Does mold cause health problems?
It seems that all molds can cause problems in some people, everything from sneezing, itchy eyes, rashes, and so on. Mold can worsen asthma or other chronic respiratory problems, and people with lung disease or weakened immunity systems may be more susceptible as are children. .
Does mold create issues not related to health?
It sure does. It can damage your home. Experts state that excessive amounts of mold can weaken floors, walls and ceilings. In addition, some surfaces may be permanently stained from the mold, even after it is removed.
How do you prevent mold, it seems to be everywhere these days with all the wet basements and leaky roofs caused by rain.
Prevention involves fixing leaks, cleaning up spills and water damage within a couple of days and keeping indoor humidity below 50 percent which can be quite a challenge during the summer months. Some strategies for doing this involve using exhaust fans to circulate air, since the air conditioner may not be able to take out the moisture, particularly in the basement. Another alternative is to purchase a dehumidifier. We have one and find it invaluable in keeping the basement humidity under control. Also check . storage areas. Do you have rolls of old carpet, stacks of wall board, and so on, all of these materials are porous and can harbor molds.
What about cleaning up mold, can you do it yourself or should you hire a professional?
The answer depends on your general health and taking some precautions. Certainly, if you have lung problems and other issues mentioned earlier then you might be well advised to seek the help of a professional, for the rest of us, there are some specific guidelines. For example, use a respirator mask which you can buy at hardware stores, wear long rubber gloves and goggles to prevent eye exposure.
Consumer Reports on Health recommends that you scrub hard surfaces with 1 part bleach to 10 parts of water and dry thoroughly.
If your home has a strong musty or mildew smell but you can't find any visible evidence of mold, it may be inside the walls, floors, or ceiling. In that case, you should think about hiring a professional.