What do you know about mold? If you are like most people, you probably don't know too much. In fact, you may not really give it much thought until it presents a problem for you. Why would you?
You may know it grows in warm and damp environments such as in humid states like Georgia. Water damage could also be the culprit. If it is, by the time you see mold or realize that your home contains mold, the water damage may already be pervasive since it provided an environment for it to grow. Now you find yourself in a position where you need more information and help.
What types of mold are typically in homes?
The word "mold" insinuates that there is only one, but that isn't the case. Numerous types of mold exist, and you may have one or more in your home. Common household molds include the following:
- Aspergillus grows in water-damaged or extremely damp areas in warm climates. It may also appear in fall leaves or building materials and can cause diseases in some animals and humans.
- Stachybotrys, a slimy and toxic black mold, grows where significant water damage occurs. The airborne toxins it produces cause a variety of serious health problems for humans, such as:
- Bleeding in the lungs
- Hearing loss
- Memory loss
- Breathing problems
- Flu-like symptoms
- Alternaria grows most often in carpets and textiles when found indoors. It can grow in damp areas on your home such as a bathroom shower, window frames and plant soil.
- Penicillium often grows in wallpaper, decaying fabrics and wallpaper glue damaged by water, among other things. It can produce harmful mycotoxins.
- Cladosporium finds its way into your home through your HVAC system and other airways into your home. Like other molds, it exacerbates asthma and hay fever.
Even though it may not seem like hay fever and asthma would be a big deal, these issues can lead to other, more serious health consequences. Those with compromised immune systems such as children, the elderly and anyone suffering from chronic health issues like cancer, liver diseases, HIV or lung diseases are particularly at risk. What may start out as itchy, watery eyes and some wheezing could turn into a medical emergency.
If you suspect mold in your home, it might be a good idea to have it inspected thoroughly. The mold you see may only be a warning sign of more mold inside the walls of your home. Thereafter, you may want to determine whether another party or parties bear legal responsibility for your mold issues, since it may be possible to pursue compensation for the financial losses you face in connection with it.