Cold and wet winter months can create the perfect atmosphere for mold to grow. When water from rain, sleet, and snow during the winter months gets tracked inside, the increased moisture can create more humid conditions inside your home, allowing mold to grow more quickly.
Types of Mold and How to Identify Them
Mold comes in a number of colors and varieties and can be present in almost every space of your home. Six common types of mold you may find include:
- Acremonium is a toxigenic mold that evolves in its appearance over time.
- It first starts out as a small, moist mold that turns into a fine, powdery substance.
- Acremonium is often pink, grey, orange, or white in color.
- Acremonium typically grows in household systems and areas such as condensation from humidifiers, cooling coils, drain pans, and window sealants.
- With a black or green ground pepper-like appearance, you can often find Aspergillus around toilets, painted surfaces, or around air ducts.
- If inhaled, Aspergillus can cause allergic reactions that cause asthma attacks, fever, and a mucus cough.
- This commonly found mold should be checked frequently.
- Aureobasidium is an allergenic mold that can sometimes be found growing behind wallpaper or on painted or wooden surfaces.
- Aureobasidium usually develops in pink, brown, or black color. As it ages, Aureobasidium typically turns a darker brown color.
- The primary health risk of Aureobasidium is its ability to cause infections of the eye, skin, and nails. Because of its potential to cause dermatitis (skin rash), it should never be touched directly with bare skin.
- Alternaria is black with a velvet-like texture. Although it is a common type of outdoor mold, it is easily airborne, traveling for a warm, wet place to multiply. This is when it will cause an issue for your home.
- It will cling to plants, furniture, and damp areas like under sinks, showers, or window frames.
- The health risks of this mold include a runny nose, sore throat, hives, and rashes on the skin. Babies and those with asthma should be especially careful around this mold.
- Cladosporium is olive or black in color and is found in wood and textiles. This is another mold that is more commonly seen outside, although it can also find its way into your home.
- It attaches itself to damp areas of the home like the basement, attic, and bathrooms. Similar to other molds, it can cause allergic reactions like watery or itchy eyes, coughing, sneezing, and other common cold symptoms.
- This green and white mold can feel almost wool-like and thrives in a variety of environments. These can include wood, paint, carpet, and filters.
- Its adaptability is due to its strong metabolism, so almost anywhere can be a potential living space.
- Most Trichoderma species aren’t amongst highly dangerous forms of mold, but it can trigger allergies as well as asthma.
Harmful Effects of Mold
Some mold types can produce minor health effects like allergy symptoms, while others are highly toxic to humans, which can cause:
- Chronic coughing and fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting
- Internal bleeding in the lungs
- Damage to internal organs
- Brain damage like memory loss and tremors
Implementing consistent home checks in places like the bathroom, attic, and basement can help to catch the growth of mold before a loved one begins to feel these symptoms.
Tips To Control Mold Growth in Winter
Keep indoor humidity below 45%
- According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the best way to control indoor mold growth is to carefully monitor and maintain your home’s moisture level.
- If the humidity in your home rises, look for the sources of added moisture and address the problem as soon as possible.
- Place a dehumidifier in these rooms to lower the moisture level until a permanent solution is found.
Set ceiling fans in reverse.
- Your fans should turn counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter. If you set your ceiling fans to turn clockwise during chilly winter months, you will pull cold air up and draw the warmer air downward, which can both save you money on energy bills and keep your home a bit warmer.
- Good air circulation will also keep condensation from building up on cold walls and windows, where it can be a potential source of mold growth.
Use exhaust fans in the bathroom, kitchen, and other areas of the home that frequently accumulate excessive moisture.
- Good air circulation can help ensure that moisture doesn’t have a chance to sit and promote mold growth.
Clean and repair roof gutters regularly, especially if there is an abundance of dead leaves stuck in them.
- While you’re at it, make sure that the area around the downspouts is graded, so that any water coming off your roof flows away from your foundation instead of pooling around your home and contributing to mold growth.
If you can’t readily see a moisture problem but find traces of mold growing in your home, it may be time to seek professional help from the experts at ServiceMaster of the Upstate.
Our home restoration specialists have the training, experience, and equipment to treat, reduce, and control mold safely and effectively so your home can become your personal safe haven again. Let us use our proven expertise to create a comprehensive mold remediation plan that can prevent long-term damage to your home and health.
Call a Professional Mold Remediation Company in Upstate, SC
Our technicians at ServiceMaster of the Upstate carefully remove mold; clean, disinfect, and repair the affected surfaces and materials; as well as know-how to stop the root cause. We can provide detailed assessments and restoration process outlines to your insurance company to support any claims.
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