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Useful Information

Mold Information

Awareness

  • Mold plays an important role in our ecosystem. Mold breaks down dead organic matter such as fallen trees and leaves.
  • Mold produces tiny spores to reproduce. Spores travel through the air and outdoors continually. When these spores land on a damp surface they begin growing and eating the surface on which they lie.
  • Mold growth on a surface can often be seen as a colored spot, commonly green, brown, black or white. It often is fuzzy, powdery or hairy in appearance.
  • Actively growing mold produces an odor often described as earthy, or musty.
  • It is impossible to get rid of all mold indoors. You can prevent damage to your health and your home by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.
  • Musty odors are an indication of hidden mold. Possible locations of hidden mold include the backside of wallpaper, the topside of ceiling tiles, the backside of drywall and inside ductwork.
  • There are products available which can kill mold organisms. However, since mold can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, it is not enough to just kill the mold, it must also be removed and the water source that is causing it eliminated.

Health Effects

  • Mold can trigger an allergy, asthma or sinus problem.
  • Other symptoms specific to molds include: respiratory problems, nasal and sinus congestion, burning or watery eyes, dry cough, blurry vision, headaches, shortness of breath, memory problems, mood changes and fever.
  • Contact with certain types of mold can produce infections including jock itch, athlete’s foot, ringworm and other forms of infection of the nails, hair, skin and mucous membranes.
  • Who is at greatest risk?
  • Young children and infants are particularly susceptible to the effects of mold.
  • Individuals with a weakened immune system such as individuals with HIV/AIDS, cancer chemotherapy patients, post surgery patients, individuals using steroids and persons with an existing respiratory condition are also susceptible.

Solutions

  • Test the area of concern.
  • The best solution to control mold growth is to control the moisture source.
  • If you have health concerns, consult your physician.
  • Reduce indoor humidity to less than 60%.
  • Make sure the bathroom, dryer, and other moisture-generating sources are vented to the outside.
  • Dry any water intrusion within 24-48 hours to help prevent any mold growth.
  • Visible mold less than 10 square feet that occurs on a hard surface can be removed with a 10-1 water and bleach solution.
  • Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners in hot humid conditions.
  • Promote air circulation in your home. Open doors, and do not cover vents.
  • Raise the temperature of cold surfaces. Have your home properly insulated to prevent condensation.
  • Pay close attention to carpets on concrete floors. Carpets can collect moisture and promote mold growth.

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