Guest Blog: The Dangers Associated with Mold
At Healthy Air USA we recognize that building a community of health and mold experts is vital to educating the public about the impact that mold can have on your health. We are excited to have Jennifer Moon as a guest author on our blog to discuss some of the dangers associated with mold in the home.
Addressing the Causes of Harmful Molds in the Home
Molds are a very common allergen found in roughly 70% of homes in the US. The spores and mycotoxins that they produce contaminate the air and, when inhaled, can cause severe health issues such as respiratory issues, especially for anyone with allergies or asthma. Molds thrive in damp conditions which can be exacerbated by regular household use, the slow ingress of water through leaks, or unprecedented events such as flooding. While removing visible mold can help affected residents recover from mold toxicity, knowing more about the deeper causes of mold and mildew in the home can help to prevent their reoccurrence, improve indoor air quality and reduce the risk of health problems in the future.
Dealing with Accidental Water Intrusion
Whether it comes from a slow leak in an internal pipe or flooding caused by heavy rainfall outside, unexpected water ingress can cause serious damage to both the structure and furnishings of a home and, unless it is dealt with promptly, can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. After water exposure, it only takes between one and two days for mold to develop and germinate the spores that can cause sneezing, irritation to the throat and shortness of breath when inhaled or touched. Taking steps to thoroughly dry out a home after flooding and regularly checking for underlying leaks will reduce the amount of excess moisture in the building and prevent the formation of mold.
Reducing Everyday Causes of Moisture
As well as promptly dealing with the aftermath of unexpected events, it’s important to address the everyday causes of dampness and humidity in the home. When steam from cooking and moisture from drying clothes indoors is combined with poor ventilation, excess water vapor is added to the air and can lead to the development of harmful molds. Molds tend to grow more abundantly in kitchens and bathrooms, but they can also grow in damp bedrooms where they pose a particular risk to health as spores are breathed in over longer periods while sleeping. Keeping humidity levels between 30% and 50% will ensure levels of dampness remain low enough to prevent the growth of mold.
While excess moisture can cause considerable damage to a building’s structure, the mold that grows, as a result, may also be harmful to health. Being vigilant about reducing humidity levels and checking for leaks can help to prevent the growth of mold and improve air quality throughout the home.