Almost every home gets mold at some point or another. In wet or moist areas such as basements, bathrooms, or decks, mold may grow on drywall, grout, tiles, wood, and carpet. Mold usually takes the appearance of black spots, and is usually no more than a minor nuisance. However, it’s important to target and remove mold, as letting it accumulate and grow can mean taking a health risk.
It’s easy to remove mold using products that you likely already have around the house. But take care before disturbing a large infestation—if you have allergies, asthma, or a weak immune system, you might want to leave the job to a family member or a professional. In any case, using adequate protection is crucial.
Mold remediation is a professional service that you can use to remove a small or large mold infestation in your home or office. Remediation usually starts with an assessment of the extend of the contamination. Mold professionals may visit your home or workplace to conduct this assessment and estimate the cost of remediation. Remember that mold isn’t always concentrated in a single area. Though the goal of mold remediation is to remove mold growth within a home or office, it’s a good idea to also consider the source of the mold. Is there a water problem that is contributing to mold growth? Eliminating water sources can prevent new spores from growing and make it easier to target and remove mold in contaminated areas. Any mold-damaged furniture, material, or objects will need to be removed as well.
Mold Health Issues
Health issues caused by mold in the environment can range from asthma and allergic reactions to fungal infections. Though molds are common in both households and workplaces around the world, prolonged or excessive exposure to mold and mold spores can lead to adverse health effects. Abnormally high levels of airborne mold spores and mold can have serious consequences for humans. The following are some of the most common mold-related conditions:
- Respiratory tract problems. Flare-ups of asthma symptoms are commonly associated with high levels of mold. Though mold does not cause asthma, it can exacerbate symptoms in people who already have asthma. In addition, nose and/or throat irritation or infections, such as sinusitis or bronchitis, as well as nasal congestion and other respiratory problems can appear as a result of prolonged exposure to spores are inhaled by someone with a compromised immune system, spores may start to grow on the living tissue of the respiratory tract. This can cause additional difficulty breathing. Mold is also known to exacerbate or trigger symptoms of allergies, such as sneezing, itchy eyes, or congestion.
- Fungal infections. People who have compromised immune systems are susceptible to systematic or chronic fungal infections from mold exposure. Infections in the sinuses and digestive tract are among the most common, though lung and skin infections may also occur. Common skin infections such as tinea cruris and athlete’s foot are caused by parasitic fungi that take the form of a mold.