Mold in your house is usually caused by improper ventilation, untreated leaks, or any excess excess humidity. I always wonder what I fear more, mold or creepy, crawly bugs; lucky I am a strong believer that there is a purpose to every living creature. After all, I loooove cheese, mushrooms (a fungus), and hurray for penicillin; you know it...they are all different species of mold - and there are thousands - so we are bound to find some "undesirables".
And bugs...well, I can take the occasional butterfly, dragonfly, bee, lady bug (NOT Japanese beetle), worm, even grasshopper...but not all in the same day. Even termites, as repulsive as they are, contain microbes in their guts that might soon become THE alternative fuel for mass consumption - easy to cultivate, abundant, and very scalable (read my article on fungus, algae and microbes as the next alternative energy source). Actually, if you think of fungus as a variety of mold, technically, the mold in your house could someday be used to power your house - talk about turning lemons into lemonade ;-)!
What is Mold in Your House?
Mold and mildew are essentially the same. Mold spores are airborne and present everywhere. Mold and mildew come in any color of the rainbow, and look fuzzy and generally circular in shape. When there is enough moisture, spores stick to surfaces, and start out as small circles and send off hyphaes, or threadlike filaments, from their core (which are like plants). Spores can reproduce within 24 hours on organic surfaces.
How to remove mold in your house is the million dollar question. The answer depends on the type of material you are trying to remove the mold from. Below are remediation tip for common areas susceptible to house mold and mildew:
Non-Porous surfaces -
Porous surfaces -
Heath Concerns with House Mold and Mildew
The most prevalent reaction to mold and mildew are headaches and sore throats. House mold problems also cause sinus infections, and reduced immune response. Abrupt exposure to high mold spores can trigger typical allergic reactions such as sneezing, watery eyes, and other histamine-related symptoms. People taking immune suppressants must be careful around mold. Extreme reactions can cause respiratory and a slew of other systemic problems.Preventing Mold In Attics and Basements
Keep moisture out, and maintain the relative humidity between 30 to 50 percent. Use a self-contained fireplace that heats and dries the area. Dehumidifiers, air conditioners, ventilators, whole-house fans, heat and energy recovery fans and attic fans all work well in keeping moisture under control. The key is to keep a healthy amount of fresh, dry air circulating at all times in a house.
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