Nobody likes mold but few realize how dangerous it can be. It can cause a lot of harm to your health and this is especially true if you have long-term exposure. The symptoms people have from exposure to mold growing indoors are similar to typical allergy symptoms. What you may notice are difficulties breathing, asthma, headaches, tightness in your chest, nasal congestion, skin, and eye irritation. If you suffer from any of these issues and they don’t subside on their own then you may have mold growing somewhere inside your home.
Once the mold is growing in your home some can produce extremely dangerous toxins that are easily absorbed by our bodies through our airways and skin. They can contain fungal spores that are toxic to the human body. Long-term exposure to mold spores can cause you to develop irritation and even cancer.
What Can You Do About Mold?
If your home has mold developing it is important to find out where and what is causing it. Anytime you get water in your home through the foundation, walls, or roof there is a chance you can develop mold over time. One cause of water getting into your home can be from your gutters. While they are designed to drain water away from your home, if the gutters clog then water will overflow over the edge and water can pool up around your homes’ foundation. Once you have mold growing in your home you need to hire a professional service to properly do a mold removal process.
To help prevent mold you can allow for proper ventilation. Running fans during showers, and let it run even after you are done. You can even open a window allowing the steam to escape.
Keeping your drains clear and having their services regularly is good maintenance. A clogged sink or tub and lead to standing water which over time can lead to mold. Overflowing toilets, leaky pipes are issues that can also lead to mold development.
Regular cleaning of your home especially those areas where steam and moisture build up like in your bathroom will not only help your home look its best but it will minimize any areas where mold can develop. Cleaning your shower/tub, sinks, and the floor is important.
Adverse Health Effects of Indoor Mold
Incidental mold growth like you might see on overripe fruit doesn’t usually affect most individuals but some have reactions when the mold growth is prolific.
Allergies: Inhaling or touching mold spores could cause an allergic response. Some of the symptoms one may have are runny nose, red eyes, and skin rashes (dermatitis). Some allergic reactions can happen right away after exposure. For some, it may be delayed until the allergens build up in the body.
Asthma: Often mold can trigger asthma symptoms like wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities flare-ups: Some molds can produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which often include keytones, aldehydes, alcohols, and hydrocarbons according to information provided by the American Air & Water. Those who are sensitive to VOCs may experience multiple chemical sensitivities symptoms like nausea, dizziness, memory issues, difficulty breathing rashes, or hives.
Respiratory problems: The CDC reported that there is evidence that links indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract problems.
Long-term Effects of Mold Exposure
Short-term effects of mold exposure are not usually serious and are easy to spot. On the other hand, the long term mold exposure symptoms may not present obvious reactions. People may suffer with sinus drainage or have allergic reactions or some respiratory issues and it can go on for a year or more and become life-changing.
Some that have exposure to a high level of mold for a long time period can develop lung hypersensitivity that can lead to lung scar tissue. Many do recover once the mold and exposure are removed but if it has gone on for a long period of time individuals may not fully recover.
The CDC says that certain toxic molds present a real serious threat if they take hold and begin to multiply within your home. This mold as it grows can send dangerous spores called mycotoxins into your home. These mycotoxins interfere with cell and DNA function, which can bring on respiratory illness, skin rashes, memory problems, and brain damage, cancer, among other serious health problems.
Ways to Prevent Mold Formation
- To keep mold from developing in your home there are things you can do to help reduce your chances according to the EPC (Environmental Protection Agency)
- When water leaks or spills act quickly to clean it up. It wet or damp areas are not dried within 24-48 hours mold could begin to grow.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly. When they get clogged the water will spill over the sides and can seep into your foundation.
- Be sure the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation of the structure. Do so will ensure water doesn’t collect around the foundation.
- Air conditioning drip pans should be kept clean and be sure drain lines are unobstructed and flow well.
- Keep your indoor humidity low. Keeping it below 60 percent is good while 30 to 50 percent is ideal. The use of air conditioners and dehumidifiers can help you control the humidity levels in your home or business.
- If you have condensation or moisture collect on windows, walls, or pipes then you need to dry the wet surface and reduce moisture. Condensation can be a sign that you have high humidity.
Professional Mold Cleaning Up
Mold clean-up is not something that you as a homeowner if the mold area is more than 10 feet. You should look into having a professional come out and do the clean-up. Their equipment and knowledge will help rid your home of mold without spreading the mold spores throughout your home.
At Empire State Professionals we know how to go about removing mold from your home or business safely so you don’t have to face long term mold exposure. Mold professionals will use an antimicrobial chemical to clean any remaining mold and mold stains after the demolition of the infected area. Mold professionals often use a sealer or encapsulant to make the treated areas more resistant to water damage and mold, and also to help with odor control.