Mold spores are abundant in the natural environment. Outdoors, the spores are helpful. Indoor mold, however, poses a serious health risk to a building’s occupants. Mold is a nuisance, since it adversely affects the health of people in various ways.
The total number of mold species is inconclusive. However, experts estimate that at least 100,000 diverse species of mold exist. As a type of fungus, mold spores replicate profusely wherever environmental conditions are ideal. When growth occurs indoors, a mold problem manifests.
What are conditions for mold growth?
Mold grows wherever the spores have access to nutrient sources. A constant moisture source, warmth and an organic food source are all that mold spores require to thrive. Mold feeds on porous materials, like wood, drywall, paper and fabric, and nonporous surfaces, like glass and plastic.
What are the various types of mold spores?
Outdoor mold is helpful, as the spores eat away at decaying materials, such as dead leaves and fallen trees. Alternaria is a common outdoor mold that is often associated with severe asthma in people with mold allergies. Cladosporium is another type of airborne outdoor mold.
While Alternaria and Cladosporium are found outdoors, these types of molds have the ability to flourish indoors, too. Cladosporium, for instance, makes it home in fabrics and wood surfaces. Alternaria prefers damp locales, such as underneath leaky sinks and inside bathrooms.
Certain mold species favor indoor environments. Aspergillus, a common indoor and outdoor mold, is known to cause allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. This condition causes the lungs to have a severe reaction, often resulting in bronchiectasis (severe widening of the lung’s bronchi).
Aspergillus prefers to grow on dust, various food products with a powdery texture and building materials. Penicillium is another indoor mold that grows on damp building materials—these materials are often the product of unaddressed or hidden interior water damage.
Mold can be readily identified by its visual appearance. Depending on the type of mold, the spores take the form of velvety, fuzzy or rough patches. The growth resembles stains or discolorations. Mold colors are varied, too, and include white, black, yellow, blue, and green.
What health problems are triggered by mold?
A building’s occupants may exhibit a range of symptoms that can be traced back to an ongoing mold infestation. If the mold is concealed behind the building walls, people may display symptoms before seeing the mold growth. Health problems are bound to occur wherever mold thrives.
Some people are more vulnerable to experiencing symptoms triggered by mold exposure than others. These individuals often suffer from allergies, respiratory issues, or a weakened immune system. Mold can also trigger an inflammatory response, which increases the risk of fungal or bronchial infections.
Breathing problems are likely to surface in people with prolonged exposure to mold growth. Dust particles in the air increase as the mold breaks down materials. These miniscule particles irritate the nose, lungs, and throat, especially in people with existing asthma or a chronic lung condition.
Mold spores also produce allergens and mycotoxins. In sensitive people, the mycotoxins can be toxic. People with allergies or sensitivity to mold spores may respond with allergylike symptoms, such as hay fever or the common symptoms that accompany seasonal allergies.
Individuals who are sensitive to mold may experience a range of symptoms when exposed to mold. These symptoms include runny nose, itchy nose and throat, watery eyes, and sneezing. When people suffer from both a mold allergy and asthma, mold exposure can trigger an asthma attack.
Aspergillosis is a condition caused by exposure to the Aspergillus mold type. People may experience severe health problem known as Aspergillosis, especially when they suffer from lung disease or a weakened immune system. A few different variations of Aspergillosis exist.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis causes breathing problems, since it affects the lungs. Allergic aspergillus sinusitis causes headaches and affects the nose. Aspergilloma can result in individuals coughing up blood and breathing problems. Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis leads to breathing difficulties and unintentional weight loss.
People who spend significant time in buildings in which mold is present can experience uncomfortable symptoms, such as wheezing, fatigue, nausea, headache, and skin or eye irritation. Additional health problems may arise, including insomnia, mucous membrane irritation, and sick-building syndrome.
While some people can inhale mold spores without experiencing serious health problems, sensitive individuals and those with underlying respiratory conditions are more prone to the aforementioned issues. Plus, the severity of reactions depends on the level of mold in the property.
How do property owners control mold?
The evidence of health issues caused by mold is plentiful. The most effective way to prevent health problems is to control the level of indoor mold. Reducing the amount of excess moisture in the home is critical to depleting the nourishment mold spores require to thrive.
Cleaning the property and keeping it well-ventilated are additional steps to thwarting a mold infestation. Despite efforts to prevent mold growth, the spores can invade the interior of a building. When mold is present, consult the mold removal professionals at ServiceMaster Disaster Associates.
Our experienced mold cleanup crews promptly arrive at your home or business and assess the extent of mold growth and damaged materials. We isolate the affected areas to prevent airborne spores from contaminating other parts of the property. Our advanced equipment eliminates all mold growth.
Contact Us Today For Your Mold Removal Needs
ServiceMaster Disaster Associates technicians clean up all visible and hidden mold infestations. Concealed growth may occur behind walls, underneath wallpaper, or in inaccessible areas underneath pipes. Our specialists remove mold odors using the latest deodorization technologies. Materials damaged by mold are either removed or restored. We are available anytime at (800) 649-6369
Home and business owners can rest assured that all traces of mold will be removed after a professional cleanup by ServiceMaster Disaster Associates. We proudly serve the residential and business communities of Stoneham, Massachusetts and Strafford County in New Hampshire. Call us for quality mold remediation services.