September is mold awareness month, and it provides the perfect opportunity to inform, educate and raise awareness about mold. When we hear the word mold we automatically think about the brown, grey, green and black spots we see around our homes and in other types of buildings, especially in areas where there are water leaks. But what exactly is mold and why is it considered to be so dangerous?
What is Mold?
Mold is actually a naturally occurring fungus that grows in moist areas. It is usually presented as slimy black spots, fuzzy white patches or as a slick orange film. Mold is considered dangerous because of the impact it can have on your respiratory system. Mold is known to cause irritation to your skin, eyes, and respiratory system, nausea, nosebleeds, and headaches but the side effects are much worse for those who are allergic.
How To Tell If It’s Mold?
Mold is usually visible, especially in areas of your home that get flooded often from rainfall (doors, attic, basement, roof, etc), are often exposed to moisture (bathroom, tile), or where appliances leak (behind/under a fridge, washing machine). Because they are a fungus, mold will look a bit like mushrooms or yeasts with a fuzzy sort of texture and varying colors. You may also be able to detect mold from the smell. Mold usually has a musty odor or a damp smell. Finally, you might be able to tell you have mold by changes in indoor air quality. Because mold spores are airborne, you may be able to identify its presence if you start experiencing flu-like symptoms for a prolonged period of time, you have difficulty breathing or respiratory issues, or you experience headaches.
Fun fact: There are about 1,000 species of mold in the US and over 100,000 species worldwide.
What to do if you have mold?
You can treat mold by yourself but we’d suggest getting a professional involved. If you’re a DIY type person and the mold is in a really small area, you can treat it with a solution of chlorine bleach and water. If you choose to go this route, ensure the room is well ventilated and that your eyes and hands are protected by wearing goggles and gloves.
Certain mold types are toxic and should be handled by professionals with the knowledge and right equipment to handle them. Additionally, if you have mold allergies, or a compromised respiratory system (asthma, bronchitis, etc), no matter the size of the mold, you should avoid it entirely and let the professionals at NewGen Remediation handle it.
The longer mold is left to fester, the more dangerous it becomes. If mold has reached the point where you can see and smell it, then it might’ve already penetrated your carpet/floors, drywall or other hard-to-reach areas and you’ll need a professional.
Now that you’re better informed about mold, if you ever notice mold in your home or business, be sure to call the mold remediation experts at NewGen Remediation to remove it.