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Mold Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

Posted on 3:19 pm by IRCS

What causes mold in my home?

Mold spores occur in both inside and outside environments.  The spores can enter your home through open windows, open doors, and air conditioning and heating units with outdoor intakes.  The spores can also attach to clothing items, shoes, and pets which makes it easy for them to be transferred indoors.

Mold needs certain conditions before it can grow in the home.  Some of these include:

  • A food source, such as wood or drywall
  • Darkness
  • Time (most molds can begin to grow within 24-28 hours)
  • Moisture  

Excessive moisture is the most likely cause for mold growth.  (Keep in mind these other conditions are typically always present in the home.)  Some common causes for moisture include leaking pipes, leaks in the roof or walls, poor ventilation, excessive humidity, and flooding.  If you have a constant moisture problem in your home, this could potentially lead to mold growth.  Wet materials such as paper, wood, and ceiling tiles can all support the growth of mold.  

Black Mold

There are many different types of mold.  It can come is all colors, shapes, and sizes.  Many molds are completely harmless however some types of molds can be toxic.  One of the most infamous types of mold is black mold.  It’s important to remember that not all black molds are toxic.  Black mold is greenish-black in color and often looks slimy.  It can also have a musty odor, similar to mildew.  In order for black mold to grow, constant moisture is required.  This is why it’s important to correct any sort of moisture issues in a timely manner.

Black Mold Symptoms

If mycotoxins from black mold are inhaled or ingested, one could begin to experience the following symptoms or health problems.

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Coughing and/or sneezing, wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches, memory loss
  • Eye irritation
  • Skin irritation
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

If you or your family members experience any of these conditions, consult a medical clinician for diagnosis and treatment.

Mold Prevention Tips

  • Keep your home clean and dry.
  • Fix any leaks from pipes, windows, or the roof quickly.  
  • If you suffer any flooding, make sure the affected area is thoroughly dried and cleaned.  
  • Have proper ventilation in your shower, cooking, and laundry areas.  
  • Cleaning your home regularly.  
  • Control humidity levels. A dehumidifier can assist in keeping the humidity levels low.  

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