Mold & Health
Mold is a generic term to describe all fungal growth- mushrooms, yeasts, and the organisms that even give us edible foods like beer and cheese. They are microorganisms that break down organic matter into constituent parts for food. Fungi reproduce via spores that emerge and spread due to biological processes or disturbances caused by wind or other organisms that bump into them. Fungi exist almost everywhere in some capacity; they are ubiquitous in nature and impossible to completely eradicate. Lucky for us, most molds (fungi) are benign and cause no problems to humans. Unlucky for us, certain strains of fungi can grow out of control and cause serious health problems for people that happen to live in their vicinity.
What causes mold to grow
Mold thrives in moist and warm environments that are typically found in basement levels and bathrooms that are rarely used. Moisture is the biggest single factor to mold growth, and many mold species can survive off the latent humidity in the air. Another medium for mold growth and moisture is the dead organic matter that they cling to- soggy dry wall, carpets and insulation. The pH balance of the water that they have access to is another factor. Lack of ultraviolet and man-made light can also contribute heavily to their growth, hence why basements and bathrooms tend to be the main culprit for uncontrolled mold growth.
Respiratory and other Illness
There are a plethora of health problems that can arise from mold growing within your home or business. The most common issue is respiratory problems; a persistent cough is common for people living within moldy environments. This can be a minor inconvenience at best and a life threatening hazard at worst. People and children with asthma are the most at risk when it comes to these dangerous molds. Symptoms for some may present as allergic reactions until it becomes known that colonies of dangerous mold is growing somewhere in the walls.
Most homes have a high mixture of organic building materials inside of them- drywall, wood, cellulose based insulation- and when mold begins to thrive on these substrates it can contribute to weakening of the materials. Molds feed off of the moisture and organic matter in these materials, fueling their growth and spread. Over time these molds can become detrimental to the structural integrity of a home if they are not checked by immediate mold removal or remediation.
Toxic Black Mold
One of the most serious culprits for mold-related illness in the community is the dreaded black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum. This particular variety of mold grows on damp and decaying cellulose-rich building materials inside of water damaged buildings. It presents itself as a greenish-black mold with a splotchy appearance. This is one of the most dangerous molds out there and can cause acute respiratory illnesses in children and people exposed to its spores. The best course of action is to call up our professionals and have us fix the problem for you.