Mold The Insidious Toxin

Mold is a non-scientific term for many types of unwanted fungi found both indoors and outdoors.

Black mold is often invisible and can grow inside homes, schools, or the workplace undetected for years. Indoor mold growth requires moisture to grow and can damage the integrity of some building materials or structures, which could lead to expensive repair or replacement costs.

Molds can release toxins that can be irritating or harmful, especially for people who have pre-existing conditions. These toxins called mycotoxins, can affect the upper respiratory system giving you symptoms like those of a cold or flu. They are particularly harmful to someone with allergies or asthma. Healthy people are unlikely to be harmed through short-term exposure to mycotoxins, it generally takes time and consistent exposure to mold for symptoms to develop.

Indoor mold can be unsightly and smelly, it may appear as mildew on a shower curtain; yet some of the most dangerous types of mold are invisible. They are airborne and go undetected, thereby lengthening exposure time and causing the most harmful health problems associated with mold. Common symptoms of mold reactions in a healthy individual:

  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • nose stuffiness
  • itchy or red eyes
  • itchy skin

In people with respiratory conditions, such as COPD, asthma, and respiratory allergies, inhaling mold toxins may worsen existing symptoms, or cause other serious symptoms, such as:

  • headaches
  • feeling exhausted
  • frequent coughing, especially at night
  • sinusitis
  • allergic reactions
  • chest colds
  • fever
  • difficulty breathing

Most molds can be scrubbed off hard surfaces such as tiles using soapy water. The physical action of scrubbing is the most important factor, all the mold must be physically removed to prevent regrowth. Make sure you scrub up to 50cm from the edge of the visible mold as there may be new growth that is not yet visible to the naked eye.

When removing mold, make sure you wear personal protective equipment (rubber gloves, face mask and safety goggles) and that the room is well ventilated.

Prevent mold growth by:

  • Regularly cleaning any areas where mold is likely to grow, such as bathrooms, showers, and damp rooms.
  • Using a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of moisture in the air, particularly in areas where damp is a problem.
  • Keeping all walls and surfaces dry.
  • Keeping rooms warm and well-ventilated during cold or wet weather.
  • Fitting and using exhaust fans in damp areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Checking pipes, gutters, and air conditioners regularly to avoid potential leaks and water damage.

If the mold has taken hold of your ceiling it will most likely be spreading across the other side of the ceiling into other rooms. If this is the case the ceiling needs to be replaced rather than cleaned. That’s the time when you call us at Renovate For You.

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