold And How Does It Operate?
Mold is a microscopic organism (belonging to the fungi kingdom) that is capable of causing harm to human health. It consists of threadlike filaments called hyphae which causes the fungus to produce spores that travel in the air and enhance mold growth in a humid environment. More also, molds reproduce into multicellular forms and can appear in many colours such as pink, black, green, orange, purple, etc depending on where they grow. However, they often grow in damp and dark areas. As mold grows, it destroys its habitation, such as paper, wood, fabrics, furniture, toys, and consequently renders valuable properties worthless.
Types of Mold
Researchers reported that there are about 400,000 types of mold species. However, the common indoor molds are:
This fungus is found in moist places in your house, such as: around your showers, bathtubs, under leaky sinks, furnaces in attics, cracked drainage, etc. It spreads very quickly and has a dark green and brown colored appearance.
There are about 185 species of aspergillus mold that grow in indoor environments. This type of mold dominates drywalls and wherever dust or powdery food substances are.
This type of mold has a unique feature because it can grow both in cool and warm areas such as fabrics, carpets, cupboards, or wood surfaces.
This often grows in water-damaged areas which include, your mattresses, wallpaper, and others. It causes severe respiratory problems and some other health complications. Penicillium mold appears in either blue or green color.
What Are The Effects Of Mold Exposure?
Research studies show that most of the common types of molds produce mycotoxin, which is known to be a toxic substance that causes health hazards. However, the way individual body systems respond after exposure to this organism differs, but long exposure to toxic molds can cause adverse health problems in everyone. Some of these effects are:
- Chronic coughing
- Eye irritation
- Chest pain
- Irregular respiratory movement (mostly affected by asthmatic patients)
- Skin rashes
- Chronic headache
- Sore throat
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Sleeping problem etc.
How To Test For Mold Exposure
Since you’ve known the hazardous effects of mold in your house, it is imperative you test whether molds are present in your home or not, even if you are yet to feel the effects on your health. Here are easy ways to measure mold exposure:
1. Instant mode test: This device was initially developed for food industries to use in testing the hygiene level of their products. However, this device also works perfectly in detecting the number of molds in your house. After this device has been program. It changes the display color from green to purple, which indicates the presence of molds in your building that you need to eliminate.
2. Informant plus Black Mold & Fungal Allergen Detection Test Kit: These devices are used to discover the presence of specific types of mold in your house. The device is easy to operate and produces results in less than 15 minutes. However, these devices are only commercially available to detect specific molds species, such as Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys. In addition, you can hire a professional environmental health specialist to help survey your house and detect areas mold spores are likely to be hiding.
How To Prevent Mold In House
The best way to prevent mold is to be proactive rather than seeking ways to get rid of them after they have dominated your house. Here are some easy and effective proven strategies that will help you.
1. Lowing indoor humidity: One factor that enhances mold growth is high humidity which causes a slow evaporation of moisture. Since mold-like damp areas, they find comfort in spreading their spores in wet bathroom walls, leaking lumps, or humid basements, which later develop to mature mold species. Consequently, they tend to dominate your house in about 24-48 hours or less. It is, therefore, essential you ensure your home is at the right humidity level, which should be between 30-50 percent. To achieve this, reducing the moisture level in your house through the application of an effective dehumidifier might be the best and easiest option for you.
2. Usage of a functional air conditioner: The use of an air conditioning machine will not only make your home cool but will also prevent condensation, which often forms on moist surfaces. Once your air conditioner is set at the right place and switched on during a humid period, air emanating from the AC will reduce indoor moisture. As a result, the chances of mold spores developing into fully matured mold species will be prevented. However, the air conditioner can increase mold in your house if it is malfunctioning, and this happens when there is a blocked drainage tube that causes water to leak out of the machines. Consequently, molds start to breed in that area and could keep spreading if left unchecked.
3. Proper house cleaning: One of the factors that cause mold in a house is dirt. The reason is that molds love to grow in disorganized and untidy environments. To prevent this. Proper cleaning and disinfection of your in-house must be prioritized. Moreover, ensure you don’t store wet clothes in the laundry for the day, dust and vacuum your rooms, or properly dispose of spoiled food items to prevent mold growth.
4. Allow fresh air and adequate sunlight into your house by opening your room curtains and windows.
5. Replace old porous materials such as carpets, wallboards, etc.
What causes mold in your house can be traced to your indoor activities and how well you manage your indoor humidity level. Supposing you’re suffering from molds in your home. The right time to prevent the spread and get rid of the fungi is now.