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Mold, or mould, is a common term for fungi, which can grow almost anywhere that is moist and damp. They normally appear to look like smudges and stains and have a musty odor. They come in many colors, most of them being black, white and green. They spread by releasing minute spores into the air, which are small enough to be breathed in by people and other living things. This can lead to bad health. For some, exposure to the mold and its spores commonly results in allergies and respiratory problems such as coughing, wheezing, and asthma along with other symptoms like irritation of either skin, eyes, nose or throat and stuffiness of nose.

Some molds such as the Stachybotrys (or "Black Mold") are also toxic. Their spores are more dangerous than normal mold spores and are also thought to be sometimes lethal. The mycotoxins which the black mold produces are also said to be neurotoxic, meaning, it can damage neurons in the brain and cause mental and neurological problems. However, they are very hard to eliminate. Some symptoms people experience from contact with black molds include:

  • Dizziness

  • Red or bloodshot eyes

  • Brain Fog

  • Disorientation

  • Shock

  • Burning sensation in nose and/or mouth

  • Hallucinations

  • Nose bleeds

  • Inflammation of lungs

  • Numbing of senses

  • Drowsiness

If the area you are living in is regularly experiencing damp conditions, it is best to inspect your home on a regular basis because there is a high chance that molds are growing in some areas of the house.

To prevent molds from growing in your house, you must do the following :

  • Do regular inspections of the house, especially cold, damp areas such as patios/gardens, basements, kitchens, storage rooms, attics, refrigerators, windows and bathrooms.

  • Fix leaking roofs, water leakages and other plumbing problems to prevent growth of molds.

  • It is not advisable to lay carpets in areas which frequently come into contact with water such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry. These places provide a perfect environment for the molds to thrive in.

  • Avoid storing paper and wooden items in damp areas, such as basements.

  • Use a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth in damp areas.

  • Replace filters of cooling systems such as air conditioners and humidifiers every three months.

  • Clean bathtubs, shower curtains, shower stalls and kitchen surfaces using a disinfectant or bleach at least once a month.

  • Keep grass clippings, leaves, and compost away from your house.

On the other hand, if molds have already thrived in certain areas of the house, the following must be done immediately to eradicate the molds completely :

  • Dispose of molds as soon as possible using proper safety equipment such as breathing masks, goggles and rubber gloves.

  • If the area affected with the mold is too large, or if the person is incapable of cleaning the mold by him/herself, it is best to seek professional help for proper cleaning and disposal.

  • Upon completion of a clean-up, inspection of the area for water damage and leakage is also necessary to prevent more molds to reappear later on.

  • Vacate the area immediately after successful removal of the mold. This prevents the mold, which can still be airborne during clean-up, from spreading further.

Overall, a sure way of preventing the existence of molds in the household is by keeping all areas of the home clean and well-maintained always. This ensures a healthy environment, free from molds and other health risks.

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