The Problem With Mold Spores
Whenever water damage occurs, it has the potential to cause mold growth.When mold grows indoors, it releases spores. Though invisible to the naked eye and unable to move on their own, mold spores are a serious concern for a few reasons.
1) When they land on wet surfaces, they can produce new mold colonies that in turn produce millions of additional spores. This results in an ever-increasing problem of mold spread and spore production till the moisture leak is located, repaired, and thoroughly dried out. By this time the damage is already done. You now most likely have hidden mold in your walls and under carpets, and unless you have professional-grade dehumidifiers, it can be difficult to dry moisture inside walls, behind moldy wall paper, or under carpets and wood floors. The dead or dormant dry spores and mold colony particles will not grow after the leak has been repaired, however the spores will continue to cause allergenic reactions in sensitive persons long after the leak has been repaired. They can cause serious health problems. Common symptoms of exposure to the allergenic proteins in mold spores are coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, itchy throat, and runny nose. Other fungal parts carry these allergens; however, spores have a high concentration of these allergenic compounds. Sometimes people develop allergenic rashes on the skin after fungal exposure.
2) A 2nd concern with mold spores is toxins in the spores. The highest concentrations of these toxins are often in the mold's spores. Even though toxic black mold, also known as Stachybotrys, is the only mold that comes to mind when most people think of toxic mold, many common indoor molds produce toxic compounds. Other toxic molds that may grow indoors are Memnonellia, Fusarium, Trichoderma, and some species of Penicillium and some species of Aspergillus. It has not been proven that toxins in toxic molds such as Stachybotrys can cause toxic reactions simply when breathing in the spores at the spore levels found in contaminated buildings, however people still fear such fungal organisms.
3) In addition to creating allergens and toxins, molds also release microbial volatile organic compounds, more commonly known as musty or moldy odors. These microbial volatile organic compounds or mold odors cause conditions similar to those caused by the allergenic proteins in the spores and other fungal elements. It has been shown it at least two studies that mold odor appears to double a child’s chances of developing asthma.