Water Damage and Mold | Part 1

Being Aware!
Mold has been around forever. It’s part of everyday life and our environment. We are aware of the structural damage that it can cause. Another related important issue that has arisen is mold exposure and potential health risks. How serious can this be?!

Health Studies
Studies have been conducted in several countries by WHO (the World Health Organization). They found that 1 in 3 homes have mold that is noticeable and that 1 in 10 homes have a serious mold problem.

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) survey says that 70 million Americans work indoors. One-third of them are quartered in buildings that are breeding grounds for contamination.

Contamination sources found in buildings include:

  • Molds
  • Bacteria
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (like formaldehyde used in building materials like particle board)

Water damaged buildings with mold growth and exposure impact the three parties that form what is called the “insurance triangle.”

insurance-triangle

All have to work and communicate together to solve the problem at hand.

Basic Health-related Terms
Some basic mold health-related terms should be understood as part of this series on water damage and mold. These encompass:

  • Allergenic – Refers to something that is capable of causing an allergic reaction.
  • Infectious – Something that can cause an infection.
  • Toxic – Describes something that is poisonous in regard to causing an adverse reaction but not necessarily a fatal one.

What are Fungi?
Fungi are a large category that encompasses molds, mildew, yeasts and mushrooms. It’s found everywhere. It just needs the proper conditions in order to grow. It reproduces when it’s dried as spores and is released into the environment. It requires free water either as a liquid or vapor (as in high humidity) to grow. Indoor environments can be a source of mold although the outside conditions won’t support it.

Some outdoor conditions are much more likely to be able to produce mold growth.