Mold plagues many homeowners here in the Chicago area. It pops up in the worst places: behind a couch where there's no ventilation, inside closets and down in the basement. But what is it exactly? We share everything you need to know about mold and how to keep your family safe.
Mold is a fungus.
Mold is a type of fungus. It grows in threads that are called hyphae. Yeast is also a type of fungus, but it exists as single cells.
There are a over 100,000 types of mold. It is found everywhere on earth and has plagued households throughout human history.
Mold reproduces through airborne spores. These spores travel everywhere we do. They can last for years and withstand environments that are dry, hot, sunny or cold. Once they are exposed to water, they begin to grow. It doesn't take a lot of moisture; an unventilated closet can harbor enough humidity to make mold grow.
Is mold dangerous?
Some types of mold are dangerous, others are not. A few, such as the mold that makes penicillin or the ones that are used in blue cheese, are actually beneficial.
Among the undesirable molds, a number are harmless but still unpleasant, as they can cause stains and leave behind odors.
The molds that are dangerous fall into three different general categories:
Molds that cause allergic reactions. These molds will cause allergic reactions in people who are susceptible. Only a handful of types of molds lead to allergies. In most people who are allergic, they lead to hay fever symptoms. In people with breathing troubles such as asthma, mold exposure can bring on an attack. In a few serious cases, people will have a serious response to allergenic mold called allergic brochopulmonary aspergillosis. This illness involves both allergic and inflammatory responses; symptoms can involve shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. If you suspect you have a mold allergy, your doctor may confirm this with a scratch test.
Pathogenic molds. These are molds that can cause severe reactions in people who are sensitive, such as people with weakened immune systems or people who are undergoing chemotherapy.
Toxic molds. Though rare, these molds can be dangerous even to people who are not typically susceptible to mold allergies. Symptoms of exposure include breathing problems, severe headaches, fatigue, abdominal pain and joint pain.
If you have a mold problem in your house, a professional mold removal service can help. We offer the mold removal Chicago families trust. We can detect mold in your home even in hidden places like under floors or behind your walls. After thorough removal, we make recommendations and changes that can help keep mold from reoccurring. Do you suspect you have a mold problem in your home? Call now for a free mold assessment.
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