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Mold: A Leading Source of Indoor Allergens

When most people think about allergies, pollen, hay fever, and pet dander usually come to mind. While it’s true that all of allergens can and do have a significant impact on many people, there’s another type of allergen that you may be exposed to and you don’t even realize it; an allergen that’s even more powerful than pollen, hay fever, and pet dander.

What is the mysterious allergen? Mold.

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus. There are several different species of mold, and each one thrives in moist, warm conditions. Mold is virtually everywhere and it’s very useful in nature, as it aids in decomposition. When it grows outdoors, mold is seldom harmful. It’s when it grows indoors that it becomes a problem. Outdoor mold spores can make their way indoors through open windows, doors, and even small cracks in a building’s foundation or siding.

When those spores make their way indoors, if the conditions are right, they begin to colonize. Properties that have been affected by flooding and other types of water damage, such as leaks, are particularly prone to indoor mold growth. So are buildings that contain high humidity levels, such as damp basements, attacks, bathrooms, and around plumbing fixtures.

Signs of Indoor Mold Growth

Mold usually shows up as spots that range in color, including gray, brown, white, green, and black. It often looks like patches or stains. Mold isn’t always visible, however; meaning that just because you can’t see, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t it isn’t present. A must-like odor, peeling paint, rotting wood,  and weakened floorboards are just some of the signs that mold may be growing underneath a surface, where it cannot be seen.

What are the Symptoms of Mold Exposure?

Exposure to indoor mold growth can cause a number of physical symptoms. Several types of mold can cause allergic reactions. One of the most common types of allergic molds is Aspergillus. Those who are sensitive to this type of mold can experience symptoms that are typical of allergies, including a runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing, sneezing, itching skin, and irritated eyes.

When mold spores are breathed in, the can reach the lungs, which can lead to bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, a serious condition. People who suffer from chronic lung conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, emphysema, and COPD, are particularly prone to this condition. In severe cases, exposure to indoor mold growth can even cause death.

Preventing Indoor Mold Growth

The best way to avoid indoor mold growth is to make sure that your home is moisture-free. Make sure to thoroughly dry any areas that have been impacted by water damage. This not only includes areas that have been affected by flooding or leaks, but bathrooms that may be poorly ventilated, as well.

Make sure to be mindful of mold growth. Look out for any signs that the fungus is growing within your property. If you detect signs of mold growth or suspect that it is present, contact a reputable mold testing agency.

Mold Inspection & Testing Charlotte has conducted numerous mold tests in commercial and residential properties throughout the city. If you suspect you have a problem with indoor mold, call 704.457.9255 to speak with an MI&T associate.

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