Mold Prevention Recommendations

• Maintain low humid levels indoors e.g. between 40% and 60%.

• Run air conditioner or dehumidifiers constantly working during humid months of the year.

• Ensure that all indoor spaces have enough fresh air, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.

• Mix or add mold inhibitors before painting walls and surfaces.

• Carry out routine cleanups using mold-killing products.

• Perform regular cleanups for rugs while replacing flooded carpets.

 

I find mold growing in my home; how do I test the substance?

 

It is usually not easy to identify mold species growing in indoor areas, and CDC doesn’t recommend using routine samples for mold testing. Recent evidence shows that allergies are the common forms of diseases that are often linked to molds. Since individual reactions to allergies vary due to each person’s body system, the type and extent of mold infestation, assessing your health status through sampling and culturing is not necessarily reliable. If mold is seen or felt within your body, there are potential health risks associated to its presence; therefore, it doesn’t matter the type of mold present, it is imperative for you to get rid of it as soon as possible. Also, to get reliable results from sampling for the presence of mold in any area may be expensive while there is little or no guarantee for its standards or accuracy.

What should people do if they discover Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) in their homes or offices?

Mold growth in indoor areas, either in Stachybotrys chartarum or other forms, shows that there are concerns about moist air, dew or water within the surroundings. These are the causes which need to be looked into. Mold hidden in areas that are not readily accessible require extra attention. When mold grows in a damp or humid place, the best way to effectively deal with it is to remove the entire layers and replace it with gloss or veneer finish if need be.  It is not necessary to take various preventive measures for the Stachybotrys chartarum mold type. In flooded areas, immediate drying and cleaning of the affected areas with simple soap solutions will do the trick. For safety reasons, do not mix ammonia with bleach or similar domestic cleaning agents. (Reference: After a Hurricane or Flood: Cleanup of Flood Water.)

How do you get the molds out of buildings, including homes, schools, and places of employment?

Mold may be removed off hard surfaces through cleanups using simple cleansing agents like detergent and water, or by adding little bleach solution to the soap mixture. Surfaces like tiles, wallpaper and rugs which are either absorbent or porous should be disposed off once they become moldy. If the mold exposure is in large amounts and could make the cleanup process a bit complicated for you, contacting an expert in mold remediation is the best option. There is no alternative to a clean and dry area because there could still be some allergies to remnants of dead mold and fungi contamination which keep recurring with constant flow of moisture.

What are the potential health effects of mold in buildings and homes?

Frequent exposure to mold in indoor areas is not so much of a health concern. But there are people whose sensitivity to mold often makes them exhibit mold symptoms like skin and eye irritation, wheezes and nasal stuffiness due to mold exposure. Others may show more serious reaction to mold exposure. Such harsh reactions could be found among workers like laborers in sewage recycle plants that are exposed to constant mold areas. Serious allergies could be short breath and fever. People suffering from chronic lung diseases are always at higher risks of getting infected with fungus.

Who are the people who are most at risk for health problems associated with exposure to mold?

People who have allergies are prone to be more sensitive to the presence of molds. Those with immune suppression or subtle lung ailments also tend to have fungal infections.

Are there any circumstances where people should vacate a home or building because of mold?

Decisions like this should be made as a person. If you feel ill due to mold exposure in your home or office, consult your physician for advice on the best action to take.

What is Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra)?

Stachybotrys chartarum is also known as Stachybotrys atra; is a greenish-black colored type of mold. It commonly grows in places that have high cellulose and low nitrogen material, e.g. dust, paper, fiberboard, gypsum board and lint. Mold grows and thrives where there is excessive moisture in the air or dew resulting from water damage, humidity, water leakages, flooded zones, condensed surfaces and overflow areas. One may not have to determine the type of mold present in a place but constant moisture is needed for its growth. All molds should however be treated as same due to potential health risks.

How does mold get in the indoor environment and how do they grow?

Mold spores can be found in almost every environment as they could enter homes through open vents, ducts, doors, windows, and even through air conditioning systems during air exchange. Mold spores travel in the air so they could be attached to carriers like human skin or clothes, animal fur, or on movable items. When these mold spores fall on places where there is plenty of moisture.  For example where there are leakages in roof tops, inside pipelines, wall surfaces, flower pots or flooded areas, they will automatically grow with a little or more moisture. A lot of building materials also provide the needed nutrients to spur mold growth. Some of these materials include wet cellulose, paper products, cardboard; tiles, wood products, wet carpet, etc. These are the right habitats for mold to grow..

I find mold growing in my home; how do I test the substance?

It is usually not easy to identify mold species growing in indoor areas, and CDC doesn’t recommend using routine samples for mold testing. Recent evidence shows that allergies are the common forms of diseases that are often linked to molds. Since individual reactions to allergies vary due to each person’s body system, the type and extent of mold infestation, assessing your health status through sampling and culturing is not necessarily reliable. If mold is seen or felt within your body, there are potential health risks associated to its presence; therefore, it doesn’t matter the type of mold present, it is imperative for you to get rid of it as soon as possible. Also, to get reliable results from sampling for the presence of mold in any area may be expensive while there is little or no guarantee for its standards or accuracy.

 

 

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