If you are in the market for a home, you most likely will hire a home inspector to ensure that the home's structure and systems are in good working order. You can, and should, make sure that the inspector looks for water damage, particularly the presence of mold and mildew. Not only does the finding of mold present a health issue, but could also be evidence of an ongoing moisture problem, which needs to be addressed. Mold can also cause damage to the home's structure, so being aware of potential problems is vital. Read on for more information on the hidden danger of mold in homes.
Health Dangers of Mold
Mold poses a definite health risk for some people who have certain sensitivities and allergies, causing a variety of symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, watery eyes and skin rashes. People with asthma are very susceptible, and exposure to mold could bring on an asthma attack.
Even people with no previous sensitivities or allergies can suffer from exposure to mold, and experience symptoms such as eye, throat, skin and lung irritation. Serious lung infections can result in people with immune disorders.
Mold comes in a variety of types, but the most dangerous type of mold is the so-called black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum. This strain of mold is the most notorious, and is responsible for the well-publicized accounts of "sick building syndrome". Stachybotryotoxicosis results from exposure to this strain of mold, and this strain seems to act as an immunosuppressant in humans and animals. Take note that issues with mold that affect humans also may affect your pets.
Mold needs moisture to grow, and many homes offer ample opportunities for mold growth. Damp bathrooms, plumbing leaks and basements, and crawl spaces that let in moisture are common areas of concern in the home. Long-term exposure to moisture and mold growth will weaken the integrity of wood, resulting in rot and eventual failure. It's vital that mold be located and the cause of the moisture be identified. Removal and replacement of the affected wood can then be accomplished.
The potential health danger of mold clean up can be directly related to the scope of the problem. Bleach and water will kill all strains of mold, and can be accomplished yourself if the area is small and contained. Be sure to wear protective clothing and work in a well-ventilated area.
If the mold problem covers a larger area, involves the structural integrity of your home, or if you have a concern for the health of vulnerable family members, professional cleaners who specialize in mold remediation techniques, such as RESTOR Property Restoration, must be brought in. These professionals will be able to properly and thoroughly remove the mold, and to prevent the mold spores from spreading in you home. Your family's health is well worth the expertise and peace of mind a professional mold remediation specialist will provide, and you can move into your home knowing that it is fresh and wholesome.
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