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Types of Mold and Their Effects
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
It is an inevitable conclusion that mold is the single most common long-term effect of water damage. It usually crops up about 48-72 hours following an occurrence of water damage, spreads rapidly, and is usually extremely difficult to completely remove.
Worse, mold can bring with it all kinds of physical issues, from reactions that mirror the average allergy attack to more severe cases such as lung disease and even death.
We deal with mold every day. It occurs naturally in the outdoor environment and we encounter mold spores all the time, typically with no ill effects. Mold even grows in our kitchens and bathrooms with no long-term issues. In fact, there are more than 100,000 different types of mold that can occur, not all of which pose a threat. So, how does one determine what types of mold are dangerous and how they should be properly remediated?
Allergenic molds are the most common type, and they are exactly what they sound like - they contain allergens that can cause allergic reactions in humans. Asthma sufferers and those with weak immune systems may also be susceptible to allergenic mold. Sneezing, watery eyes, and skin irritations are the most common signs of allergenic mold reactions.
Pathogenic molds are a step up the severity ladder, causing more serious problems such as infection, especially in those with suppressed immune systems or those undergoing medical treatments such as chemotherapy. Elderly adults, small children, and infants would be similarly at risk.
Toxic molds are those that produce harmful toxins which may be poisonous to animals and humans. While rare, when encountered they can cause very serious health problems including (in rare circumstances) death. Toxic mold is more commonly referred to as black mold, and is known in the scientific world as Stachybotris. It can cause bleeding in the lungs of infants if inhaled and is made all the more dangerous by its resistance to air sampling. In many cases, by the time the growth is discovered, damage has been done and professional remediation services will be required.
Some people invest a lot of money in having their homes tested for mold. It isnít always necessary. Mold presents itself as a fuzzy, greenish-black growth on walls, flooring, or pipes, and is usually accompanied by a noxious smell. If you suspect that your home has mold, in all likelihood it does.
Mold is never something that should be taken lightly. It has been responsible for homes, businesses, and even entire city blocks being condemned and torn down. Mold remediation is best left to professionals who are familiar with the problem, and have the training and equipment at their disposal to be able to deal with it.