The Dangers of Lichen Growth

What is Lichen?

Lichen is a type of symbiotic organism that can be found growing in a variety of places, including the walls and ceilings of your home. Although lichen is not considered a plant, it is a living organism that is made up of two different organisms—a fungus and an alga—that work together to survive.

Where does lichen grow?

Lichen grows slowly and can live in areas that do not get enough sunlight or water. They tend to prefer damp and cool areas and will grow on virtually any surface, including wood, stone, brick, metal, glass, and plastic.

How can I spot lichen?

Lichen is often identified by its distinctive, leaf-like appearance. It can be white, grey, yellow, green, or even pinkish-orange in color and have a crusty, scaly, or leafy texture. It can also have a characteristic “spotted” look, where it appears as if little spots of color have been stamped on the surface.

What are the dangers of lichen growth in my home?

Lichen is a type of fungus that can cause serious health problems. Inhalation of lichen can cause shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, and other respiratory problems. In rare cases, some people may be allergic to lichen and suffer from extreme reactions such as anaphylaxis. Ingestion of lichen can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and other gastrointestinal problems.

In addition, lichen can produce toxins that can be harmful to humans and animals. The most common of these toxins is the neurotoxin Usnic acid, which can cause serious neurological problems if ingested. Lichen also produces other toxins such as volatile organic compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which can be hazardous to humans and animals.

Lastly, lichen can be a breeding ground for mould and other fungi, which can cause respiratory illnesses, allergies, and other health problems. It’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of living with lichen.

How can I get rid of lichen?

It is important to note that lichen is not always a sign of a larger problem, such as a water leak or mould issue, so there is no need to panic if you spot it in your home. However, it is a sign that the environment is conducive to its growth, so it is important to take steps to prevent it from spreading.

The first step is to reduce the humidity in the area by using a dehumidifier or a fan. You should also avoid overwatering any plants or shrubs in the area, as this can also contribute to an environment that is favorable for lichen growth. If you find lichen in a certain area of your home, it is important to clean and sanitise the surface thoroughly to prevent the spread of spores.

Finally, if you find lichen growing on the exterior of your home, it is important to remove it. Although lichen rarely causes any damage to buildings, it can detract from your home’s aesthetic appeal and should be removed.

By taking the right precautions, you can avoid lichen growth in your home and keep it looking its best. The team at Gutter-Vac are experienced in lichen removal. Get a quote for lichen removal today.

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