Since Austin is known as a “humid subtropical climate,” it’s understandable why mold growth is a topic of concern for homeowners. In order to control mold, you must control moisture.
If you’re experiencing a mold problem inside your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and go straight to work fixing the cause, which stems from a water problem somewhere in your home.
To prevent mold growth, be sure to dry water-damaged areas within 24 to 48 hours.
Why Is Mold Growing in My House?
While outdoors mold plays an important role in breaking down dead organic materials such as dead trees and fallen leaves, indoors mold is not a good thing.
Molds create tiny spores which are invisible to the naked eye. These spores reproduce and float around through the air. If an indoor surface gets wet, a mold spore can land on the wet surface and begin reproducing, especially when left unchecked.
There are different varieties of mold, however, none of them can grow in the absence of water or moisture.
Molds Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
When mold spores land on a wet or moist spot, they begin growing. Since molds produce allergens (substances that could cause an allergic reaction), irritants, and sometimes toxic substances called mycotoxins, inhaling or coming into contact with moldy surfaces can cause allergic reactions in some people, including:
- Runny nose
- Red eyes
- Asthma attacks
- Dermatitis (skin rash)
It is very common for people to experience allergic reactions to mold. In allergic and non-allergic people, mold can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. In people who are allergic to mold, asthma attacks can be directly linked to mold.
What You Can Do About Mold
Mold comes in different colors; for example, green, black, and white. Since molds usually destroy the surfaces that they grow on, you can protect your furnishings and your health, and save money by controlling the moisture inside your home and destroying mold growth.
If you suspect that your HVAC system may be contaminated with mold, don’t run your heater or air conditioner without having it inspected by an HVAC technician. If you run the HVAC system, it could spread mold throughout your house.
If the problem stems from a plumbing leak, hire a professional plumber to fix any leaks right away. Be sure to scrub the mold off of all hard surfaces with a mixture of water and detergent, then dry off completely.
When cleaning mold, you may want to consider wearing an N-95 respirator, gloves, and goggles that do not have ventilation holes (you do not want mold spores to get into your eyes).