What are molds?
Molds are microscopic organisms found virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors. There are thousands of mold species. Molds release tiny, reproductive spores that travel through the air and can be inhaled by humans and animals.
Many building materials are especially susceptible to promoting mold growth and so our living environments can readily become incubators for all types of mold and mildew. When you add a little more moisture and a place to hide, mold and mildew can take over any area very quickly.
How can mold affect me?
Exposure to mold can be a health concern for anyone but is especially troublesome for infants, children, elderly, immune compromised patients, pregnant women, and individuals with existing respiratory conditions. A wide range of health problems including wheezing, nasal and sinus congestion, watery and red eyes, nose and throat irritation, fevers, asthma, emphysema and other symptoms result from ingesting these mold spores. The cause may be mold that you cannot see.
How does mold contribute to poor indoor air quality?
Household mold is caused by excessive moisture in the home. Here are some common impacts of moisture and mold growth:
- shortness of breath
- frequent headaches
- trouble concentrating
- mood changes
- nausea and dizziness
- skin irritation
Are mold related health problems permanent?
In most cases, mold related health problems go away after the mold is removed or after the occupants leave the impacted building. It is believed, though, that the affected individuals may have a greater sensitivity to molds in the future so that later it will take exposure to lower levels of mold spores for a shorter duration of time to develop the same problems.
Can I paint over mold?
No. Remove the mold and dry the area completely before painting or caulking. Painting or caulking over existing mold will not kill it.
Can a new house have mold?
Yes. Moisture can get trapped inside new homes that are air-tight, especially if kitchen and bathroom ventilation is inadequate or absent. Also, if your carpet was laid directly on a concrete slab without a vapor barrier in between, your carpet may absorb moisture and be subject to mold growth as well.