Dangerous Molds and How to Prevent

Molds are present everywhere… inside and outside. Furniture, carpet, books, even the air we breathe is full of mold spores. Humid, dark places with low air circulation however, promote the rapid growth of these molds. The EPA estimates that 50 to 100 common indoor mold types have the potential for creating health problems. Common allergenic molds include Aspergillus, Alternaria, Cladosporium and Penicillium. The most dangerous molds such as Stachybotrys and Trichoderma, produce mycotoxins and pose serious health hazards to humans and animals if left untreated.

Mild Reactions to Toxic Mold

  • Aches and pains
  • Burning sensation
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Eye Irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rashes
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin irritation
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Wheezing

Serious Reactions to Toxic Mold

  • Bleeding from lungs
  • Changes in reproductive cycles
  • Changes or suppression of immune system
  • Depression
  • Higher level of vascular fragility
  • Intestinal hemorrhage
  • Lack of coordination
  • Liver effects (including necrosis and fibrosis)
  • Mood changes
  • Mucous membrane irritation
  • Nephrotoxicity
  • Photosensitization
  • Problems breathing
  • Severe memory loss
  • Sloughing of skin
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

Mold Prevention Tips

  • Visually inspect roof, outside walls, doors, windows, rain gutters and downspouts for punctures, cracks or breaks.
  • Check weather stripping, seals, and caulking for signs of wear and deterioration.
  • Examine outside of structure for missing or damaged screws and fasteners.
  • Don’t let foundation stay wet. Provide adequate drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.
  • Clean roof and gutters frequently to prevent debris from causing blockages.
  • Perform diligent housekeeping, being sure to clean in and under appliances while throwing away left-overs and old produce.
  • Use a dehumidifier in areas of your home that are damp and be sure to change the water frequently to prevent mold from forming.
  • Keep lights on frequently in suspected spots to help deter mold and mildew growth.
  • Look for mold or mildew in attics, basements, closets, bathrooms, hampers and garbage cans. Always try to maximize circulation in these areas.
  • Dry any damp areas in the kitchen, laundry room, under the kitchen sink and even under the lid of the washing machine.
  • Clean and/or replace air conditioner filters periodically to maximize circulation.
  • Be sure to keep compost piles away from your home.
  • Dry and/or replace water damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.