For many San Diegans, household mold is a serious concern. Not only is mold unsightly, but it can reap harmful effects on your property and impact you and your family’s personal health. Below, we’ve detailed some of the ways mold can affect people’s health. 

Mold and health: How does mold effect people?

Mold is generally not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. When left mold has the potential to cause health problems, by producing allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Common allergic responses to mold include symptoms similar to hay fever, like sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. 

Allergic reactions to mold are common and can be immediate or delayed. Mold can cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold and irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. 

What should I consider when dealing with mold?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists a number of items that you should consider when dealing with mold-related issues.

  1. There are a number of potentially negative health effects and symptoms that are commonly associated with mold exposure. The most common health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory issues. 
  2. Eliminating mold and mold spores in an indoor environment is nearly impossible. The best way to control indoor mold growth is to control the moisture level within your home.  
  3. If mold growth is an issue at your home, school, or business, it is imperative that you clean-up mold and eliminate sources of moisture as soon as possible in order to limit mold spores’ growth. 
  4. Water problems and leaks can be a huge source of mold growth. It is critical to fix the source of water problems or leaks in order to prevent mold growth. 
  5. Some methods to reduce  indoor humidity to 30-60% and decrease mold growth include: 
    • vent bathrooms, dryers and laundry rooms, as well as, other areas notorious sources for generating moisture,
    • use air conditioners and dehumidifiers to decrease the level of moisture in the home and improve overall air quality, 
    • run exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning. 
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. 
  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need replacement.
  8. Prevent condensation: reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation. 
  9. In areas with perpetual moisture problems, do not install carpeting (ex. near drinking fountains, classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  10. Mold can be found almost anywhere and grows on virtually any substance, when moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. 

By facilitating a dry-er environment, you can also help to minimize condensation, reduce pest-related issues, and alleviate allergy symptoms that are associated with mold and mildew. Keeping your home or building dry can also help

If you believe your home or building is suffering from a mold infestation, you may want to have a professional mold test performed on your structure. Only an experienced and professional mold testing company can determine if mold exists within your building and whether that mold may be potentially harmful to you and your family. 

The experienced team at Rarefied Air Environmental has been providing home and building owners in San Diego with mold testing for over a decade. Our experts can help you identify the source of mold (if it exists) and create a comprehensive plan for report with a scope for mold work. Call us today for San Diego mold testing.

Top ten things to know about mold