Mold is NOT a Harmless Fungus
One of the most relevant fungi in the world today is mold. Mold is not a mushroom or other fungus that is not dangerous to human beings. It is important that we try to prevent mold from growing because its growth is rapid and leads to health problems for humans. In this article, I will educate you on how mold grows, the problems associated with mold, how to prevent mold growth, and why storing personal items correctly is important to prevent mold growth.
How Mold Grows
Similar to other bacteria/microbes, mold grows in moist, warm, and humid environments. Once mold spores form, growth is rapid and can even become resistant to conditions that are not favorable to them. There are a multitude of different molds, but all spawn in the same favorable conditions that I have described above. Mold can grow in any environment. Indoor environments suitable for mold are typically those that have high humidity levels, such as a basement or shower. Outside, mold grows in shady or damp areas or any place where vegetation is decomposing. Locations that have high mold exposure are antique shops, greenhouses, saunas, farms, construction areas, flower shops, summer cottages, and non-climate controlled storage units. Regardless of where mold grows, it can be extremely dangerous to an individual.
Health Problems associated with Mold
Mold is an allergen and an irritant to all humans. Not everyone is severely affected by exposure to mold, but for some individuals mold can be extremely threatening to their health. Mold can cause an allergic reaction in most people, which results in nasal congestion, eye and skin irritation, fever, and shortness of breath. Allergic reactions can be immediate or delayed, with symptoms similar to that of hay fever. People with asthma are also at great risk because it can cause cause them to have an asthma attack if they are allergic and exposed to mold. Mold is most dangerous to people with a chronic lung illness because mold can infect their lungs if inhaled. Regardless if you are allergic or not, mold causes irritation to the eyes, skin, and throat. Prolonged exposure will result in severe health problems. It is important that businesses and individuals take the right precautions to prevent mold growth and keep the environment they work or life in, a safe environment for everyone.
Preventing Mold Growth
It is not difficult to prevent mold growth, but it can be hard to stop once it starts to grow. When mold grows indoors, it is an immediate threat to people. To eliminate the risk of mold growth inside your household you should fix leaks in your house, reduce humidity to 30-60%, clean and dry damp items, prevent condensation with insulation, clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent then dry completely, and replace any absorbent materials that are moldy. Preventing moisture from building up is the most important step to take when preventing mold growth inside. Using dehumidifiers, air conditioning, exhaust fans when cooking, and other ventilation systems is the best possible way to prevent moisture from causing mold growth inside a building. Growth outside for mold is inevitable and there is not much you can do to prevent it from growing. Making sure your valuables are not wet and or left out in the humidity is the best way to keep your valuables safe. I advise you to search "mold" on Google and to visit a .gov or .org website for a more extensive explanation of how to prevent mold growth and how to clean it up properly. Here are some websites I found helpful: EPA and CDC.
Mold Growth on Valuables When Stored Improperly
Now that we know mold is caused by moisture buildup due to humidity, we can see why it is dangerous to store valuables outside – especially in the state we live in. In Wisconsin, the average humidity during summer months is between 86% in the morning and 53% in the afternoon. Mold growth is prevented when humidity is kept between 30-60%, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. This fact calls for immediate action for those who are storing their valuables outside in Wisconsin.
For anyone who cares about their possessions, storing items in a climate controlled environment with low humidity levels is the best option to prevent mold growth on your possessions. At our facilities we guarantee that our humidity levels are kept at less than 45% at all times. In addition, we even give you a tip sheet on how to properly store your items to prevent mold and other mishaps (view here). View our climate controlled storage units here.