For homeowners, there could be no safer place than the house, where they could be free and far away from danger and disease. What many fail to realise, however, is that the home could also be quite unhealthy and no one would even know about it, until such time as someone falls ill. This is the hidden danger posed by mould growth inside the home, something that many people know little or even nothing about.
What is Mould?
Mould is a fungus, and much like most fungal types, grows and thrives in environments that are warm, moist, and not constantly exposed to sunlight. Mould will typically grow on organic matter such as wood and paper, but could also be found on inorganic surfaces like concrete and glass. For as long as there is moisture in the immediate environment, there is a good chance that mould will grow and thrive there. Mould reproduces by releasing spores into the air, which are small enough to be inhaled by most animals, including humans.
Read the following article titled What is Mould? to learn more about this topic
Is Mould Dangerous to Humans?
Mould could be quite dangerous to people, particularly those who have pulmonary issues or compromised immune systems. People who suffer from asthma or are highly prone to allergies are at the most risk of suffering from the ill effects of exposure to mould. Inhalation or prolonged exposure to mould will typically induce pulmonary irritation and symptoms similar to an allergic reaction.
These reactions could come in the form of coughing fits, nasal congestion, teary eyes, and breathing difficulties. There are known instances where the reactions were much more severe, causing people to have fevers and even go into pulmonary arrest and stop breathing. This is why mould growth is a serious danger to people at home, on top of the fact that mould growth is not always easy to detect. Mould, just like most fungi, avoid direct exposure to sunlight, preferring to grow and thrive in damp and dark areas of the house like cracks in the wall, underneath the wallpaper, and even inside the wooden portions of furniture.
The dangerous exposure comes from inhaling the spores that are released during the reproduction phase of the mould. These spores are microscopic and cannot be detected when airborne.
Is Mould Growth Common Indoors?
Many might think that they are safe from mould growth since most fungi forms are known to grow on soil or on rotting wood. Most houses in use today will almost always have some fixture that is made of wood, such as a cabinet, cupboards, or even pieces of furniture. These wooden items could easily become breeding grounds for mould, particularly if the moisture level indoors is ideal for fungal growth.
Mould is very opportunistic in that it could easily grow where people least expect it to do so, such as:
- Behind wallpaper
- Under ceiling tiles
- Inside drywalls
- Under carpets
- On any kind of fabric
- Inside upholstery
How Does Mould Get In the House?
Unless the structure is completely airtight and is equipped with an air filtration system, mould spores will easily get in through open windows or doorways, or even through the ventilation system if the filtration system is not fine enough to stop the microscopic spores.
Mould spores could also cling to clothing fabric or shoe surfaces while the person is outdoors, and be brought unwittingly indoors when they get home. People who make a habit of storing their shoes in dark and enclosed spaces after wearing them are at high risk of having mould inside their houses.
How Can Mould be Detected at Home?
Mould could usually be detected because of the pervading damp and rotting odour that marks the presence of mould growth. In some cases, however, the odour will not be enough to properly identify where the growth is, as the mould itself could have grown in cracks in the wall that is covered by wallpaper, or even in the wooden portions of the furniture that are covered by upholstery.
The best way to ensure that mould growth in the home is found and properly dealt with is to contract the services of mould and bacteria assessment experts who have experience in dealing with the problem. These professionals know where mould is most likely to grow, and where the spores are most likely to settle and spread. They would also know what particular cleaning compounds would work best in dealing with mould growth and prevention.
Why is Understanding the Impact of Mould Important?
Understanding the impact of mould and what could happen if it is left unaddressed could save homeowners a lot of headaches in terms of cost as mould promotes accelerated material rotting wherever they grow. More important than that, dealing with the issue as soon as possible could also spare the homeowner a trip to the hospital to deal with the health problems caused by mould exposure.