Does Mold Live in Your Home? Here’s How to Send it Packing

bathroom mold

Are you suffering from chronic allergy symptoms, respiratory issues, or headaches in your own home?  You could be feeling the effects of exposure to mold spores. Household mold can grow in carpeting, insulation, ceiling tiles, walls and furniture.  If mold has invaded your dwelling, get rid of it now to keep health problems at bay.

How Mold Gets In Your Home

Mold can sneak into your home through open windows, doorways, vents and heating and air conditioning systems.  It can also cling to clothing, shoes and pets and be brought indoors.

Household mold can also grow in building materials. These include paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles and wood.  Paints, dust, wallpaper, carpet and fabric can also fuel mold growth.

How Mold Makes Some People Sick

Exposure to mold can  result in upper respiratory tract issues, allergy symptoms, wheezing, and coughing in otherwise healthy individuals.  People who are allergic to mold can suffer from severe asthma or breathing problems.

What Causes Mold

Mold only needs a damp, moist environment and organic material to grow and thrive. It commonly occurs around leaks in roofs, pipes, windows, or where flooding has occurred. Mold can also be triggered by overflowing washing machines.

Common Types of Household Mold

Aspergillus is found in the air and in HVAC systems, often in water-damaged buildings.  It can trigger allergic reactions, respiratory irritation, lung infections and asthma. People with compromised immune systems can suffer from deadly infections.

Cladosporium is very difficult to find. It thrives in warm weather and can spread very fast.   It is often found on carpets, wallpaper, window sills, fabrics, walls and on HVAC vent covers and grills.  It may appear as brown, green or black spots.

Black mold, which can be toxic to some people,  is often connected to poor indoor air quality.  It can pop up in your home or in ventilation systems.  This mold can cause chronic allergy symptoms, rashes, chronic fatigue and headaches.

Alternaria is found in bathrooms and damp windows. When this organism gets indoors, it can cause allergic reactions and trigger hay fever and asthma.  It can also infect people with compromised immune systems.

How to Prevent Mold Growth

The best way to keep indoor mold in check is to control moisture. Keep humidity levels in your home between 30% and 50%.   Fix leaky roofs, windows and pipes immediately.  Make sure air is able to flow freely in your home. Ventilate shower, laundry and cooking areas. Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to help lower humidity levels. Don’t put carpet in bathrooms and basements where moisture can occur.

Cleaning Up the Mold

If you see or smell mold in your home, it is time to take action.  Remove moldy items from living areas and replace soaking wet carpets and upholstery.  Use soap and water, commercial products or 8-ounces of bleach mixed into one gallon of water, to remove mold from hard surfaces.  Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Open windows to get fresh air in, and wear gloves and protective eyewear while cleaning.  If there is a lot of mold to clean-up, contact a professional for help.

Do You Have Mold in Your Home?

When it comes to mold removal, flood clean-up, water damage and more, Flood Department is here to help. We serve homeowners and businesses in  Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.  We are dedicated to helping reverse the damage caused by water, mold, sewage, smoke and other disasters.  Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online for more information.