What is mold?
This is one of the commonly asked questions on the internet. Molds together with yeasts and mushrooms are referred to as fungi. But as a unique type of fungus, they grow as a multicellular filaments known as hyphae. These fungi are everywhere but they remain invisible to the naked eyes and cause no harm. They will begin to grow and become visible under moist environment which favors their survival.
Molds normally grow on food sources and other organic matters such wet walls, papers, furniture, leaves, wood, dirt and on a number of objects where they find their food sources, oxygen and moisture. However, their presence on anything is destructive. For example, if they grow on your food, it will spoil and you will no longer be able to consume the food. Their presence on walls or any object can affect the color and visual appearance of the object.
Probably, you might have heard about black and white mold? Some of the questions that may come up in your mind are: what is black mold? what is white mold? are they different types of fungi? What are the difference between? Definitely, you might have black mold pictures without knowing. The visible discoloration of molds can be green, brown, grey, white, black and other colors. This explains why molds are classified according to color. There are black molds, white mold, green mold and others. But black and white mold remain the commonest color of mold.
Some molds are harmful to man while some are not harmful. The classification of mold according to color does not tell you which mold is harmful and which one is not harmful. You cannot tell whether a mold is harmful from its color. Given this, some countries adopt a method of classifying molds based on the hazard they cause.
Based on the above classification, there are three classes of mold, namely, hazard class A, hazard class B and hazard class C. Exposure to the hazard class A can result in infection and creation of toxins in the body and thus they directly cause some damaging effects on health. Exposure to hazard class B over a long period of time can cause allergic reaction. Hazard class C on the other hand does not cause any health hazard to human beings. However, they can affect the physical appearance and structural setup of anything they are growing on. This is why it is necessary to remove them.
How mold can affect your health
As mentioned above, molds are available everywhere. This means that you are exposed to it on daily basis. However, at this stage, they are still not active and thus do not cause any disease.
However, when they begin to develop on food sources, they increase in number. During this active stage, they pose some health challenges if you are exposed to them. Exposure to harmful or hazardous molds can cause some health problems.
There are different places and ways that you can become exposed to molds. You can get exposed to mold in your home, school, workplaces, offices and similar places. Some of the ways of getting exposed to mold in these places are by touching materials that are contaminated by mold, eating foods on which molds are growing, touching pets that have mold and using objects such as furniture pieces that have mold.
In other words, if you don’t want to get exposed to mold, it is important that you maintain high level of hygiene. Wash your fruits and vegetables as well as other food sources before consuming them. Make sure that you dehumidify your home using a dehumidifier so that your home or office environment will be moist free and thus unfavorable for the survival of mold.
Health effects of molds
Can mold make you sick? This is an important question that demands an answer. Mold spores pose some health risks to man especially when they are available in a large number. They can cause potential respiratory problems as well as allergic reaction to human beings.
Some types of mold in basement are able to produce mycotoxins that can cause serious health problems not just to man but to other animals. If one is exposed to high level of mycotoxins, the person can have neurological problems and may even die from the condition. Daily exposure for a long time to these mold that can produce mycotoxins is no doubt very harmful even though conclusive research on the health impact of molds has not been done.
Mold can cause some painful symptoms when you are exposed to it. Some of the symptoms of molds exposure are itchy and watery eyes, headaches, difficult breathing, chronic cough, rashes, nasal blockage, sinus problems, tiredness and frequent sneezing. However, despite the ugly health effect of molds, medical scientists have succeeded in finding ways the fungi can be used to the benefit of man.
How to test for the presence of molds
Do you want to know how to test for mold or how to detect mold? It is possible for you to have mold problem in your home without knowing it given that molds are not visible to the naked eyes until they are developed. But through mold inspection or testing, you will be able to find out when you have mold problem. Besides, with mold testing, you will be able to find out the type and species of mold that is growing in your home.
There are mold testing professionals that you can hire. If you really want to obtain accurate result, it is advisable that you hire a professional. But there are do-it-yourself mold test kits that you can buy if you want to do the testing by yourself.
Basically, there are three main types of mold test, namely, surface testing, air testing and bulk testing. With air testing, you will be able to find the concentration of mold spores in the air in your home. Surface testing helps you to determine the amount of mold spores growing in your home while the bulk testing tests in a laboratory the presence of mold particles on materials and objects obtained in your home.
For accurate results, it is better to carry out all these three types of mold test. For further examination and analysis, you should also go for culture test which identifies the specie of mold growing in a home. This is necessary as it will help you to know how harmful the molds are.
How to eliminate mold
You should hire mold remediation services if the physical presence of mold is conspicuous. However, there are things that you can do by yourself to remove mold. Here are some of the things to do in order to kill mold or frustrate their survival.
- Keep your environment clean.
- Make sure that your bathroom and kitchen are always dry and under normal humidity.
- Use bleach and water solution to wash your bathroom as well as the floors of your home at least once per week. This is good for black mold removal.
- Install a dehumidifier in your basement in order to remove moist from your home and make the environment unfavorable for mold. If the environment is unfavorable for their survival, they will definitely die. Some of the reliable models of dehumidifiers are Frididaire FAD704DWD 70-pint, Friedrich D70BP70 Pint, Danby Premiere DDR70a1GP 70 Pt. and others.
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