Winter’s full impact often goes unnoticed until well into spring. Winter moisture buildup around windows, paint, insulation, and under carpeting can harvest mold growth in early spring.
What are Molds?
Molds are microscopic organisms that break down plant and wood debris and can digest floors, furniture, carpet, and insulation in buildings. They reproduce by releasing spores into the air. Molds can easily be identified by their smell. They have a characteristic musky odor, which is a first indication that you have mold problems. You can also visibly see them; they appear discoloured, slightly furry, and slimy on surfaces.
How Do They Get Into Buildings?
Did you know that more than 270 species of mold have been identified in Canadian homes? Spores are airborne and can literally come in through the front door or windows. Mold spores can also be carried in on our clothing, shoes, pets, and our bodies. However, they need moisture to survive, so keeping indoor spaces dry is a step towards preventing their growth.
The Effects of Mold on Your Health
For people with asthma or allergies, children, or the elderly, mold can cause serious respiratory issues. It produces a toxin called mycotoxin, which causes serious lung and eye irritation. According to the Mayo Clinic 93% of chronic sinus infections have been attributed to mold. As we breathe in the spores that float through the air, that mold can actually grow in our sinus cavities and lungs.
So How do you Prevent Mold Growth?
- Keep storage areas clean & dry
- Check for leaks from plumbing and repair them as soon as possible
- Increase fresh air circulation; air movement helps to reduce moisture
- Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter; vacuuming frequently helps to remove mold spores
- When using a carpet extractor, try to find one that allows carpet fibers to dry quickly (within 30 minutes)