The growth of mold and mildew in a structure is a problem for buildings of all kinds, despite their age or the environment in which they’re situated. It would be a mistake to assume that only older buildings can suffer from heavy mold growth, or that structures in dry, arid climates are safe. In fact, mold can be found in both residential and commercial buildings anywhere in the world.
What Factors Contribute To Mold Growth?
There are many different factors that can contribute to the proliferation of mold, including catastrophic events like floods, environmental contributors like heavy rainfall or humidity, interior plumbing problems, faulty construction or maintenance (e.g. a leaky roof), and so forth. Another mistake that many people make when it comes to mold is in assuming that they would notice if the problem were present.
How Can You Recognize Mold Growth?
Sometimes mold growth is extremely obvious: It can be visible to the naked eye, or a musty odor might permeate the building. However, in many cases mold may be termed a “silent killer.” You may not even realize you have a mold problem until physical symptoms like allergic reactions, skin irritation, infection or more serious respiratory complications begin to manifest themselves. For this reason, your best course of action is to schedule a regular mold inspection for your home, office or other property. Given the number of toxic molds that are capable of growing in a building, a thorough mold inspection conducted by a qualified mold remediation professional could even save your life.
How Do You Identify A Harmless Mold?
Molds come in many different forms and colors, and some have a much greater potential for harm than others. The problem is, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to tell the harmless mold from the lethal mold if you lack the experience and training necessary to differentiate them. Some molds may do little more than look unsightly or smell unpleasant. However, left unchecked, all molds pose a potential structural hazard for the building over time. Molds reproduce via spores, which travel through the air and can attach and proliferate on any surface. This means that a small, relatively contained mold problem in the basement could quickly spread throughout the home and begin to compromise the health of the building.
A total house renovation due to mold damage can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take months or even years to complete. A much more cost-effective solution is to catch the problem before it begins with a careful mold inspection. Removing a little bit of mold is a simple process; contending with a houseful of it is not!
In addition to the negative effects on the building itself, there are types of mold that can be hazardous to your health. The most lethal type of mold is referred to as “black mold.” Black mold, of the genius Stachybotrys, is a slimy, green-black growth that feeds off of cellulose and releases poisonous organic compounds called mycotoxins into the air as it digests the material. These mycotoxins, when inhaled or ingested by people and animals, can cause headaches, vision problems, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory complications and even death. Children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems such as cancer or AIDS patients are particularly susceptible to the dangers of black mold.
If there is any chance that your home has recently been exposed to excessive moisture or if you haven’t had a mold removal specialist check the structure for mold recently, you would do well to schedule a mold inspection with an experienced company like Alladin Restoration. Mold inspection can do more than simply spare your home from mold – it could actually save your life.
Contributed by our friends at Alladin Restoration, a Mold Remediation specialist.