Most people are vaguely aware that indoor mold can cause health problems and potential illness.  Mold is everywhere and outdoors it is relatively harmless.  When mold spores land on something wet indoors it can cause allergic illness, trigger asthma, or lead to respiratory infections.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the following:  “Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet.”

According to the EPA, molds can produce allergens and irritants.  In a few cases they may also cause “toxic substances.”  However, the good news is that most people, when exposed to mold spores indoors, have symptoms that are similar to normal allergy reactions such as a runny nose, skin rash and irritate the eyes, skin, nose and throat.  While these symptoms may be uncomfortable, they can be treated.  However, people with asthma or other respiratory sensitivities are often at greater risk and should take additional measures to avoid exposure to indoor mold.

So, how does one avoid mold indoors?  Experts recommend that you should make sure everything is dry in your home or workplace.  If you see a cabinet or wall in your home that is wet from leaky pipes or open window, have it fixed.  You may also want to consider a new air filtration or purification system for your home.  A small upgrade to your existing air and heating system can reduce up to 99.9% of surface micro-organisms and 90% of airborne micro-organisms.

The EPA offers this advice as it relates to mold clean-up.  If there is mold in a relatively small area, less than 10-square feet, you can clean that on your own otherwise contact a remediation professional.

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