Household molds are simply molds that are commonly found indoors. Indoor molds need constant a moisture and nutrient source usually from building materials to grow. It is normal for mold spores to found indoors as well as outdoors. Indoor molds can be found growing in damp places such as under the kitchen cabinet, window seals, basement, etc. Three most common molds that are found in households are: Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium.
Aspergillus is a really common household mold that is found everywhere. In homes, Aspergillus can be seen growing on damp walls. There are hundreds of species of Aspergillus known to man and out of those hundreds, possibly two are known to produce toxins that are possibly harmful to human beings. It is rare that Aspergillus is seen as a potential threat or health risk to healthy humans. It may have an effect on people that have a weak immune system possibly due to HIV or AIDS. Aspergillosis is a rare disease where Aspergillus invades and grows in the lung cavities. Being an indoor mold, Aspergillus is the most common indoor spore that can be present in an indoor setting.
Cladosporium is also a common household mold usually found abroad. It can be observed as an olive green, brown, or sometimes even black colony. Cladosporium can be found in household potted plants. Cladosporium can also be found on other indoor resources such as: damp construction materials, paints, wood, and moist insulation inside of cooling systems. As an indoor mold it is more commonly found on floors, mattresses, rugs, and damp or possibly water damaged walls. Cladosporium most times isn’t a harmful mold spore to healthy humans. Although in rare occasions it can be a risk faster to someone with an immunodeficiency. Cladosporium can cause problems for people with asthma. Skin and toenail infections are also health issues that can arise from Cladosporium.
Penicillium is another type of household mold that is commonly found. Penicillium is often found growing indoors on water damaged materials such as wallpaper, carpet, and plywood. Penicillium can generally be found growing on foodstuffs in homes that have been sitting for an extensive time period. When looking for Penicillium growth on food, it can be observed as a bluish mold growing on possibly fruit, bread, or cheese. Infections may occur in people having HIV or AIDS. In these cases, a human being may be vulnerable to having an infection of the ear, skin, or even the respiratory system. Penicilliosis is a disease usually found in patients who have HIV and also acquired an infection from Penicillium marneffei. All in all, Penicillium doesn’t pose as a risk to the typical healthy individual as an indoor mold.
No Need To Whine Over Growing Mold! Most indoor molds are not a major health risk to healthy humans.
What Can You Do About Unsightly, Smelly Mold?
How to clean up mold is a subject that anyone who has come into contact with mold is familiar with. However there are conditions that should be considered before clean up is performed. One of the first things that should be determined is who should perform the clean up.
To determine if cleanup can be performed yourself the EPA recommends that you take the size into consideration. If the area where mold is present is less than 10 square feet it is likely that the cleaning can be performed yourself. The EPA provides guidelines that should be followed if self-cleaning is to be performed. If the area is more than 10 square feet and/or has been exposed to a lot of water damage it would be wise to consult with a professional. If a professional service is chosen to perform the clean up be sure that they have experience cleaning mold. It should be noted that if the damage was caused by sewage or contaminated water the professional chosen should be experienced in cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminants.
When deciding how to clean up mold you should first make sure that all potential moisture problems are taken care of. Any leaks or water problems should be fixed immediately. All said areas should be well dried. It should be noted that in some cases even after mold is removed from an item its original appearance may not be restored. This is likely due to the mold deteriorating items as they grow.
What About Black Mold?
A small percentage of molds are harmful. Black Molds are known to produce very toxic mycotoxins. A mycotoxin is simply a toxic chemical produced by molds. These mycotoxins produced can be detrimental to the health of human beings. Molds in general can have adverse effects, but the effects of this genus are the worst known. The effects of exposure to Stachybotrys can span from an acute breathing difficulty to ultimately the death of a human being. Some initial symptoms of exposure can be: coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, irritated skin, sore throat etc. Exposure can also cause more serious health problems such as seizures, memory loss, infertility, and sometimes a miscarriage. There have also been cases where people have died due to excessive exposure.
Who Should Be Most Concerned About Mold?
Pregnant women and people with allergies, asthma, or immune deficiency issues.
SOURCE: GORDON FOX INSPECTIONS