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Mold & Mildew Basic Training:

According to a Harvard University School of Public Health study, over 50% of our homes have indoor mold. And once you have mold spores, it’s incredibly easy for those spores to latch on to a moist surface and multiply. That leaves a lot of families vulnerable to the possible health effects of indoor mold:

  • Watery or itchy eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Skin irritation
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory problems

In fact, a study at the University of Arizona suggests that mold spores are a suspected cause in the tripling of the asthma rate in the past 20 years. By knowing the facts and all about mold, you can better keep your home and family, safe and healthy.

Where does mold grow?

  • Areas with moisture from humidity, leaks or flooding
  • Organic, porous materials like drywall, grout or wallpaper
  • Optimal temperature, generally between 18-28 degrees

These elements can create a mold problem that can colonize and multiply quickly in as little as 24-48 hours.

Here’s a rundown on common household molds, where to look for them, and the ill effects they bring...

Alternaria

Recognized as an allergy causing fungus, the Alternaria spores are typically detected from spring to late fall in most temperate areas. It’s spores could be at their highest concentration during windy, dry conditions which make it ideal for the spores to become airborne. Studies show that up to 70% of mold-allergic patients have skin text reactivity to Alternaria. This species of mold can be found in organic materials in damp situations, sewage, effluents, cardboard and paper, food storages and canvas.

Aspergillus

Aspergillus has the ability to grow in a very wide range of environmental conditions. It is known as a thermotolerant fungus which grows in temperatures ranging from 12°C - 53°C. Aspergillus has physical characteristics which enable the spores to reach deep into an individuals respiratory system and quickly adapt to its hosts’ environment.

Cladosporium

Is another very well known allergen that triggers allergic reactions to individuals sensitivity to them. Cladosporium is commonly found in outdoor environments and typically find their way indoors through unregulated HVAC systems. Commonly found on wood, building material, carpet, wallpaper, HVAC fans and mattress dust. This type of mold usually peaks around the summer, during the day.

Penicillium

A very common mold known to cause allergies, hay fever and asthma. Species are usually found growing on wallpaper, soil, decaying vegetation, water-damaged buildings or homes. It is also found in carpet and in interior fiberglass duct insulation. Some species can produce mycotoxins which could be damaging to the kidneys.

Stachybotrys

Pronounced (stack-ee-BOT-ris), this is an especially toxic black mold that produces airborne toxins (mycotoxins) that can cause serious breathing difficulties, memory and hearing loss, dizziness, flu-like symptoms and bleeding in the lungs. Stachybotrys requires excessive moisture to thrive (usually running water) and is a slimy black mold. Fortunately, stachybotrys is not found in homes as often as the other molds listed above.