House Mold - Crawl Space Mold - Mold Symptoms
Why is mold or fungus growing in my home?
Molds or Moulds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture. Basements/Crawl Spaces
If you suspect that you have a mold problem, then you should be especially conscientious of the basement or crawl space of your house. This level has more of a chance of fostering mold growth than any other level in the home. In basements and crawl spaces, just look for any evidence of dampness. Be especially aware of any black mold growth that might be taking place in wooden building materials, especially in the framing, since this is the best path for mold to take to other parts of the home. It can also lead to the weakening of beams and other bearing walls that are crucial in the stability of the structure.
We are giving Free Crawl Space Inspections for the Raleigh, Cary and surrounding areas.
Inside Wall Cavities
This is another place where warm air meets cooler air, especially the walls around the perimeter of the home or building. Plus, wall cavities are good at trapping moisture. In addition to all this, pipes often leak in between walls, where we are not aware they are occurring. If mold is present inside mold cavities, it will eventually manifest its presence by working its way to the outside of the walls, where it will be visible. If signs of excessive moisture and mold begin to show on your walls, you can smell the musty odor, and you or others in your home or building are showing health effects from mold, then it is likely growing in your wall cavities. If this is the case, then you will need to remove the drywall in places where you suspect the mold is growing within the wall. Then, you will need to clean and remove the mold.
DO NOT USE CHLORINE BLEACH to kill mold or disinfect moldy areas. It is NOT the most effective or lasting killer of mold and mold spores. On most porous, cellulose building materials such as wood timbers, drywall, chipboard, plywood, carpeting/padding, etc., bleach can change the color of the mold, and can even slow down mold growth for about 3 weeks. Please note that a recent study has found that bleach can only kill mold sitting on hard surfaces (such as ceramic floor and wall tile, or a Formica kitchen counter, or on the steel skin of an appliance).
Cary Painting and Home Improvement is Certified in Mold Inspection and Mold Remediation. We follow strict guidelines to complete the job properly. Give us a call for a free estimate.
Have you noticed any of these symptoms?
- Flu-like symptoms
- Hair loss
- Respiratory ailments
- Sinus problems
- Burning or itchy eyes
- Memory loss
- Fatigue or Dizziness
Recent Berkeley Lab, EPA Studies confirm the enormity of the public health and economic impact of dampness and mold. They estimate that the number of asthma cases alone attributable to home mold exposure is 4.6 million, at an annual cost of $3.5 Billion.
Many homes have mold problems without even knowing it, and family members are suffering the consequences, not knowing why. Musty smell is only one tell-tale sign of mold.
Damp crawl space and basement, hidden leaky pipes, undetected roof leaks, condensation or faulty drain systems can result in mold growth inside of walls, under floors or carpets and inside of your HVAC system. Mold left undetected can continue to grow and create major health and structural problems.
The level of danger depends on the type of mold.
Children, the elderly and anyone with immune sensitivities are at risk to the effects of mold. The effects can vary depending on the variety and quantity of mold present in your home. You may think that you know what to look for, but there are thousands of varieties of molds and finding the mold is not always easy. This is why you need a certified mold inspector.
Health Effects and Symptoms Associated with Mold Exposure
When moisture problems occur and mold growth results, building occupants may begin to report odors and a variety of health problems, such as headaches, breathing difficulties, skin irritation, allergic reactions, and aggravation of asthma symptoms; all of these symptoms could potentially be associated with mold exposure.
All molds have the potential to cause health effects. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, toxins that may cause reactions in humans even death in some cases. The types and severity of symptoms depend, in part, on the types of mold present, the extent of an individual's exposure, the ages of the individuals, and their existing sensitivities or allergies.
Specific reactions to mold growth can include the following:
Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic reactions to mold are common - these reactions can be immediate or delayed. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Mold spores and fragments can produce allergic reactions in sensitive individuals regardless of whether the mold is dead or alive. Repeated or single exposure to mold or mold spores may cause previously non-sensitive individuals to become sensitive. Repeated exposure has the potential to increase sensitivity.
Molds can trigger asthma attacks in persons who are allergic (sensitized) to molds. The irritants produced by molds may also worsen asthma in non-allergic (non-sensitized) people.
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis may develop following either short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic) exposure to molds. The disease resembles bacterial pneumonia and is uncommon.
Mold exposure can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs, and sometimes can create a burning sensation in these areas.
People with weakened immune systems (i.e., immune-compromised or immune-suppressed individuals) may be more vulnerable to infections by molds (as well as more vulnerable than healthy persons to mold toxins). Aspergillus fumigatus, for example, has been known to infect the lungs of immune-compromised individuals. These individuals inhale the mold spores which then start growing in their lungs. Trichoderma has also been known to infect immune-compromised children.
Healthy individuals are usually not vulnerable to opportunistic infections from airborne mold exposure. However, molds can cause common skin diseases, such as athlete's foot, as well as other infections such as yeast infections.