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What is mold, and is it really a health concern?

Molds are forms of fungus (mildew, yeast and mushrooms are some of the types of fungus) that grow indoors and outdoors. People are exposed to mold spores (i.e. airborne "seeds") daily in the air that they breathe. However, sometimes molds can grow excessively in certain areas called "amplification sites," and can cause different types of illnesses. Some molds are more hazardous than others, and different people have different responses to mold exposure. Those with allergies, existing respiratory conditions or suppressed immune systems are especially susceptible to health problems from mold exposure.

Additionally, infants and children, pregnant women, and the elderly can be sensitive to the effects of mold exposure. Some people that have been exposed to mold experience symptoms that can last longer than their usual time periods, such as allergic reactions with symptoms similar to hay fever and the common cold, while others can experience aggravation to asthma. Researchers have identified that some fungi in indoor environments can induce allergic and irritant responses, infectious diseases, respiratory problems, hypersensitivity reactions, and organ toxicity. In addition, some molds produce chemicals called mycotoxins, which can cause flu-like symptoms. It should be noted that the causes and effects of mold exposure on people are not very well understood. In some cases, health problems that are attributable to mold are temporary and can be controlled by limiting exposure to molds.


In order to achieve the goal of 0.3 air changes per hour, balanced ventilation equipment such as a heat recovery ventilation system (HRVS) are installed. In cases where humidity control is also a concern, energy recovery ventilation systems (ERNS) are installed.

What factors affect mold growth?

Nutrient Availability
Nutrients absorb moisture to maintain a favorable environment for mold growth. They can be found on many surfaces, including soil, dirt, wood, cellulose (paper, ceiling tile, jute carpet backing, cork, pipe, wrap), and some forms of insulation, such as fabric, oil, etc.

Moisture Content

The amount of moisture in a material influences how an organism can support growth. Moisture sources include condensation in humid rooms, on windows, walls, unheated closets, dampness under carpets, shower curtains, and periodic wet sections in ductwork of air-conditioned ventilation.

Temperature
Temperature is also a factor that affects mold growth. Molds typically require temperatures between 5°C and 38°C to grow.

What is an amplification site?
As mentioned above, buildings are not often sterile, which means the presence of mold spores is very common in most buildings. It is interesting to note that the mere presence of mold spores in a building is not a concern. The concern arises when mold areas have grown in a building. When areas in a building have suitable nutrient and moisture content that fosters mold growth, the area is called an amplification site.

Can mold be easily identified in homes by a visual inspection?

Mold cannot be easily identified in homes by a visual inspection. Past studies have indicated that up to 90% of mold growth is not visible on the surface. Certain guidelines state that an invasive inspection is necessary to make a complete assessment of the extent of mold contamination in a building.

Helpful Tips
Moisture is one of the key factors that affect mold growth. There is very little time after a flood to prevent the development of an amplification site. Buildings are not sterile and pre-existing mold spores will begin to develop rapidly with the proper nutrient, moisture, and temperature combinations. It is considered good practice to remove water very quickly (within 24 to 48 hours) after flooding. Also, surface moisture should be reduced to below 70% relative humidity as soon as possible to reduce the potential for mold growth.

(Information provided by AmericSpec Inspection Services).


 


Comments

Very Best Explanation About Mold In A Very Qualitative Manner.

Thanks For Sharing.

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01/03/2017 7:21pm

I have seen the same thing at my mother's old house. Each time I visit there, I get sick for days after. If I visit on a Sunday, I am sick until Wednesday. I keep sneezing and coughing. My sorethroat is the worse. I wonder why all the anti allergy I take does not seem to work. Thanks for sharing this information. I am reminded I needed help with that.

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11/15/2016 12:30am

Nice article and such a good information. Thanks for your excellent posting. I really enjoyed reading this blog.

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Molds are the big problem for us because our wood furniture and walls of the room totally disturb because of its growth and i really want to get rid of that stuff.

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12/05/2016 3:47pm

Great information, sharing this on my social media.

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12/17/2016 2:24am

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12/29/2016 9:09am

Thanks a lot for the post. It has helped me get some nice ideas. I hope I will see some really good result soon.

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02/10/2017 10:41am

Some realities will never changed and same like that Some molds are more hazardous than others, and different people have different responses to mold exposure.

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02/24/2017 4:48am

Yes it is! You should be careful and order a removal servie. Because it can be harmful.

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06/07/2017 4:15am

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