We don't if you've heard, but it's hurricane season...which means that it's also mushroom, mold, and mildew season. All that moisture from the rain we've been having has to go somewhere and when there's too much...mold and mildew can become a problem. If you have a sore throat, or you're coughing or sneezing a lot more than usual, it may NOT be COVID-19. In fact, you may have a mold or mildew problem in your HVAC system. With that in mind, today we'll discuss ways to tell if mold and mildew are wreaking havoc on your Cary HVAC system.
Not All Mold is Bad
We recently ran into one of our customers playing with their son outdoors. This little boy was quite intrigued by all the mushrooms popping up in his yard. Some looked like golf balls and others he described as "fairy mushrooms." Much like these mushrooms in our customer's yard, mold plays an important role in the ecosystem. These decomposers are designed to break down decaying matter, such as breaking down logs, leaves, stems, and other organic matter in the forest (or your residential lawn) to recycle essential nutrients.
Even indoors, small amounts of mold isn't that big of a deal. For example, if you spot a little mildew growing on your shower walls, you don't need to tear out your entire shower; but, you definitely need to give it a good scrub.
Symptoms of Mold and Mildew in Your Cary HVAC
While small amounts of mold or mildew typically pose no serious health risks, more substantial mold growth can definitely cause problems. In fact, if anyone in your home suffers from respiratory problems, their problems could be exacerbated if the mold growth is left untreated. Considering how many people have been negatively affected by COVID-19 and the ongoing respiratory symptoms (cough, etc) that follow the initial onset of the illness, it's important to make sure that your home is mold-free!
Unfortunately, it can be hard to spot a mold outbreak in your home - even harder to pinpoint mold or mildew within your Cary HVAC system. Why is it so hard? Well, because the symptoms of a mold problem in your home look a lot like the common cold. Individuals typically experience coughing, wheezing, nasal congestion, headaches, throat soreness, itchy eyes, and start having problems with their skin that never existed before.
Rather than call a Cary HVAC technician to have a look at your system, most people will treat the symptoms with some sort of over-the-counter medicine. But the symptoms don't go away and the problem within your home escalates. Sound familiar?
The biggest difference between a common cold and a mold problem is that mold arrives with a distinct musty, earthy smell that tends to linger for a long time. If you've ever been in a home following a hurricane in which the home was flooded, you know the smell. Sometimes homes that have been vacant for a period of time will have the same smell. Mold can grow quickly in damp areas and tends to hide deep within the walls and any other dark areas of the home that are hard to see. More times than not, you'll smell mold before you ever see it.
What should you do if you suspect mold in your home?
One of the first things you can do if you suspect that mold and mildew are wreaking havoc on your Cary HVAC system is to purchase a mold test kit to confirm (or deny) that you have a problem. We've seen first hand how even the smallest amount of mold (in a new house no less) can cause otherwise healthy children to develop asthma or other respiratory illnesses.
Once you confirm that mold is the culprit, take action- fast! Clean any mold that you can see with a bleach solution (such as those tiny mold spots on your shower walls). Wear a mask and protective gloves, and open a window if you can.
If you can't see where the mold is, but you can smell it, it's possible that mold is growing in your ductwork. Call Choice HVAC at 919-435-2711 to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed Cary HVAC technicians to evaluate the situation and take necessary action. This is not a problem that you want to linger.