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All posts for the month February, 2015

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Mold plays a valid and useful function in nature. Outdoors molds, which are usually fungi , work to breakdown organic materials. Mold in the fallen autumn leaves breaks them down. Inside, however, mold can cause health problems. A variety of molds can grow in the home, but some are more harmful than others. All grow in a wet environment and leaking water and usually the damper the home is, the worse the problem can be.

Black Mold is Worst

One of the most common types of house mold is black mold. Black mold (stachybotrys chartarum), a slimy black-green mold, grows on porous building materials like wood, paper, and sheetrock in your home. This mold smells bad and usually grows in the wettest environments. Flooding in the home often causes black mold, if every part of the house is not completely dried. Black mold releases spores and mycelia fragments called micotoxins into the air. These micotoxins cause the most health problems, especially for people with allergies or asthma. The bigger the fragments released, the further it can get into a person’s lungs. The black mold is the hardest to eradicate, because it can be growing behind sheet rock or under floors. An expert should come in and confirm that it is black mold ,and can give you a plan to get rid of it.

Aspergillus and Dogs

If you find mold on such things as plastics, concrete, vinyl, glass, metal or tile in your house, it probably is not black mold. It may be penicillium or aspergillus. Both can grow on these less porous materials and stem from damp stagnant air. The spores of aspergillus are pervasive in the home but can cause some health problems. People who are extremely allergic to myotoxins can become ill from aspergillus but this mold more commonly effects dogs. German Shepherds are especially susceptible for some reason. Respiratory and nasal infections are common which can lead to more series complications in dogs. There are tests available to confirm the existence of aspergillus. Penicillium, a similar fungus, is less of a health issue and, of course, can be used to create an antibiotics.

Mildew

Another common household mold is mildew. Everyone has come across mildew, which can grow on a long list of materials. You’ll find mildew on cloth, leather, floors, ceilings ,and even plants. Typically you will find it in the bathroom because of high humidity. You can cut back on the humidity in your bathroom by improving ventilation. Mildew can grow on food in your refrigerator as well. It’s often black or can appear, white, pink, or green and often look furry. Bleach or mildew specific cleaning products can get rid of mildew on most surfaces. Storing things in a dryer environment by using a dehumidifier, can help prevent mildew in your home.
These four molds, black mold(stachybotrys chartarum) ,aspergillus , penicillim ,and mildew are the four that can be commonly found in a home. Experts can help to discern which molds exist in your home. Although there are always mold spores in the air, when the quantity and particle sizes increase, some molds can cause medical problems for people and animals.