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What do I need to Know About Mold?

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If you've seen dark spots / stains on the walls and ceilings of your bathroom, then you've seen molds. But what is it?


Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.


Mold requires a source of nutrition and certain conditions to proliferate. Outdoors, they cling to plants and other decaying matter like old trees for nutrition. Indoors, they can use the carbon from building materials as food and they need moist surfaces for spores to form new mold colonies. Seeing mold in your own home or in office buildings is quite common, but are they dangerous? 

 

Mold may look small and harmless but they can still have a negative effect on your health, especially once their growth is uncontrolled. Different types of mold can cause various health problems such as aggravation of allergies and asthma, irritation of eyes, skin, and more, and some can even produce potentially toxic substances known as mycotoxins that can be harmful to your family. 

 

Where do you find it?

“Moisture” is the keyword to finding mold at home because they thrive in damp areas. Rooms that are constantly exposed to moisture or humidity are perfect places for mold to thrive. Mold can be seen on your walls, the ceiling, corners of your rooms, around the kitchen sink, the bathroom floor, and more. Check out the list below that highlights less obvious areas where mold can grow:

• Bathroom: The warm and wet environment inside a bathroom is like an open invitation to mold, especially if ventilation is poor. Be sure to check in less visible areas such as behind the toilet, in the storage under your sink, underneath bathroom rugs or shower mats, and shower curtains. 
• Kitchen: Apart from the old leftovers in the fridge, there are many surfaces that mold can utilize in the kitchen. Check some less obvious places like the area behind your stove (where grease and food splatter), old wooden cutting boards, and even water dispensers. 
• Bedroom: Inspect areas that can be damp like window sills (as they can collect condensation), air conditioning units (including their vents and the walls near it), and even your own mattress or bed frame (especially if you enjoy eating in bed). 
• Living Room: Your favorite couch, including other fabrics and upholstery, can become a haven for molds if they are exposed to moisture and high levels of humidity. If this happens, then you’ll probably notice a musty smell coming from your furniture. 

 

 

What can you do about it?

 

Dealing with mold can be tricky, especially since some colonies are difficult to spot. Initially, this might be a cumbersome ordeal but you’ll be protecting your home and family by getting rid of mold as soon as possible. Here are a few tips that can help you deal with existing and future mold problems: 

 

• Inspect your house for mold (including the less obvious areas we discussed in the previous section).
• Repair plumbing leaks and other water problems. Make sure to dry problematic areas completely. 
• For hard surfaces, you can scrub mold off with a mixture of detergent (soap works) and water. Ensure that these surfaces dry completely. Wear protective equipment, like a mask and gloves, when cleaning up mold as they can cause irritation or allergic reactions. 
• Painting over moldy surfaces does not solve the problem as the paint is likely to simply peel off. First clean the surface, dry it, and then paint.
• If you are highly allergic to mold, asking a professional for help will make things easier.
• Make sure that areas of high humidity, like the bathroom and kitchen, have proper ventilation such as exhaust fans. And these areas should be cleaned more regularly. 
• Mold that settles in highly absorbent materials like your carpet, the insulation, ceiling tiles, or drywall are very difficult to remove. The best way to deal with this problem is to remove affected materials and replace them. 
• For renovations or replacements, consider using HardieFlex® NexGen™ Fiber Cement Boards which are mold resistant* and protected by MoldBlock™ Technology. 

  

*Resistant against fungi Aureobasidium pullulans, Aspergillus niger, and Penicillium citrinum based on results of ASTM D3273-16 testing over eight weeks; and MoldBlock™ Technology effective in reducing colonies of Stachybotrys Chartarum (toxic black mold) by up to 99% over 24 hours based on results of ASTM E2149-20.   

 

Although getting rid of all mold completely is almost impossible, because there are countless spores in the air, your home and family can help prevent the harmful effects if you take action today. Cleaning up or renovating your home today can help make your home mold resistant and will save you from a lot of stress in the future. 

 

#ItsPossible with James Hardie. 

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/indoorenv/whatismold.html

https://molekule.com/blog/11-common-places-check-mold-home/

https://www.epa.gov/mold/brief-guide-mold-moisture-and-your-home

https://www.insider.com/is-there-mold-in-my-house-2018-12