Mold has always been a major concern for homeowners and renters as it generally appears to be quite an obvious threat. Most homeowners have a good understanding of the environmental factors that facilitate mold growth and if nothing else, the culprit is often visible as it grows. However, mold can be much more complex than it appears, and often it can be hiding in spaces that are easily overlooked.
Mold needs a warm damp place to grow and often present waste can further facilitate its growth. Frequently growing mold spores can be obviously visible, but hidden mold and mold particles are not visible and can be a major problem for homeowners and renters alike.
When mold is present within a home, occupants might begin to experience symptoms of exposure. Symptoms of mold exposure can include, irritation of the skin, eyes, and nose, difficulty breathing, sore throat, headaches, nose bleeds, fatigue, and other symptoms that often mirror cold and flu symptoms. Mold can suppress the immune system and can even be potentially toxic.
When mold is hiding within a home it can often be identified by a musty-like smell but is also often undetectable by smell in certain areas. Even though some mold cannot be detected by sight or smell there are still ways to detect mold or prevent mold particles that may not be so easily found. If there is a musty odor it is important to identify the source of the smell and clean the area regardless of if there is visible mold. Of course, it is also important to dispose of any waste that contains mold and clean visible mold that is growing. There are also some areas where undetectable mold can be hiding around a living space that should be cleaned regularly and kept free of moisture regardless of evidence of mold growth. Some of these areas include, under kitchen bathrooms and sinks, around hot water heaters, behind washing machines, behind toilets, under carpeting, under items in closets, in attics and crawl spaces, and in air conditioning units.
To keep homes free of mold it is important to watch for any detectible signs of mold growth and clean them as soon as possible to prevent further growth. It is extremely important to clean areas such as those listed above that may be places that can facilitate mold growth regardless of if there are detectable signs of mold growth. Keep in mind the type of environments where mold can easily grow, and monitor and clean these areas regularly. It is also important to regularly dispose of any decomposable waste within a living space to avoid facilitating mold growth. For areas of the home that can contain mold and that are not as easily accessible, such as within walls and under carpet, it is a good idea to test air quality to see if spores and particles are hidden in these areas are potentially affecting the health of the home environment as well as the heath of occupants.