Mold is a fungus that occurs naturally in the environment and it enters your home as tiny spores. The spores need moisture to begin growing, digesting and destroying and you will find they start in damp or moist areas. Mold can digest what it grows on and can do some serious damage in our homes. It can eat into paper, cloth, carpet, rugs, and even our walls and ceilings. The mold grows best when there is lots of moisture from a leaky roof, high humidity, or carpets and furnishings that stay wet too long. There is no way to get rid of all molds and mold spores from your home but you can control mold growth by keeping your home dry.
Children and also people with allergies, asthma or those whose immune systems are not so strong are susceptible to the diseases caused by some types of mold. Inhaling these mold spores can lead to serious health problems such as diarrhea, high fever and fatigue, difficulty in breathing, headaches, congestion, joint pain or skin rashes. Mold in nature can be very beneficial, but indoor mold can make life in our homes very dangerous.
You know you have mold when you smell the “musty” odor or see small black or white specks along your damp walls where warm moist air condenses on cooler wall surfaces. Inside cold exterior walls, behind dressers, headboards, and in closets where articles are stored against walls are some common areas to find mold. Some mold is hidden growing behind wall coverings or ceiling tiles. Even dry, dead mold can cause health problems, so always take precautions when you suspect mold. If you notice mold or know of water damaged areas in your home, it is time to take action to control its growth.
There are many ways in which to prevent mold growth in your home. Reduce the humidity in your home to between 30 and 60 percent by using a dehumidifier. Open windows and doors to increase air flow in your home, especially along the inside of exterior walls. Use a fan if there are no windows available. Install and use exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms as well as ventilate and insulate attic and crawl spaces. Check around your windows for signs of condensation and water droplets. Wipe them up right away so mold can’t start to grow.
Use of a hepa filter helps reduce air born spores but once they are trapped deep into the fiber of the carpet or furniture they can be hard to remove. Vacuuming frequently with a vacuum that has a hepa filter is a good way to remove these spores. It is important to make sure that your carpets of furniture dry quickly after washing. Many rental carpet cleaners or some steam cleaning companies do a poor job at removing water from your carpeting, leaving them damp for too long. This is one of the main causes of mold growth.
When using a carpet cleaning company it is important to find one that uses a low moisture method of cleaning. Many of these methods achieve great results and your carpets or furniture dry quickly. This helps to prevent mold growth in your home. The biggest danger from too much water in your carpet cleaning method is getting the underpad wet. You can’t get enough air circulation under the carpet to dry it properly and as a result you are almost guaranteed to get mold. Following a few simple tips will greatly reduce any mold growth in your home and help to prevent any development of allergies, asthma or any other breathing problems as a result of wet carpets or furniture in your home.