How do I know if I have toxic mold? What’s does Mold look like?
Mold is a type of microscopic organism or fungi that grows in damp environments and there are about 200,000 types, most of which are harmless. They thrive on soil, air, and practically everywhere, as long there is moisture, oxygen, and some organic matter. Certain types of molds are found in soil, plants, and even crops like corn and wheat. It likes damp and shady areas and can be found indoors.
For molds to survive, they thrive on four factors: mold spores that are in the air and easily inhaled by humans, food (molds like carbon based organic material for them to feed on), temperature (molds enjoy the same temperature humans do), and lastly, moisture (molds enjoy humidity).
If there are harmless types of mold, there are also dangerous kinds that can cause serious health problems. An example of this type of mold is called Toxic Mold or Black Mold, which sends dangerous spores called Mycotoxins into the environment making it harmful for humans. These Mycotoxins interfere with our cell and DNA function resulting in serious health problems. Some of these dangerous molds are identified as Stachybotrys Mold or Black Mold, Penicillum, and Aspergillus. These types of mold have been known to cause illnesses such as skin rashes, memory problems, respiratory illness, and even brain damage.
Molds can either be seen or inspected right away but in some cases, molds are hidden. They can hide in places such as behind walls in air ducts, under carpets, and other hidden places. Hidden mold is more dangerous because it can spread without you knowing. Look for repetitive signs of nasal blockage and clearing of throat because they are common symptoms of spores in your home. In addition, check behind walls, under cabinets, and under carpeting as well as air ducts. Water damaged carpets are susceptible to mold growth as well as under bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Looking into a portion of a wall cavity may also show signs of mold problem.
You must also know how to look for toxic mold. They have a cotton-like appearance and can be gray, black, or white. To look for molds, start with the basement. A basement is oftentimes subject to flooding and water damage. Check for stains on ceilings and walls and determine if there is presence of a musty smell.
A smell test can also be done. It is simple because the smell of mold is almost unmistakable. They have a very distinctive “musty” smell that can be hard to miss. Molds may also posses an “earthy” smell but do not just rely on your sense of smell alone because some types of mold have a subtle smell and sometimes even none at all.
Do-It -Yourself Mold Testing Kits are widely available in hardware stores. While these may sometimes be helpful, hiring a professional to inspect your home for the presence of mold, elevated moisture or water damage is still the best option.
If mold is present in your home or workplace, consider taking action immediately to correct the problem. This will help alleviate any further indoor air quality issues for you and your family. Contact the professionals to have your home inspected. Orange County Mold Removal Specialist
Gregory Restoration serves all of Orange County, California. Call us at: 949.366-1930