Let’s admit it – mold is one word that can send each one of us into panic. While molds are an ally for the outer world, these are harmful to homeowners living around them. Molds could be growing as black spots on your curtains, on your bathroom tiles, or as a slick orange film formed on your kitchen. No matter wherever they grow, molds can have some severe health effects on humans.
Mold - this microscopic fungus harbors in damp and poorly ventilated places. Since they can have a profound effect on your property as well as your health, it is a must to detect and treat them timely. While some homeowners prefer DIY to treat molds, it is best to hire a professional company.
Firstly, because it’s difficult for an amateur to find and deal with molds present in areas hard to reach like inside closet walls or basements. Secondly, molds can quickly multiply in damp areas by releasing spores into the area. These spores are the primary agents to cause health issues in humans. Hence, molds need to be quickly inspected and dealt with.
So, how does mold affect your health?
Effects of Mold on Human Health
Well, many of you might be aware that mold is specifically harmful to those who have breathing problems like asthma. While this is absolutely true, it isn’t only the case. When mold spores land on a damp or wet surface, they begin growing and produce irritants, allergens, and potentially toxic substances.
Hence, living in a moldy environment can cause or worsen pre-existing health issues. Also, people with a weakened immune system are at a high risk of getting affected by them.
As mold grows, there’s also a considerable increase in the presence of their cells, fragments, and spores in the air. When you inhale these mold fragments around you, they inflame your airways. This further causes issues like wheezing, nasal congestion, coughing, chest congestion, and throat irritation. These conditions are more prevalent in people who already have respiratory problems like asthma or chronic lung conditions. Also, asthmatic patients have a higher chance of having an asthma attack while living in a moldy environment.
According to the World Health Organization, a substantial proportion of 300 million cases of childhood asthma, globally, is associated with exposure to mold and indoor dampness.
Related Read: New Homeowners: This Safety Checklist is a Must
- Watery eyes
- Eye irritation
- Skin rash
- Lung irritation
In some people, black mold species like Aspergillus can lead to a severe health issue called aspergillosis. While most people can breathe in such spores without any hazardous effects, people with a weak immune system or lung disease are more prone to severe reactions.
Mold spores can cause different types of aspergillosis:
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA): Affects the lungs and may lead to breathing issues.
- Aspergilloma, or fungus ball: May cause coughing with blood, and breathing problems.
- Allergic Aspergillus sinusitis: Nose is the affected body part, involves headache.
- Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis: Involves breathing problems, weight loss, and cough.
- eye and skin irritation
- fever and fatigue
- sick-building syndrome
- mucous membrane irritation
What Can You Do?
Undoubtedly, the adverse effect of living in a moldy environment are many. Hence, it is critical to adopt preventive measures that minimize or stop mold growth, especially indoors. So, as a homeowner, you can:
- Insulate your home to minimize air humidity condensation and humidity levels, if you live in extremely hot or cold regions.
- If you are particularly living in wet areas, you should install and use proper ventilation. This also applies to home areas where water vapor may be produced, like laundries, bathrooms, and kitchen.
- Keep a check to prevent water leaks in your homes. You can do this by controlling and maintaining a proper water drainage system (both for rain and surface water).
- Make sure the roof areas or walls with holes for skylight, pipe and door or windows fittings, are watertight.
- The first thing you must do when you find mold in your home is to identify the cause of excessive moisture and take appropriate measures to remove it. You could clean hard surfaces using soap and water easily. However, if mold growth is persistent, you must seek professional assistance.
- Throw away absorbent materials like curtains and carpets, according to the level of contamination.
The Bottom Line
Considering the high health risks molds could have on you and your loved ones, you must be prepared to take preventive measures when you first happen to spot them in your homes. This becomes extremely crucial if you or any of the family members are suffering from some kind of allergy or respiratory problems. With regular cleaning and home maintenance chores, you can easily prevent mold growth. Besides, in severe cases of mold growth, you must reach out to professionals for necessary measures.
Written by Dave and Jim Schuelke
About the Author
For the past 30 years, twin brothers Dave and Jim Schuelke have run their company Twin Home Experts. Twin Home Experts can be found throughout California, Arizona and Utah for home services including plumbing, mold repair, bathroom remodeling, and rodent control. Twin Home Experts is also one of the fastest-growing YouTube channels online for valuable content to both homeowners and plumbers showcasing DIY and frequently asked questions.
You may also like