Mold facts

All you need to know about mold

Of all the common household issues, mold is one of the better known and is among those with the more serious potential health complications. Most of us have either encountered this problem or know someone who has. Not all household mold is the same or has the same risks, and a general understanding can help you make a plan of action for its removal.

Molds are a group of fungi, which tend to thrive in moist places. They can grow and spread across various surfaces from food to inside walls and can often be identified visually by noticeable growth or discoloration of a surface, with different molds having different colors and appearances. However, mold is not always easy to see, especially if it occurs in a hidden area, such as behind walls, or in less trafficked areas of the home. In these cases, smell may be the initial indicator. Molds typically have an unpleasant “musty” smell that can range from barely noticeable to overwhelming. Generally, if there is a moisture problem in the home, a mold problem could develop.

Species of mold vary both in appearance as well as in the effects they can have on health. Generally, any health effects are caused by the spores of the mold, which are readily inhaled. While mold spores are found naturally in the air outdoors, it is less concentrated in open air than it is indoors, and therefore is less able to cause adverse effects. Aspergillus molds are most likely to grow on food items and sometimes on leather or cloth. These species can range in color from blue-green or yellowish to black or gray and, in many cases, are less harmful. However, this mold’s risk increases substantially in those who are allergic or have compromised immune systems and can create problems from sinus infections to lung damage and sepsis.

Another common household mold is Cladosporium, which often has a “peppery” appearance and is primarily green or black in color. It is most common around plumbing fixtures, in air ducts, and on painted materials. Cladosporium does not often cause serious health complications, but it can cause annoying allergic reactions, such as eye, nose, and throat irritation and is unpleasant in appearance.

The highest mold risk is typically found when dealing with black mold, Stachybotrys chartarum. Black mold can grow in flooring or carpet as well as within walls attached to drywall or insulation. Inhalation of this mold’s spores can cause symptoms that range from unpleasant to dangerous for people and pets. Severe, chronic allergy symptoms like eye and sinus irritation, sneezing, coughing, and rashes are all possible as well as more serious respiratory distress. Black mold can also cause chronic fatigue and reoccurring headaches. If one continues to be exposed to this toxic substance, vomiting and bleeding in lung and nose tissues can develop.

It is vital to proceed with mold removal as soon as possible to avoid adverse effects on the household. These fungi can be difficult to remove, and professionals are often necessary to fully remedy the problem. Many surfaces can be cleared of mold using cleaning solutions and scrubbing, and some infested items, such as moldy carpeting, must be removed. However, mold remediation often requires more than simply removing visually noticeable growth from the home. Spores in the air can cause new growth on surfaces within the home and may need to be removed using High Efficiency Particulate Air, HEPA, air scrubbers and exchanges. Along with dealing directly with mold and its spores, proper mold remediation will include resolution of issues causing overly moist conditions within the home. These can include damage like plumbing or roof leaks as well as simply living in a high-humidity climate. Any such leaks should be repaired and, in cases of high humidity, a dehumidifier installed to help prevent mold problems from reoccurring.

Does mold affect your home value

Mold in a home does not have to ruin a sale! But it can negatively affect the property value if the problem isn’t handled correctly and timely. Part of the negative affect on property value is over all perception.

As a home seller, you cannot afford to mess around with mold growth. You can deal with mold in a responsible way that should help you sell your home for a fair price, and clear you of any liability should the mold return after the sale – but you must deal with the problem directly. There are not many things that will scare a home buyer away from your property than faster than mold!

Everyone is familiar with common household mold, the fungi that pops up in all kinds of moist environments. It grows on food left too long in the fridge, for instance. Unfortunately for homeowners, it also grows in attics, bathrooms, basements and virtually any moist surface around your home. If you see black spots developing on a wall in a poorly ventilated room, for example, you are probably noticing the beginning stages of a mold problem and should contact professional as Prime mold removal right away.