If you find aspergillus mold in your home, there are several steps you can take to identify the problem and clean it up.
The most important thing is to not panic or ignore the problem.
The most common types of Aspergillus mold found in homes include A fumigatus, A flavus, and A niger.
Once they start multiplying, they will spread rapidly and they can cause serious health problems if inhaled or ingested by humans.
If you do not take care of it right away, it can cause damage to your home’s structure as well as cause respiratory problems and health issues for anyone living there.
What is Aspergillus?
Aspergillus is a genus of Ascomycota, a type of mold (fungus) that is one of the largest genera of organisms in the world, containing more than 450 different species. It can be found everywhere, growing best in warm, humid environments with temperatures ranging from 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 30 degrees Celsius) and upon dead or decaying organic matter of the most varied kinds.
This mold can grow on almost any surface and is often found in water-damaged buildings and homes. It can also be found in water, growing on crops, in the soil, and in the food we eat.
Its development is favored by warmth and moisture and is spread by its microscopic spores, which float in the air.
Apsergillus releases spores that also produce toxic secondary metabolites that are called mycotoxins. Myco means fungal, and are known to have toxic fungal metabolites that poison humans, animals and plants.
It produces the major aflatoxins are called B1, B2, G1, and G2. Aflatoxin B1 is the most potent natural carcinogen known and is usually the major aflatoxin produced by toxigenic strains (Squire, 1981).
These mycotoxins produce a disease called mycosis (plural: mycoses) which is a fungal infection of animals, including humans.
Mycoses are common and a variety of environmental and physiological conditions can contribute to the development of fungal diseases.
That is why this mold can be dangerous to people who are allergic to it or have immune issues and lung conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
People who are sensitive or allergic can develop nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes and other symptoms when they come into contact with the spores or fragments of this fungus.
These reactions usually occur within hours or days after exposure, but they can occur as long as two weeks later. In some people with allergies, exposure to aspergillus spores causes chronic sinusitis and asthma attacks that are difficult to treat with medication alone.
If you find aspergillus mold in your home, here’s what to do and not to do:
Shut off the HVAC System
Shut off the HVAC system so the mold does not recirculate through the ducts and coils.
Ventilate the Area
Open any windows or doors to allow fresh air into the room where you found the mold
Run a HEPA Air Purifier
A good air purifier can help remove mold spores from the air in your home. They are a great way to improve the air quality in your home or office, leaving you with cleaner, healthier air to breathe.
The best ones are HEPA-certified and double-filtered with a pre-filter and activated carbon filter. HEPA is an acronym for high-efficiency particulate air (filter).
Inspect What Caused the Mold
Find out where the mold came from. To do this, turn off your HVAC system and locate any sources of leaks or moisture. Check your roof and walls for cracks and holes that may allow rainwater or moisture to enter your home. Inspect drywall seams for signs of water damage.
If no leaks are present, check all plumbing fixtures and appliances for leaks or spills that could have caused the growth (such as an overflowing toilet).
Fix Leaks or Humidity Problems
If you see mold in your home, it’s important to get rid of any moisture problems right away. You may also need to clean up other areas that were affected by the moisture problem, such as carpeting or furniture that was damaged by water leaks or flooding.
Fix obvious sources of moisture such as leaky roofs, plumbing leaks or broken windows that allow moisture inside walls.
Dry Area Thoroughly
It is most important to dry the damaged area and items for 48-120 hours with commercial fans and a dehumidifier to prevent further growth.
Call a Professional
It is recommended that you don’t try to remove the mold yourself unless you know exactly what you are doing.
You may cause more harm and spread it to other areas of your home. It is probably best to call a professional remediation company to remove it for you.
If you need help with a mold inspection, remediation, or a professional consultation, please call me at 760-818-6830
Moe Bedard is the founder of Mold Safe Inspections and manager at Mold Safe Solutions. A full-service Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) company specializing in property water damage, mold inspections, consultations, and mold remediation.
If you need help with a project, please call 760-818-6830.