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Mold is common, but that doesn’t mean you want it inside your home. Not only can it make your home look dirty, but it also smells and causes possible health complications. If you’ve noticed mold in areas of your home, or you suspect you may have mold because of strange odors or obvious moisture problems, check out these five frequently asked questions to learn more about mold inside your home.

1. How Can You Get Mold?

Mold may start to grow if your home has high levels of moisture. To really thrive, however, mold also need darkness, food (commonly drywall), heath, and oxygen. One common cause of mold may be too much humidity in the house. This is more common if you live in a humid environment, and your HVAC system doesn’t have a dehumidifier. It is also common in bathrooms with limited or no ventilation.

Regular water can also cause mold. The water may be from a leaking faucet, spilled water, condensation during cooking, roof leaks and flooding.

2. What Does Mold Look Like?

There are many different types of mold, and not all of them look alike. For the most part, however, mold may begin as small specks of black, brown, pink, or green. If left untreated, the mold can quickly grow into large black patches.

Mold also usually looks fuzzy or slimy, as opposed to mildew, which looks more powdery. Mold has a distinct odor that smells like dampness (as if something wet has been lying around for a while).

3. Can Mold Make You Sick?

Depending on your overall health and the type of mold, mold can make sick. Allergenic molds are the least hazardous, and they probably won’t affect you unless you already have allergies. Pathogenic mold is also not particularly dangerous. However, if you already have a compromised immune system, you may develop an acute illness.

Toxigenic mold, which includes the notorious black mold, can make anyone sick, regardless of your health. These molds produce toxins, which can lead to unpleasant complications that lead to cold-like symptoms or even death.

4. How Can You Prevent Mold?

The best way to prevent mold is to make sure you don’t have extra moisture in your house. If you have broken pipes that cause moisture, get them fixed. If you have too much condensation or humidity, get some ventilation to help pull some moisture outside. Installing a dehumidifier can also help.

If the problem is due to flooding, you may need to seal your crawlspace. If the flooding is from poor yard drainage, change your landscaping to better control water flow or install a sump pump.

5. How Is Mold Treated?

You may be able to safely remove some allergenic or pathogenic strains of mold yourself, but unless you know exactly what type of mold with which you are dealing, you may be trying to clean toxic black mold. If you are sure the mold isn’t toxic, you can remove it with a mold killing cleaner or a bleach and water solution.

If mold has already reached the drywall or carpets, you may need to have it replaced. Even if you clean the carpet as best you can, some spores may still survive, allowing them to spread without your knowledge. This is best done by a professional who can spot the mold quickly.

If you have mold in your home, don’t try to remove it yourself. If it is toxic mold, you can actually spread the spores, causing more mold and illness. If you would like to know more about mold, mold prevention and mold treatment, contact us today at Apex.