Just about everyone has heard of the notorious black mold that invades homes and causes disease and death, but black mold alone isn’t the only dangerous type of mold that can get inside your home. Many mistakes, such as not maintaining your HVAC system can promote mold growth. If you want to better protect your family, keep reading to learn more about mold.
You Can’t Judge Mold by the Color
Despite the name, you can’t just identify “black mold” by literally looking at the color of the mold. Many types of mold look black. In fact, many types of mold are in the same family (stachybotrys) as the deadly strain of black mold. You can spot this type of mold because it is dark green or black, with a slimy film.
If the water supply is lost, however, that slimy film may not be there, which makes it extremely difficult to differentiate between dangerous black mold and other types of less-harmful black-colored mold. Unless you test the mold, you won’t really know if it’s toxic black mold until you begin to see symptoms, so don’t wait to remove it.
In fact, it’s important to remove any type of mold in the home as soon as possible, because many molds are toxigenic. For example, another type of toxigenic mold is chaetomium, which may first appear white grey, instead of black.
Mycotoxins and Gas Cause Symptoms
One reason toxigenic mold is so dangerous is because it release mycotoxins. Luckily, mycotoxins are only released if the mold has a food source, which allows for metabolic functions, and there is a competing mold or bacteria. These mycotoxins can be inhaled by you, your family or pets, but they can also be absorbed directly through the skin.
In addition to these mycotoxins, the mold may also be producing gases, which can also release more mycotoxins. Eventually, they will lead to lung inflammation and skin sensitivity. However, if left untreated, the mycotoxins in mold can start to affect the nervous system and even lead to brain damage.
Even Non-Toxic Mold Is Problematic
The other classifications of mold are allergenic and pathogenic, and while they are less problematic, they can still cause complications for you and your family. Allergenic mold is often harmless, but if you have mild allergies, it can worsen your symptoms, leading to itching and wheezing.
Pathogenic molds are a little more dangerous because they can actually cause fungal infections. Luckily, if you are in good health, pathogenic molds may not be strong enough to actually make you sick, but if you have an immune-related illness, such as AIDS/HIV, you are at a higher risk of infection.
A Bad HVAC System Can Promote Mold Growth
One of the biggest reasons you may have mold in your home is a poorly maintained HVAC system. Ideally, your HVAC system should actually clean the air, including removing debris, allergens, and hair. This is usually done with the system’s filter.
A HEPA filter, for example, can actually trap about 99.97 percent of the particles in the air (as long as they are at least 0.3 microns, which is the most common penetrating sized particle).
Some systems can actually add humidity or remove humidity, depending on where you live. If you don’t remove excess humidity, your home may attract mold.
If the system or filter is dirty, it won’t catch those tiny mold spores. Instead, they will be allowed to enter your breathing air, where they can begin to thrive.
Mold is common, but toxigenic mold can cause major side effects. One way you can better protect your family from indoor mold spores, is by keeping your HVAC system well-maintained. Not only will a good working system remove mold spores from the air, but it will prevent excess moisture, to prevent more mold growth.
If you would like to know more about black mold or other types of mold and how a good HVAC system can help, contact us today at Custom Comfort.