Mold And Mildew concerns

June 23, 2022 11:10 am

Mildew (mold in early stage) and molds grow on wood products, ceiling tiles, cardboard, wallpaper, carpets, drywall, fabric, plants, foods, insulation, decaying leaves and other organic materials. Mold growths, or colonies, can start to grow on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours after water exposure. They reproduce by putting off spores – tiny, lightweight “seeds”- that travel through the air. Molds digest organic material, eventually destroying the material they grow on, and then spread to destroy adjacent organic material. In addition to the damage molds can cause in your home, they can also cause mild to severe health problems.

Typical symptoms reported from mold exposure include:

  • Respiratory problems: Wheezing, asthma attacks, etc Nasal and sinus congestion or dry, hacking cough
  • Eye irritation: Burning, watery, redness
  • Nose or throat irritation: sneezing fits, bloody noses
  • Skin irritations: rashes or hives
  • Nervous system: headaches, memory loss, mood changes
  • Aches and pains

General cautions when dealing with debris that may contain mold.

Remove debris with possible mold contamination carefully with appropriate PPE as mold spores will be released when disturbed. To protect your mouth and nose, Skin, and eyes, CDC recommendations for PPE include:

  • Goggles or eye protection.
  • N-95 respirator or one that provides even more protection. (check packaging for “N-95”)
  • Long-sleeved shirt.
  • Protective gloves.
  • Long pants.
  • Waterproof boots.

For additional resources on cleaning up after a flood see the info from the EPA: