With the onset of summer & irregular weather in the UAE and with “cloud seeding” causing rain it is likely that we experience a constant change in humidity in our indoor environment. This increase in humidity with no ventilation creates perfect conditions for mold formation.
As life returns to normal, offices, businesses & retail are opening up. It is pertinent that we must check our indoor surroundings for signs of mold formation including AC Vents, corners of walls, cupboards & storage areas.
Mold not only looks unsightly but can also create a range of health issues. Its exposure can trigger cough, nasal and sinus congestion, throat irritation, runny nose, and respiratory problems such as chest tightness and breathing difficulty. Prolonged exposure to mold can lead to serious infections of the respiratory tract, digestive system and skin. It can also aggravate the symptoms in people with asthma.
As there’s a significant risk to your health, it’s important that you remove mold from your home and take precautions so that it doesn’t come back. The first step in the process is to check if mold is present in your house.
Signs to detect mold
- Visible identification: Mold that has spread to the surface is usually dark green or black in color. However, the color can vary depending on the area where the mold is present. Mold has a spotty and patchy texture, which is easily identifiable.
- Olfactory detection: In case you notice an unpleasant musty smell, it could indicate the presence of mold. The pungent smell is that of microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC), which are released as the mold grows and multiplies.
- Immune response: Your immune system’s response to mold can lead to flu-like symptoms, coughing, sneezing, and respiratory issues. If the symptoms linger over extended periods and you are unable to pinpoint the exact cause, it might indicate the presence of mold.
How to control mold
- Reduce moisture: Mold thrives on moisture, so controlling moisture will automatically stop its growth. You should aim at maintaining humidity level of less than 50% inside your home to prevent mold from forming. You can achieve this through natural ventilation or using specialized equipment such as a dehumidifier.
- Check for leaks: As mold forms on damp surfaces, check your house for any leaks that maybe there. It could be a leaking roof or a damaged plumbing unit. Even minute leaks can cause enough dampness to sustain a large colony of mold. Once the leak is identified, you can fix it on your own or take help from a mason or plumber.
- Use air purifiers: Mold spores can spread through air and contaminate other areas in your home. Using a HEPA certified air purifier will help prevent the spread of mold spores.
- Let in natural light and sunshine: As mold thrives in dark areas, letting in sunlight can prevent its growth. When you open the windows and curtains, the heat from the sun will also help reduce moisture levels inside your home.
- Use mold-resistant materials: You can use mold-resistant materials in areas that are most susceptible to mold. These are usually made of moisture-resistant materials such as fiberglass. They work by preventing moisture absorption, which in turn controls mold growth.
In case you suspect mold in your home, it is recommended that you consult a professional cleaning company like Tanziif. Trying to remove mold on your own can create significant health risks. Moreover, it’s unlikely that you will be able to completely remove the mold with standard home tools. Professional mold remediation services will not only remove mold in a safe manner but also ensure that your home remains mold-free for a long time.