Flood Damage >> Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew

Following a widespread flooding disaster, many questions arise from citizens within the communities affected and from the many volunteers and Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew organizations that are working in the devastated area. Personal health and safety is a priority for everyone.

The following information is aimed at preventing both disease and injury by answering many common concerns and providing valuable preventive health tips. What are molds? Molds are simple, microscopic organisms that are present virtually everywhere, indoors and Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew outdoors.

Molds, along with mildew, mushrooms, and yeasts are fungi. There are more than 100,000 species of mold that produce tiny, lightweight spores which drift through the indoor and outdoor air. Live spores act like seeds, Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew forming new mold growths (colonies) when they find the right conditions.

How does mold grow? Mold can grow almost anywhere there is water, high humidity or dampness. When mold spores land on a damp spot they begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. This digestion process, Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew if unchecked will eventually damage and then destroy the organic material the mold is feeding on.

The way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. Removing the source of moisture - through repairs or dehumidification - is critical to preventing mold growth. How am I exposed to indoor molds? Exposure to mold occurs primarily when there is active mold growth within the home, office or Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew school where people live or work.

Everyone is exposed to some mold on a daily basis without evident harm. It is common to find mold spores in the air inside homes, and most of the airborne spores found indoors come from outdoor sources. When moldy material becomes damaged or Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew disturbed, spores can be released into the air.

People can also be exposed to mold by touching contaminated materials and by eating contaminated foods. How can mold affect your health? Most types of mold that are routinely encountered are not hazardous to healthy individuals. Mold spores primarily cause health problems when people inhale large quantities of spores. Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew

Reactions are dependent on a person's individual susceptibility. People living or working in buildings with wet carpet, walls, mattresses and/or furniture can have health problems such as allergies, asthma and Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew sneezing. The most common health problems caused by indoor mold are allergy symptoms.

However, the long-term presence of indoor mold growth may eventually become unhealthy for anyone. Depending on the amount of exposure and a person's individual vulnerability, more serious health effects - such as fevers and breathing problems - can occur but are unusual. Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew

Persons at highest risk are asthmatics, people with allergies, infants and children, elderly, pregnant women, people with existing respiratory diseases, and Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew people with compromised immune systems. Those with special health concerns should consult a medical professional if they feel their health is affected by indoor mold.

What should I do if I suspect my health or my child's health is affected? If you believe that you or your child have symptoms that you suspect are caused by exposure to mold, Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew you should see a physician. Keep in mind that many symptoms associated with mold exposure may also be caused by many other illnesses.

You should tell your physician about your symptoms and when, how and Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew for how long you think you or your children were exposed to mold. How can I tell if I have mold in my house? The most practical way to find a mold problem is by using your eyes to look for mold growth and by using your nose to locate the source of a suspicious odor.

If you see mold or if there is an earthy or musty smell, you should assume a mold problem exists. Other clues are signs of excess moisture or the worsening of allergy-like symptoms. Evidence of past or ongoing water damage should also trigger more thorough inspection. You may find mold growth underneath water-damaged surfaces or behind walls, floors or Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew ceilings.

Look for visible mold growth (may appear cottony, velvety, granular or leathery and have varied colors of white, gray, brown, black, yellow or Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew green). Mold often appears as discoloration, staining or fuzzy growth on the surface of building materials or furnishings.

When mold is visible, testing is not recommended. Search areas with noticeable mold odors. Look for signs of excess moisture or water damage. Look for water leaks, standing water, water stains and Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew condensation problems.

For example, do you see any watermarks or discoloration on walls, ceilings, carpet, woodwork or other building materials? Search behind and underneath materials (carpet and pad, wallpaper, vinyl flooring, sink cabinets), furniture, or Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew stored items (especially things placed near outside walls or on cold floors).

Sometimes destructive techniques may be needed to inspect and clean enclosed spaces where mold and moisture are hidden; for example, opening up a wall cavity. Should I be concerned about mold in my home? Yes. If indoor mold contamination is extensive, it can cause very high and Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew persistent airborne spore exposures.

Persons exposed to high spore levels can become sensitized and develop allergies to the mold or other health problems. Mold growth can damage your furnishings, such as carpets, sofas and cabinets. Clothes and Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew shoes in damp closets can become soiled.

In time, unchecked mold growth can cause serious damage to the structural elements in your home. If you can see or smell mold inside your home, take steps to identify and Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew eliminate the excess moisture and to cleanup and remove the mold. How can I prevent indoor mold problems in my home?

Inspect your home regularly for the indications and sources of indoor moisture and Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew mold. Take steps to eliminate sources of water as quickly as possible. Stop the source of leak or flooding. Remove excess water with mops or wet vacuum.

Whenever possible, Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew move wet items to a dry and well ventilated area or outside to expedite drying. Move rugs and pull up areas of wet carpet as soon as possible. Open closet and cabinet doors and move furniture away from walls to increase circulation. Run portable fans to increase air circulation.

Do NOT use the home's central blower if flooding has occurred in it or in any of the ducts. Run dehumidifiers and window air conditioners to lower humidity. Do NOT turn up the heat or use heaters in confined areas, Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew as higher temperatures increase the rate of mold growth.

If water has soaked inside the walls, it may be necessary to open wall cavities, remove baseboards, and/or pry open wall paneling. Spraying with a household disinfectant on fungi and Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew mold will not remove the organisms and can exacerbate breathing problems.

Keep indoor surfaces as dry as possible. Try to maintain the home's relative humidity between 20-40 percent in the winter and less than 60 percent the rest of the year. Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew

Provide adequate ventilation, air circulation near cold surfaces, Flash Floods - Mold And Mildew dehumidification or other methods to minimize the production of moisture in the home and control high humidity that frequently causes mold growth in our cold climate.

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