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mold in the home & how to control and avoid it.


We’ve all had the unfortunate surprise of finding some mold in our homes. The undesirable black and greenish spots, usually seen in dark, damp corners, may seem harmless at first, but they pose a major problem for buildings and their occupants. Mainly because we know that their tendency is to spread more and more, contaminating other materials and surfaces, causing a characteristic odor and polluting the air.

How is it possible to control it and, mainly, to prevent them from arising through the house?

Mold is a type of fungus and is present almost everywhere, including the air. There are a multitude of species. When the term “black mold” is used, we are generally talking about the so-called “black mold”. Stachybotrys chartarum.

There are other very common species, such as Alternaria, Aureobasidium, and Chaetomium. It is important to keep in mind that while moisture concentration is the fungus in its initial stage, more superficial and easier to eliminate, mold corresponds to its advanced stage, with rooted black spots and more difficult to eliminate.

Fungi reproduce through their spores and thrive on damp, cellulose-rich surfaces such as fiberboard, wood and drywall. In places with small leaks, mold may also appear.

Black mold is toxigenic, that is, it releases mycotoxins that can be extremely harmful to home occupants. Of course, some people are more sensitive to mold spores than others, and may develop respiratory symptoms after inhaling a small amount of spores. But an environment with a high concentration of mycotoxins can cause fungal poisoning, even in healthy individuals, depending on their concentration level, the amount of time in exposure to them and other factors.

For infants and children, mold exposure is even more harmful. One study showed that children exposed to mold may be more likely to develop asthma.

As aRRchitects, our duty is to develop projects that make the occupants’ lives as healthy as possible. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to take special care with roof and wall waterproofing, making sure to specify the right products. Precise details and monitoring during the construction process are vital to certify the waterproofing of structures. In addition, it is important to consider that abundant sunlight and adequate ventilation are the easiest, cheapest and (usually) most effective ways to control indoor humidity. Analyzing and proposing appropriate solutions for sunlight and natural ventilation, and developing passive strategies, may be the smartest measures in most cases, especially when the building is not located in areas with humid climates.

However, as complex as it may be to prevent the occurrence of these harmful microorganisms in buildings, there are some basic precautions that can help:

Perform routine inspections to find and repair small cracks and damaged areas in roofs and waterproofing that may develop infiltration.

  1. Ensure a low humidity level inside the spaces.

  2. Allow breezes and sunshine into the building or house whenever possible.

  3. If mildew is still appearing, it is important to get rid of it at the root. However, there are several home recipes on the Internet, usually using bleach, that should work to remove small blooms. If the problem is too serious, the most appropriate is the help of a professional, you can contact us for help in this matter.

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