Toxic Mold Warning Signs And Damage
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Mold is everywhere, and is often a nuisance to remove. However it is more than just a nuisance. It may be a health hazard, sometimes invisible, that may damage your health, as well as the health of those you love. Mold is made up of individual spores which are invisible to the human eye. When these microscopic spores congregate, a colony is formed, which is then visually detectable. The colonies grow on the material in which the mold spores are feeding. This includes any materials which contain cellulose—ingredients that mold colonies thrive on. In addition to feeding, all molds need warmth, moisture, and oxygen in order to survive.
Basements, bathrooms, and ventilation ducts are common places for mold growth. The spores accumulate on items such as old wallpaper, carpet, and ceiling tiles that are damp from improper storage. Standing water aggravates the situation, and creates perfect growing conditions for the most toxic mold, Stachybotrys.
These mold spores collect on waterlogged materials to form black colonies that appear slimy. Black mold eats through the tile, carpet, or sheetrock on which it grows, creating heavy damage in the process. After prolonged exposure, eradicating this mold may be difficult and may require replacing that sheetrock, tile or carpet.
Mold is typically identified by the characteristic black or reddish colonies that are velvety or slimy in appearance. These colonies grow as they feed to eventually engulf a wall, floor, ceiling, or duct. It eats away at the surface, and if left to grow, will weaken or disintegrate the structure on which it is feeding. Mold spores are released into the air when the colony is agitated. They travel through the air, landing in another suitable place to grow yet another colony. In the right conditions, a structure can quickly become overrun by mold infestation.
Mold removal in mild cases can entail a simple cleanup with bleach. After the infestation is removed, the feeding ground must be disassembled by removing any excess materials that are damp, and eliminating the source of the moisture. More extreme cases toxic mold may entail replacement of any structures weakened by the colony. In extreme cases, rooms must be stripped to the studs and rebuilt to ensure that the mold is gone.
Mold can cause different types of illnesses, such as allergenic or irritant type illnesses, immunotoxic illnesses, and infection illnesses. They can irritate the lungs, throat, nose and eyes, which has caused researchers to look into whether a person can be allergic to some molds and not others. All molds have the potential to be toxic if enough of it is ingested or a person is exposed to large quantities of it. Dermatophyts are parasitic fungi that are the cause of different skin infections, such as what is called "Athlete\\\'s foot" or "Jock Itch". There is such thing as the opportunistic infection of molds like Penicillium Marneffei and Aspergillus Fumigatus, which are among the most common causes for illness and death among people whose immune systems are compromised, which includes people who are suffering with AIDS.
Different mold spores can also cause allergic reactions, sinus congestions, asthma episodes, infections, and respiratory problems. The sinuses and the digestive tracts are the most common areas to become infected, while skin and lung infections can also occur. A study shows that about 5% of people may have an allergic airway symptom from mold throughout their lifetime.
The best way to avoid a mold infestation is prevention. Remove any materials that toxic molds feed on, usually building materials that contain cellulose. Eliminate any sources of moisture, and routinely maintain the area to catch mold growth before it becomes a very expensive problem.