Bipolaris mold grows fast and can be found outdoors on grass, on plants and in the soil. Indoors, homeowners may find it on houseplants, spoiled food such as corn or celery, and on water-damaged materials such as carpeting, hardwood floors, or sheetrock.
Bipolaris mold is the type of mold that you’ll know is a mold-like substance when you see it. It’s got that soft, fluffy look with colors that range from white to a gray-brown as it spreads. As bipolaris mold matures for five days or more, it transforms into a dark olive or black color. It has a nasty look, and this stuff is useless in industrial or manufacturing settings.
What Health Problems Can Bipolaris Mold Cause?
A known allergen, bipolaris mold has large spores that can easily spread throughout the air and then inhaled into people’s upper respiratory tract. This can cause nasal and sinus symptoms such as a runny or stuffed-up nose, coughing, wheezing, or even asthma. Others may experience skin irritation such as eczema and skin rashes from exposure to bipolaris mold.
More seriously, bipolaris mold can cause phaeohyphomycosis, which is an infection that affects the sinuses, sometimes the skin, eyes, or even a person’s entire body. In a nutshell, the mold spores in the sinuses attach to mucus, begin growing, and then cause painful symptoms that can cause permanent damage, even pushing against the brain.
It’s important to note that healthy people can be affected by phaeohyphomycosis. And because the initial symptoms may seem fairly innocuous (head cold, sinus infection), it may take a while before the affected person or doctors realize how serious the problem is. Those who think they’ve been exposed to bipolaris mold and are experiencing constant sinus pain or stuffiness should see their doctor and relate that they think they have a mold infection. Treatment can include surgery and anti-fungal medication.
Where Could I Find Bipolaris Mold in My Home?
As noted, bipolaris mold can be dangerous. If you see it in your home, it needs to be removed immediately. If you observe it on decaying food such as celery or vegetables, bag the food up in plastic and get rid of it safely. Afterward, vacuum the area where the food was stored, using an HEPA vacuum if you can, and then clean all possibly infected areas with a reputable household cleaner.
Also, though it may be hard to observe, be aware that any dust on food inside of open packages could indicate that mold spores have done their dirty work inside. So throw away such packages and use a wet cloth to then clean the outside of other closed packages in your refrigerator or elsewhere.
Usually mold on plants is harmless and can easily be wiped away from the soil or leaves of the plant, but keep an eye on your indoor plants to make sure bipolaris mold is not anywhere near them. Plant mold growth can be avoided altogether by not watering them too much and making sure plants have sufficient drainage so that excess water doesn’t pool.
How Can I Prevent Bipolaris Mold in My Home?
Since mold in the home can be a dangerous and expensive problem, it is important to keep it in check. Unfortunately, unchecked mold can do major damage to wood, drywall, ceilings, and the carpet. And left untreated, it may even harm the structure of your house.
So what can you do to prevent mold? For starters, try to keep moisture in your household under control. This means simple things such as cleaning up water spills immediately. Likewise, fix plumbing problems fast and make sure the kitchen and bathrooms are properly vented so humidity doesn’t build up. Other helpful items to fight mold are using a dehumidifier and running the air conditioner, especially during hot summer months when you likely may be using it anyway.
How Can I Get Professional Help for Mold?
Don’t delay in requesting a free home inspection performed by a mold specialist if you see mold growing in your household. This person will review the mold-removal process with you and offer a free estimate for professional remediation work.
It’s possible that if the mold problem in your home is relegated to a small area (3 feet by 3 feet or smaller), you could take care of removing the mold yourself. Still, this must be done with the highest of precautions so that you’re not inadvertently spreading mold or inhaling nasty spores. Invest in the right equipment that will protect you during this job. That includes wearing goggles, gloves, and a mask or respirator. Other tools you’ll need to have are plastic sheeting, duct tape, and a HEPA vacuum. These items will assist in keeping the mold in check as you attempt to remove it.
For moldy areas larger than 10 square feet, it’s highly recommended to seek out professionals for mold remediation. Additionally, if you suspect spreading mold within your house’s ductwork, or if those in your home are experiencing unexplained allergies or possible mold-related health issues, seek out an expert for advice. (Prior to this step, you may want to also contact a doctor about any perceived mold-related health issues.) You’ll also want to meet with a mold professional if there has been sewage backup or flooding in your home.
Lastly, if you’re thinking of using a contractor to remove mold, make sure this person is qualified to remove it correctly. Chances are the familiar handyman you use for many other tasks will not know how to properly remove mold from a home. Through due diligence and checking references, it’s possible to find a contractor who has the right experience and training in mold remediation. To make sure, talk to the potential contractor you hire about following the recommendations found in a respected mold removal guide, which can be found online.