Is Mold Common in Greensboro NC?

Is Mold Common in Greensboro NC?Molds Spangler and mildew are fungi found everywhere in nature on dead organic matter. They can also grow inside homes if the environment is right.Molds spread by sending out spores into the air, which can then settle on moist areas and find nutrients to thrive. Spores can then sprout a mass of intertwining strings called mycelium.MoistureThe lakes that surround Greensboro (Lake Brandt, Lake Townsend, Oak Hollow, Buffalo Lake and others) create a beautiful setting, but they also lead to moisture issues for homes with crawl spaces. Over time, excessive moisture can cause rotting wood, mold growth, pest infestations and more. If these issues are left unchecked, it can even damage your home’s foundation and decrease its energy efficiency.A high moisture level can also encourage the growth of toxic mold, such as Stachybotrys Chartarum (black mold). In a higher concentration, these kinds of molds produce mycotoxins that are harmful to humans and animals when inhaled. To prevent toxic mold growth, keep an eye out for signs of water damage such as water stains, musty odors and patches of out-of-place color. You should also be sure that your house has proper ventilation and that wet areas are dry and cleaned immediately. A professional mold inspection and remediation is essential for addressing these problems before they escalate.AllergensMold spores are airborne and can travel far and wide. When spore concentrations rise in the atmosphere, sensitive people can experience allergic reactions. These include a runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy eyes and skin (dermatitis) and shortness of breath. Mold can also trigger asthma attacks in those who are already sensitive to airborne allergens, such as pet dander and dust.Allergies to mold occur when the immune system overreacts to tiny, airborne mold spores and produces antibodies that fight them. People with allergies to mold often have year-round symptoms, but they may flare up when the weather is moist or when they spend time in certain types of indoor spaces. Your doctor can diagnose your allergy to mold with a skin prick test, in which a small amount of allergen is placed on the skin to see whether you have a reaction. You can also get blood tests that measure immunoglobulin E, which is an antibody produced in response to a specific allergen.ToxinsWhile the toxins produced by black mold can have different effects on individuals, they are rarely deadly. The spores that produce these toxic substances have a hard time finding a home outside of buildings, but inside they can easily make their way into carpets, wallpaper, curtains, and furniture. Over time they can also eat away at wood-based floorboards, wooden studs, and drywall.The toxins that are most likely to affect people in Greensboro NC are those from the genus Cladosporium. This mold is commonly found in damp areas and can cause itchy eyes, skin, and rashes. In extreme cases and over prolonged periods of exposure, it can also cause asthma attacks or sinusitis.In September, officials discovered that 1,4 dioxane, a solvent used in the production of chemicals and a byproduct of some plastic recycling, was flowing into the Haw River. It then traveled down to Jordan Lake, the water source for millions of people in the area, including those in Fayetteville and Raleigh.Health ConcernsMolds produce spores and microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) that emit unpleasant odors. Exposure to these can cause a range of symptoms, including allergies, runny nose, watery eyes, itching and breathing difficulties. Repeated exposure can increase your sensitivity, and some species of mold produce mycotoxins under certain conditions that can cause more serious health problems.People who are ill, elderly, or with chronic respiratory disease are at greater risk of infection from certain molds. They may also experience immune suppression, which can make it harder for them to fight infections from molds.The good news is that you can help prevent or reduce the amount of mold in your home or workplace. Keep moisture levels low by fixing leaks and keeping surfaces dry. Avoid putting porous materials in humid areas and using dehumidifiers and air conditioners regularly. Check and clean mold-prone areas frequently. Wear protective eyewear and nonporous gloves, and use a face mask or N95 respirator when cleaning.

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