"It's true that those who suffer from health problems are more inclined to have harsher side effects when exposed to mold, but it’s important to know that mold does not discriminate," said Rick Isaacson, executive vice president of Servpro Industries, Inc. "People of all ages and health statuses are vulnerable to health problems associated with exposure to mold. These side effects can include something as minor as a runny nose, sneezing or coughing, to things more intense like aggravation of asthma, sore throat and inflammation of the sinuses."
Water intrusions may lead to the growth of mold, and many times that intrusion is the result of storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control. "If water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage may present an increased risk of harmful mold growth. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat," said Isaacson.
In observation of this month's awareness campaign, Isaacson is offering helpful information about the fungus that often lies hidden in many homes and business buildings in the local community. The following advice can help people tackle mold in its early stages: Understand Mold
There are over 100,000 species of identified mold, Isaacson said. We are consistently exposed to thousands of different types of fungi in our everyday lives. Certain types of fungi exist naturally in soils, plants, fruits and textiles and are generally not harmful, but others that grow in water, moisture and high humidity in buildings are just the opposite. Take Precaution
Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time. If your property has sustained recent water damage, it is important to remove excess water and dry the structure promptly. If you notice an ongoing moisture problem, be on alert for the following signs:
▪ The presence of visible mold
▪ Strong, musty odors
▪ Evidence of past moisture issues that might have caused undetected mold growth
▪ Excessive humidity Fight Mold
▪ Periodically inspect your property. Look for water and moisture in and around your home. Pay special attention around pipes, in basements and crawl spaces, behind boxes and contents in dark areas of your property. Note: you may have to hire a professional, such as those at SERVPRO. Mold can live in unseen areas such as ceilings or wall cavities.
▪ Control the humidity in bathrooms and wherever water is repeatedly used. Exhaust fans, proper caulking and effective cleaning with an appropriate cleaning product will help keep mold problems away.
▪ Regularly have your HVAC system and air conditioner inspected to identify moisture problems or drain clogs. "By following these tips, you can help keep your insurance costs down and protect your property," Isaacson said. "Do not procrastinate. The most important step you can take is to identify any humidity, moisture or water damage problems before they create bigger problems such as mold growth or structural damage. In many cases, the mold problem can be addressed without having to make an insurance claim."
Beyond taking actions on your own to prevent mold, it’s important to know when it's time to call an indoor air quality professional who knows what he or she is doing,
Isaacson said. SERVPRO has been restoring properties since 1967. SERVPRO responds to mold problems around the clock and has equipment to professionally test for moisture, extract water completely and dry properties in the local community.