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Mold: The Danger in Your Walls

Oftentimes, the biggest threat to safety in your home is not an intruder or natural disaster but rather toxins growing from within. The possibility of mold in your home can be scary. It’s difficult to know the best approach to treatment and removal of mold in your home without a professional opinion, but staying well-informed about the best ways to identify, prevent, and eradicate mold is vital in protecting your home against this dangerous infestation. Your health and home may hang in the balance.

Statistics

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On average, Americans spend roughly 90% of their time within enclosed buildings, with over 60% of that time inside their own homes. The continual maintenance and upkeep of a mold-free home should therefore a top priority. With over 7 million deaths each year linked to both indoor and outdoor air pollution, many attributed to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, the World Health Organization has classified “indoor air pollution–such as from dampness and mold” as a major cause of mortality worldwide.

Focusing specifically on the United States, the Massachusetts Special Legislative Commission in Indoor Air Pollution has concluded that “indoor air pollution is a growing problem in the United States and accounts for up to 50% of all illnesses”. Mold in particular warrants concern and can be responsible for rapid declines in health among family members. The US EPA warns “one third to one half of all structures have damp conditions that may encourage developments of pollutants such as molds,” and ALL types of mold have the potential to cause detrimental health effects.

Health Risks

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The health risks involved with mold exposure are extremely varied. People who are moderately sensitive to molds can experience nasal stuffiness, skin irritation, and wheezing. Individuals exposed to large amounts of molds may develop severe reactions. The Institute of Medicine determined in 2004 that indoor exposure to mold can be considered the root cause of many upper respiratory tract symptoms and coughs in otherwise healthy people, including children. Mold can also suppress your immune system, cause or worsen asthmatic symptoms, impair your memory, cause headaches and chronic fatigue, and result in nagging body aches and pains.

More recently, a 2007 study linked mold exposure to mental health concerns, namely depression. The risk for depression associated with people residing in houses in which mold was present averaged 34-44% higher than that for residents of a mold-free house, demonstrating that mold can negatively affect your mental state just as much as it can your physical health.

Black Mold Removal

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One of the most common and toxic molds that is found in homes is black mold. There are numerous signs that there may be black mold in your home, and remaining vigilant will help you address any problems before it grows out of control.

Signs of black mold include a damp basement or attic; cracked and peeling paint; mildewy or musty odors; loosening of drywall tape; and visible mold growth.

Fortunately, there are many household products that are more toxic to black mold than it is to you. Learn to use these properly and watch your minor mold problems disappear.

How to Kill Mold With Bleach

  1. Use a ratio of one cup bleach per gallon of water in a well ventilated area
  2. Apply the solution to non-porous surfaces with a bucket and sponge
  3. Do not rinse the surface (unless used for food preparation or a risk for children or pets)

How to Kill Mold With Borax

  1. Create a borax-water solution with a ratio of one cup borax per gallon of water
  2. Vacuum up loose mold with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner
  3. Use a scrubbing brush with the borax-water solution to scrub mold off the surface
  4. Wipe up extra moisture and mold particles
  5. Allow the surface to dry completely

How to Kill Mold With Vinegar

  1. Pour vinegar directly into a spray bottle
  2. Spray the vinegar onto the moldy surface and let it sit for an hour
  3. Wipe clean the area with water and allow the surface to dry

Staying alert to any signs of mold, and working to eradicate it upon first notice will help keep your home safer and healthier.

Have questions about whether or not your home is at risk for mold growth? Contact us for a consultation with one of our certified industry experts. We’re always within reach and happy to help, so don’t hesitate—call us at (770) 760-1967 and schedule your inspection today!

 

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