You will likely find mold developing in your house’s dampest and darkest spaces. Mold can ruin the ambiance of your space. But more than that, it can contribute to severe health conditions. Although it only forms and spreads on surfaces like walls, floors, or roofs, it can contaminate the air you breathe in. These toxins cause a variety of minor to severe ailments by irritating your respiratory tract or interfering with your immune system.
So, if you notice mold in your home, it’s essential to treat it as soon as possible, especially if you have children and seniors in your house. Of course, you or your family don’t develop health issues instantly, but continuous exposure will be dangerous.
How Does Mold Get into Your Home?
Wondering whether the mold just started to grow in your house? Mold spores are present outdoors and indoors. They are not visible to the naked eye. These spores can get in your house through the air from ventilation systems, doorways, and windows. They may also get inside your home and spread via animals, household pets, or through your clothing,
While mold spores can reach any house, they can only flourish in places with ideal conditions. A moist place that supplies suitable nutrients supports mold growth. But if mold doesn’t get a suitable environment, it will not cause a problem for you. Some areas where molds can grow are:
- Spaces with poor air circulation
- Areas with leakages
- Homes that have experienced flooding
Mold in the Home – Is it a Problem for You?
It’s nearly impossible to find a mold-free house. But you may at least make an effort to purchase a home in good shape with no leaks or ventilation problems that could lead to mold formation. Mold carries serious risks and can negatively affect a fit and healthy individual if not addressed right away. Here are some health issues that can develop when you have mold in the home.
Individuals with specific health issues are at a higher risk of contracting infections like lung infections. Some most common mold-related infections are:
- Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis)
If you have the following conditions, you will be at higher risk of developing the mentioned infections.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Cystic fibrosis
- A compromised immune system, such as people who have HIV or corticosteroids
Regularly breathing in an environment with mold can cause lung inflammation, known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis. The symptoms appear four to six hours after exposure to the allergen, mainly mold spores and dust. The symptoms, such as fatigue, chills, fever, tightness of the chest, shortness of breath, or dry cough, may last for several hours or even days.
Irritant to Lung and Nose
When mold grows in space, fragments, spores, cells, and unstable organic compounds can spread in the air. As a result, they can produce irritants, allergens, and mycotoxins. These materials can be highly toxic and can adversely impact people who have sensitivity to them.
The dampness in your house causes allergens and irritants to break down. This increases the number of dust or harmful particles in the air. Breathing in the air with these particles can irritate your nose, lungs, and throat, especially for people with breathing issues like lung conditions or asthma.
Other Health Problems
The mold spores in the home can trigger the production of bacteria and microbes. Exposure to these elements can lead to an inflammatory response in some individuals. According to World Health Organization, microbial agents and mold can also elevate the risk of fungal and bronchial infections. Some studies indicate that mold can lead to:
- Allergic fungal sinusitis
- Chronic rhinosinusitis
- Lower respiratory tract issues in healthy children
- Allergic alveolitis
Research by the CDC and WHO also shows that people usually experiences the following symptoms when exposed to spaces with higher mold growth.
- Skin and eye irritation
- Mucous membrane irritation
- Sick-building syndrome
Some factors increase the chances of developing health issues after exposing to mold, like:
- The level of mold growth in a space
- Your respiratory and immune system health
- How much time do you spend in the area with mold growth
How to Prevent Mold Growth?
The simplest and easiest way to deal with mold growth is to prevent it from developing and spreading in your house. You can do this by inspecting your property for evidence of visible mold growth and water damage. Also, you need to fix or prevent the issues like water leaks, infiltration, condensation, or flooding from preventing mold development.
Steps you can take to prevent mold growth are:
- Clean and dry space after flooding
- Control humidity levels
- Fix leaky windows, roofs, and pipes
- Ventilating laundry, shower, and cooking area
- Avoiding indoor activities that moist the air, such as the use of kerosene heaters
- Airing closets and drawers that you rarely used
- Regular cleaning of the surface to get rid of dust and mold spores
- Avoiding placing carpets in basements and bathrooms
- Maintaining gutters, buildings, facilities, and drains to prevent leakages
Preventing mold growth is not always possible. But you may at least reduce the likelihood of it arising and spreading inside your home. Mold growth in smaller spaces is easy to remove. So, clean the area as soon as you identify mold development. But if the issue exacerbates, contact professionals who can help you get rid of this problem.
In a nutshell, mold in the home can result in infections, asthma, pneumonitis, and breathing issues. Therefore, it’s vital to consult an expert who can help remove mold from your house. A professional can also guide you on how to prevent mold formation in your house in the future.