Moldy Stuff

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Mold Damage Mold Damage

I just returned from Florida where we helped my step mom of 50 years relocate. Although it’s not the ‘hot’ season or ‘Hurricane season’ yet it’s (to me) too hot and humid at 80 degrees and 64% humidity for me to live there. Not only is it damp feeling all the time, there are palmetto bugs (Florida cockroaches) as big as your kids fist and those damnable dinosaur-age alligators and crocodiles.

Too much moisture can cause many a problem for a renter or homeowner. Seeing a roof leak though the ceiling of your living room or a pipe full of sewage break in your basement is an obvious sign of too much wetness. It’s the sneaky drips you can’t see that will rot your foundation and destroy your support beams.  Florida has mold problems, and lots of them. Yet, in dry as a bone Utah, we’ve got mold issues too.

There are a bazillion types of mold on our planet. There’s mold right now in your living space because it’s just as common as dust and dirt. When I see friends or meet people outside of their wet environments I can tell where they live because I can smell mold on their clothes much more than if they lived in our high desert state. “Oh, you’re from Portland…or Seattle!”  Anytime you have organic materials and moisture you’re going to have mold. Mold spores released into the air can cause an asthma attack in some people who suffer from that terrible breathing disease. It can affect our pet’s health, too.

Luckily, we don’t have many occurrences of the dangerous black mold here like is found more in the southern part of the U.S. What you often see here in your shower is mildew, which is surface fungi of a grey, white or yellow color that can turn black over time. Mold is more fuzzy or slimy looking and there are 10,000+ kinds that can live inside your home (according to the Center for Disease Control). Black mold is the worst kind of mold because it produces toxic compounds that can give you and your pets really bad health problems like sinus infections, asthma/asthma attacks, fatigue and depression.

You may not know you have mold because you haven’t been in your basement since last fall. We found out last year that a pipe had broken inside a wall and a small leak started and spread slowly inside the wall and down to the floor (water follows gravity). It took us about three months to find what we smelled before we could tear out all the sheet rock and fix the pipes.If you suspect you have mold, call a plumber ASAP. It can spread fast or slow depending on the water source and trust me, it’s expensive to repair when it goes unchecked…not to mention the effect it can have on your health.