Lots of things can happen to your home, and that means a lot of upkeep to maintain your home in pristine condition. You may need to make small repairs in your home throughout time but it’s the big repairs that people fear.
One of these big repairs that most homeowners fear is the growth of mold in their home. Mold can become a costly repair because of the potential of growth of the mold if it is not caught early.
Did you know that mold spores can germinate after only 12 hours in some conditions and some grow in 24 to 48 hours?
Mold in your home, especially black mold (also called Stachybotrys) is something to take very seriously. Having knowledge of the effects of black mold and the health effects it can have on you, can help you become better prepared in defense against black mold in your home.
Mold vs Mildew
Mold and mildew, have many similarities that it can make it hard to distinguish the two from each other. They both thrive in moist, warm areas where they can sprout their homes, as well as both grown on a multitude of surfaces, anywhere from food to your shower. Most importantly, these two things are both fungi culprits in your home that makes your life a little harder.
Mildew is considered a surface fungi that can be easily recognized as a piece of gray or white fungus that is lying on the area of a moist environment. Essentially, mildew can be described as a specific type of mold, that over time can turn black or brown. This type of fungi usually affects plants and crops, but nonetheless, it can affect your indoor area as well. When it develops indoors it can pose a health risk when inhaled, such as causing coughing, headaches, sore throat, and respiratory problems.
Mold is a very different creature than mildew, especially due to its complexity. Mold contains multiple identical nuclei and grows in the form of green or black patches which penetrates beneath the surface of the area it has contaminated. The key characteristics of mold can be it’s fuzzy or slimy appearance and its irregular shaped spots that can vary in color from blue, green, yellow, brown, black and even white. The effect of mold on your home can be quite extreme creating structural damage to the affected area, especially if it has been untreated for a considerable amount of time. As well as create harmful health effects on those exposed to the toxic mold, like homeowners living in the home.
How Dangerous is Black Mold?
A common misconception about black mold is not all black mold is toxic. But that doesn’t mean black mold still isn’t toxic for our environment and ourselves. There are many thousands of different species of this fungi worldwide and at least a thousand different species found in the United States alone.
Black mold or Stachybotrys Astra (also known as Stachybotrys Chartarum) is a species of toxic mold that is one of the most feared types of mold. Black mold can be quite dangerous, especially to those in the same environment like homeowners and pets. A good indicator of black mold is its appearance, which will appear slimy and features a dark greenish-black color.
The truly dangerous aspect to black mold is the mycotoxins that are released from this particular mold. Mycotoxins are carried on the spores of the toxic black mold and found throughout the whole mold colony present. People with black mold in their homes are mostly exposed to mycotoxins through breathing them in. This can lead to toxic symptoms and health problems for those exposed to this form of mold.
Black Mold Health Effects
“It is estimated that indoor air pollutants, including mold and mycotoxins, may be contributing to more than 50% of patients illnesses,” says Dr. Jill, a functional medicine expert. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), they state that, “Mold exposure does not always present a health problem indoors, and that some are just sensitive to mold”.
Molds can create a number of harmful substances into our air that can be harmful. Some of these harmful substances include allergens, irritants, and mycotoxins. The EPA has even stated that exposures to molds can irritate the eyes, lungs, nose, skin, and throats of those in the same environment as the mold.
Black Mold Exposure Symptoms
Symptoms from black mold exposure include;
- Fatigue and weakness
- Headache, light sensitivity
- Poor memory, difficult word finding
- Difficulty concentration
- Morning stiffness, joint pain
- Unusual skin sensations, tingling, and numbness
- Shortness of breath, sinus congestion, or chronic cough
- Appetite swings, body temperature regulation
- Increased urinary frequency or increased thirst
- Red eyes, blurred vision, sweats, mood swings, sharp pains
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating
- Tearing, disorientation, metallic taste in mouth
- Static shocks
- Vertigo, feeling lightheaded
Effective Ways to Mitigate Mold in Your Home
The first steps to take when trying to mitigate mold in your home is to identify the source of moisture that’s feeding it, this could be anything from a pipe, your roof, a foundation leak, or even condensation from an appliance. It is critical to stop any leaks and try to remove the moisture from the area to prevent further growth.
Next, protect the possible culprits of potential airway flow. Try to seal off the room of the contamination by closing doors, cover air vents, doorways, and any area where our air can escape. Lightly spray the mold with water to limit the spores that can become airborne when you spray it and you use a scrubber with soapy water to scrub off the mold.
Don’t think that you, yourself can mitigate your mold issue. This is where the professionals come in. It is important to have the job completed properly by mold mitigation specialists. However, after this process is completed there are lingering toxins that can get left behind that harbor in your air. For these residual toxins in your home’s air, you need to have an air filtration system to remove and destroy the toxins.
The EnviroKlenz Mobile UV Model is a mobile air filtration system that combines our advanced EnviroKlenz technology for toxic chemicals and odor removal with a certified HEPA filtration that removes harmful dust, particulate, allergens, pet dander, and mold at a 99.99 percent efficiency. We use this technology combined with a high dose UV lamps that work to attack airborne viruses and smaller bacteria, such as mold. The placement of the lamps keep the filter free from the growth of bacteria, and as the bacteria are collected on the HEPA it gets destroyed over time.
Removing the toxins lingering in your air from mold can be very difficult but it is a necessary step to prevent health effects related to mold exposure. Taking the necessary steps to protect yourself and your home from mold will benefit you in the long run and help you to maintain good health.
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