It’s no news to anyone living in the Triangle that we have received more than our share of rainfall this fall/winter. In fact, since mid-October, we are 5.23 inches above normal and the long-lasting precipitation may have had a detrimental effect on our homes.

Molds grow best in warm, damp, humid conditions- that pretty much sums up our unseasonable weather recently. In addition to the climate, moisture can come from leaky pipes, neglected roofs, poorly maintained air conditioners, and overgrown landscaping. Because moisture and mold can result in negative effects on our health and houses, it is very important to recognize and remedy any sites of moisture buildup. If you have mold, you need to get rid of it and eliminate the cause.

But don’t fret, not all molds are created equally, the most common types are aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra, also known as black mold. Aspergillus is a mold commonly found on foods and in home air conditioning systems and is fairly allergenic.

Black or green “pepper-like” mold which typically grows on the back of toilets and painted surfaces is called cladosporium. This type of mold is nontoxic to humans, but it can trigger common allergy symptoms. One in every three people will have allergic reactions to mold, including symptoms such as headaches, sneezing, coughing, and runny/stuffy nose. Very young, the elderly, and residents with other health issues, such as asthma, are much more susceptible to more serious reactions.

Mold that is red or orange, which is typically found outside or on moist wood is harmless and should only be removed for aesthetic purposes.

However, mold can destroy the value of your home and most insurance policies do not cover damages resulting from mold, but may provide coverage for water leaks, which may cause mold. In addition, standard home inspections do not investigate for mold, but may report water damage and will cite the appearance of mold. If mold is found in your house or one your are attempting to purchase, don’t immediately back out of the deal. Any type of mold can be remedied, but you will want to consult with a certified and licensed mold inspector.

For more information on mold click on the links below:

CDC Basic Facts: Molds in the Environment

EPA’s Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home

CDC: You Can Control Mold

The Family Handyman- How to Remove Mold