Wet weather can bring mold, health problems

By • Published: June 17th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

It’s summertime, and for many areas of the country, that means frequent rainstorms, or the threat of hurricanes and flooding.

With stormy weather on the horizon, there’s something else folks should keep in mind: mold.

Mold spores exist in the air in and out of doors. They often are unknowingly carried inside by people or animals they settle onto, or they float in through open doors and windows and heating and air conditioning systems.

The spores grow when they settle in a wet area… often one with a water leak or a place that has flooded. Without proper precautions, a large amount of mold can accumulate in your home’s or office’s soppiest spots, such as in carpets, behind walls or under windows.

And your property won’t be the only thing that suffers. Mold can cause extensive health problems, including respiratory illness, asthma problems, sore throats and symptoms similar to hay fever allergy symptoms.

If a mold problem is significant enough to cause health issues, it’s probably visible, or at least one you can smell.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using soap and water to clean small areas infected with mold, or a solution of one cup of bleach mixed into a gallon of water. Certain materials are too porous to be adequately cleaned of mold and should be disposed of. Large mold problems may need professional attention.

The best word of advice on mold? Make sure your home or office is properly sealed to keep out water. And if all else fails, tackle that shower stall before time turns it toxic!