Damp conditions prevail in our region most of the year, and for some households, that can mean there’s a problem controlling mold. So how worried should you be about mold in your home? Here are some basic tips for dealing with mold.
Problems with Mold
Mold is everywhere and fortunately, it’s seldom an issue for the majority of us. Mold is a type of fungus that breaks down decaying organic matter, and flourishes in damp, dark environments. We aren’t generally aware of mold until it takes up residence inside the home. Moldy conditions are usually an indicator of a problem, such as leaky plumbing, lack of ventilation or too much humidity.
Some individuals experience extreme reactions to mold, such as coughing, wheezing, skin irritation, nasal stuffiness and irritated throat. People with immune problems and lung diseases may get infections when exposed to mold.
There has been a lot of publicity about toxic black mold, but do be aware that not all black mold is the toxic variety. the only way to know for sure is to have it tested.
Mold can become a problem in bathrooms and kitchens, carpets, insulation, leather, drywall, food and clothes.
What to Do About Mold
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued some extensive directions on how to clean up mold that is a result of flooding.
Dealing with mold infestations caused by less catastrophic problems can involve several tactics. Here are some:
- For infestations in the bathroom or over the range hood, clean up the mold with bleach and water. Wear nonporous gloves, a disposable respirator and protective eyewear. Then, look into installing ventilation in these areas. The ventilation should be exhausted to the outdoors, rather than into the attic, where additional mold problems might arise.
- Fix leaky plumbing right away. Also, fix leaks in the roof or around windows.
- Install a dehumidifier. Try to maintain relative humidity in the home between 30 and 50 percent.
For more on dealing with mold, contact CCAC of Corpus Christi. We’re constantly concerned about the HVAC needs of customers in our service region.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about combatting mold and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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