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Types of Mold You Should Know About

[ 0 ] January 28, 2010

For most of us it’s important that we keep our homes as clean as possible and that includes keeping it free from mold. Yet as easy as that may sound, there are literally millions of types of mold in and around your home every day. And while some molds are not harmful, there are some, which can cause a variety of health issues.

Here are the most common molds, which can generally be found in your home:

Types of Mold

Aspergillus is actually the most common species when it comes to mold (fungus). There are over 150 different types of Aspergillus molds with sixteen of those species having known to cause humans illnes. The fungus is often found in decomposing organic materials and contaminated foods and can cause severe allergic reactions in humans almost immediately.

Caldosporium is a fungus that is found on decaying plants, woody plants, food, straw, soil and paint. There are over 30 species of Caldosporium with the most common causing skin lesions, nail fungus, sinusitis and asthma.  And in several studies, chronic exposure to the fungus has been known to lead to pulmonary emphysema.

Fusarium is a fungus that is commonly found in soil and on plants. The fungus can also be found in humidifiers and carpets that have been water damaged. Human contact with Fusarium can result in eye, skin and nail infections, but can also product hemorrhagic syndrome in severe cases.  

Mycotoxins are actually a byproduct used by the fungi inside of our bodies, which in return can cause cold and flu type symptoms, sore throats, nosebleeds, headaches and fatigue. Some molds that have been known to produce mycotoxins are black mold (also known as stachybotrys) and Aspergillus.

Penicillium is a green or blue fungus found in soil, food, cellulose, paint, wallpaper and decaying vegetation. The fungus can cause hypersensitivity, asthma and severe allergic reactions in some people. Penicullium also has several species and has been used to make certain cheeses and penicillin. However, it can also cause kidney and liver damage in some people since it does have the ability to produce mycotoxins.

Stachybotrys is a fungus, which thrives on water damage and moisture ridden surfaces such as drywall, shower tiles, wallpaper and carpeting. Stachybotrys also know as black mold effects more households than many people realize.

If a leaking pipe or leaky roof has gone unnoticed, chances are that area will have Stachybotrys growth. The fungus is generally black and slimy in appearance and can cause extreme health illnesses to both humans and pets when it is left untreated.

Exposure to this toxic fungi can cause dermatitis, chronic pain, coughing, respiratory infections, migraines, dizziness, nose bleeds, fever, cold and flu like symptoms and even death in small children and pets.

Of all of these types of mold, they should all be handled with extreme care regardless of the situation or species. Removing mold from your home not only allow for a cleaner environment, it also gives you a peace of mind against unnecessary health risks.

Dealing with Water Damage Mold

[ 0 ] January 28, 2010

Water Damage Mold

Life happens. Water damage mold can happen wherever you live or work despite your best efforts. Pipes rupture, basements develop water leaks, high humidity and poor ventilation in a bathroom can cause black mold to grow right under your nose.

Storms or aging from the passing of time can cause a roof to let inclement weather into your attic. The water trickles or in some cases pours down onto your ceiling and before you know it, you not only have an unsightly problem, if you don’t take care of it fast, you can end up with health concerns as well.

Though obviously water damage mold is caused by water, the mold itself is actually a fungus that loves to live in wet or damp places in your home or office building. The problem with this type of mold is that it is a dangerous health hazard, especially in young children with any type of respiratory illness or condition such as asthma.

If the mold would sit still and simply be a cosmetic annoyance that would be one thing, but unfortunately, mold lets spores go into the air where you live and work. When these spores from the mold are released into the air, like seeds from a plant, they land in a new spot and if that spot is conducive to mold growth (damp or wet), then the mold begins there as well.

One area where I’ve seen water damage mold in many homes, especially older ones, is around the bottom of windows at the windowsill or on the actually window frame itself. This type of  mold is mainly caused by condensation though poor installation can play a small part.

When dealing with water damage mold, you have to figure out how it got where it’s living. If you see black mold on an interior wall in a two story home, there’s a good chance you could have a leaky pipe from an upstairs bathroom hidden behind the drywall and you’re going to have to do some digging to get to it.

For a mold problem that’s not widespread, you can eliminate it yourself once you’ve located and repaired the leak. For larger areas of stubborn, removal resistant  mold, leave it alone. You’ll want to contact a mold removal company knowledgeable to take it out. They’ll know how to best deal with water damage mold so that your home is safer to live in.

With small patches of black mold, make sure you cover your mouth and nose to keep from getting the spores into your lungs. Be sure and protect your skin as well with the proper clothing.

Once you’re covered, the first step you take is to start cleaning the black mold with water and whatever detergent you use to wash your household laundry with. After cleaning the water damage mold with this mixture, next clean it again with bleach and water.

That should take care of any water damage mold you’ve encountered, but if it doesn’t and you see the mold reappear, get help.

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