In today’s blog we are going to talk about a very common issue all homeowners may encounter now and then: mold. Mold can grow quite quickly on any damp surface you may have. Rooms such as your kitchen and bathroom are usually filled with moisture in one way or another and if not properly aired, or dried out it will only take twenty-four to forty-eight hours before mold begins to show its ugly head. Mold problems are more common than you think, but fortunately for everyone there are ways to spot mold before it becomes harmful to your family’s health as well as causing damage to your home’s structural surfaces such as your floor, walls and ceiling. We will learn some health problems related to mold around your home when it is left unchecked as well as teach you how to identify black mold in your house.
If you spot a lot of black mold in an area of your home contact us here at Metro-Flow Plumbing and one of our certified, licensed plumbers will come do a proper inspection of your home to confirm you do not have hidden or undetected plumbing leaks. A certified and insured plumber will be able to accurately locate hidden plumbing leaks, not only the obvious ones above the surface. That’s why we always recommend leaving jobs like this to the professionals. It’ll save you time and money in the long run by nipping any problem you may have early on, before it becomes a bigger headache.
Back to the mold! Moisture and leak detection is key to making sure your home is not at risk or affected by mold. According to the US EPA, the best way to control mold is to control moisture. Though not all molds are toxic, you need to make sure your home is mold free because you don’t want to be breathing in, or hanging out around the stuff for too long.
Next we’re going to cover some known health issues that may occur due to long term exposure to black mold. The Texas Medical Association has the following to say about mold: “Infections health issues related to mold exposure can occur in both normal and immune-compromised individuals.” There are potential health issues related to mold exposure.
In theory, there are five ways in which molds could produce or aggravate human illness or otherwise contribute to symptoms. We are going to go over these because it is always a good idea to be informed:
- Type I immune reactions, which can lead to allergic rhinitis (nasal discharge, sneezing, conjunctivitis) or asthma (bronchospasm, wheezing, mucous secretion and plugging).
- Irritation to mucous membranes through mold production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a manner analogous to non-mold irritants, e.g., tobacco smoke, gas/kerosene stove emissions, ozone.
- Type III immune reaction, examples including hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which includes “farmer’s lung” (lung tissue inflammation occurring from exposure of an inhaled antigen), and allergic aspergillosis (a rare lung tissue inflammation involving both airways and tissues in the lungs).
- Toxic reaction from mold products (mycotoxins).
- Toxic reaction from microbial byproducts (endotoxins).
For more information about health related issues caused by mold, please visit the Texas Medical Association, here.
Furthermore, per the Texas Mold Removal company, there are a few ways to control indoor mold growth, such as:
- Keeping humidity levels in the home low with proper air conditioning and ventilation.
- As we already briefly covered, keeping damp areas such as bathrooms, showers, washrooms, and basements clean and dry.
- Promptly fixing any leaks that may occur and regularly checking the roof, plumbing, and windows for possible leaks.
- Keeping high moisture areas such as laundry rooms and cooking areas well ventilated.
- Thoroughly dealing with flood damage by cleaning and drying all surfaces and fixing any damage done.
- Replacing carpets, upholstery, and curtains that have become damp.
- Regularly removing visible mold from surfaces such as countertops, walls, and wood with commercial products or normal soap and water and household bleach.
As we previously stated, the key to identifying black mold in your house is vigilance. Moisture and leak detection is key to making sure your home is not at risk or affected by mold. According to the US EPA, the best way to control mold is to control moisture. The 24-48 growth period for black mold leaves little room for error. One must remember though: not all molds are toxic but as a precaution you need to make sure your home is mold free. Many times mold will develop, attack your walls, closets, mattress, and even clothes. At this point, you will need to not only fix the mold problem in your home, but also go as far as replacing your mattress and clothing – making it an expensive and problematic experience you will not want to go through. Prevention is key to avoid a much larger problem. Nip it in the butt the second you spot it and clean it as stated above and you shouldn’t have any problems dealing with black mold.
If the problem does persist however, you may already have a much bigger problem. If you think you may have an undetected leak or need someone to evaluate your house for moisture, please contact us at Metro-Flow Plumbing by calling 214-328-7371. Our certified and insured plumbing technicians are ready to assist you 24/7.
We hope that this blog entry was informative and will help you deal with how to identify black mold in your house, but most importantly, how to prevent it in the first place. Stay tuned next week for another blog entry and also invite you to check out the rest of our website to find out all the services that we offer.