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Mold is part of the natural breakdown process of organic matter, so why does it seem like so many people are afraid of it? Mold can create bigger issues than ruining your old pizza. The EPA breaks it down as follows: “Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.” Mold can also cause more serious issues such as flu-like symptoms, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nose bleeds, and the list goes on.
These health effects should not be taken lightly, and you should contact a physician if experience them. So since mold is so bad, how should mold be prevented? Mold spores act like microscopic seeds in many ways. They float through the air inside and outside, and grow when they land on damp surfaces. Preventing mold spores from entering your home is impossible, but it is possible to prevent and control moisture buildup.
Ensure all areas around and under sinks are dry and free from leaks.
Don’t allow water or damp items to sit in your sink or washing machine.
Check basements for musty smells and humid climate, and inspect basement walls for condensation.
Empty trash cans regularly to ensure mold is not allowed to build up.
Check bathroom cabinets where moisture may build up, and use exhaust fans whenever possible.
If liquids are spilled, clean them up and dry them out as soon as possible.
Last but possibly most importantly, check your crawlspace for moisture buildup.
These tips are only some of the ways to prevent mold. If you find small amounts of mold in your home, you may be able to clean it up yourself, but you may only be cleaning up the evidence to the problem. Despite popular belief, spraying mold with bleach won’t fix the situation, because dead mold spores can still cause health problems. It’s always best to consult a professional if you find mold buildup in your home. By having a professional clean, remove, and seal your home against mold, you can prevent health hazards before they start.
There are steps to take as well to prevent mold from ever having a chance to grow.
When choosing paint, floor covering, and building materials, ask for ‘mold-resistant’ options. Some materials are chemically treated to resist mold.
Clean your home regularly with cleaners that kill mold and mildew.
Probably most the most important factor though, is preventing moisture buildup.