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How can prolonged mold exposure affect you and your house?
We have all smelled the humid, backwater smell and seen those awful spots that mold creates when it proliferates. Rainy seasons, water leaks, badly-dried floods are all perfect opportunities for this fungus to grow. Unfortunately, there’s much more to worry about than just the stench and those dark grey spots on surfaces. Mold can affect both your house and your health if you allow it to.
The consequences of unclean indoor air
Depending on the type, mold spores can cause a variety of health problems. While some individuals may not develop any reactions to mold spores, a lot of people experience symptoms ranging from relatively minor allergic responses to severe reactions and health complications that may endanger their life.
Mold spores act as allergens, which are irritants and produce potential toxins. Sensitive people might experience symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, nasal congestion, sore throat, itchy skin or red eyes. People with allergies, and especially asthma, may experience health complications so violent as to cause obstruction of the airway. These symptoms increase with exposure, notably amongst occupational settings, and workers may even develop fever or shortness of breath, which makes every task they perform harder and more exhausting. Individuals with immune suppression and underlying lung diseases have increased risk of fungal lung infections, which can be very severe under these circumstances.
One can never truly “remove mold” because mold spores are microscopic, and they are everywhere, surrounding us at every turn. They can also be carried indoors by sticking to our clothing and attached to pets’ fur. They can easily travel through open windows, doors, or even through our HVAC units, invading both indoor and outdoor spaces without prejudice. It is when moisture is introduced into the equation that mold really thrives, quickly spreading into colonies and multiplying in a variety of surfaces such as wood, ceiling tiles, paper or cardboard, as well as house materials like paint, wallpaper, carpets, upholstery and others.
In the event of a water disaster, there is always a chance for mold to develop if timely action is not taken, causing secondary damage to once unaffected areas. These cases are to be addressed very quickly and corrective actions recommended by the CDC are specific and rigorous; it’s even suggested they should be performed with personal protection equipment due to the exposure to cleaning agents.
What can be done about it?
In order to avoid health consequences, just removing the mold spots with detergents is not enough. Buildings should be checked for water damage, leaks and infiltrations, and a proper cleaning plan is to be applied thoroughly and periodically.
Household products, soap and water or a bleach solution are recommended by the CDC to deal with this issue, but this entails risks as well, in the form of allergic reactions to said products or inhaling poisonous gas produced by mixing bleaching with other cleaners. Personal protection equipment is a necessary precaution.
Humidity levels should be supervised; keeping an air flow constant inside the building and adding mold inhibitors to paints before painting, cleaning carpets and upholstery -among other actions- must be considered. These proceedings may prove to be time consuming and involve a lot of physical effort, which is why many people prefer special teams to deal with their mold issues. These are highly specialized teams that guarantee a thorough and efficient cleaning without the tiring effort of doing it yourself.
Are you thinking about contracting a mold cleaning service? Check out ProTech Flood & Water Damage services. We have over 35 years of experience in the field. Our experts will take care of all mold-affected contents and items. Walls, ceilings and floors will also be deep cleaned and we’ll provide disinfecting services to eliminate any odor. Our 24/7 response team will be happy to help, just contact us.