Mold is a very common issue that is faced by millions of homeowners every year. Thankfully, treating the issue quickly can prevent the problem from causing any real long-term damage. Unfortunately, far too many fail to identify and treat it as fast as they should, which can lead to major consequences.
Therefore, keeping on top of the situation is a priority for all. Here’s everything you need to know.
There’s More Than One Type of Dangerous Mold
Molds can fall into many different categories, but the three harmful classifications are:
- Allergenic – Molds that produce allergies and spark allergic reactions
- Pathogenic – Molds that worsen symptoms of acute illnesses
- Toxigenic – Molds that produce airborne toxic particles, which can potentially be deadly
Continued exposure to any of those classifications can potentially cause major and ongoing health problems.
Health Issues That Are Caused by Mold Exposure Include
Most people know that inhaling mold isn’t great for your health. However, you probably don’t realize just how many issues can be linked to mold exposure. Here are some you should be aware of:
Asthma is the most common health problem associated with long-term mold exposure. In fact, exposure to mold is believed to be a contributing factor to 4.6 of the 21.8 million Americans suffering from asthma. It is also stated that the condition is 40% more likely when people live in a damp or moldy home.
Asthma isn’t the only type of allergy to be worsened or even brought on by mold exposure and inhaling mold spores. Wheezing, watery eyes, coughing, and rashes are all common symptoms. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) confirmed this in 2004. If those symptoms have shown, mold exposure may be the cause.
The effects of long-term mold exposure can gradually decrease your lifespan. However, in severe cases of toxigenic mold, inhaling the airborne particles can make death come far sooner. While this is an extreme circumstance, it does happen. Children, babies, seniors, and people with low immune systems are at the greatest risk.
A 2007 study by students at Brown University found a correlation between living in mold exposure and depression. While it is suggested that this is largely due to the physical ailments and other conditions that surface due to the long-term exposure, the fact that it can harm your mental health is a significant finding.
Mold exposure makes the body work harder to fight off illnesses, even when the allergies aren’t visible to you. In turn, this consumption of energy will often leave sufferers feeling tired or exhausted without ever realizing why. This is especially true when asthma and other breathing problems are involved.
In addition to being a side effect linked to allergies and asthma, mold exposure can lead to headaches on its own. This is because poor air quality is essentially polluting your body. While commonly linked to the other issues, then, even isolated headaches can be a sign that mold is growing in the home.
As well as asthma, mold exposure affects the lungs and respiratory system can reduce lung function. With estimates of between 18% and 50% of homes being affected by damp and mold, this is one of the more common issues to surface, particularly if the home (or individual rooms) isn’t well ventilated.
Toxic Mold Syndrome
Toxic mold syndrome is described as “a legal construct, rather than a medical diagnosis, involving unidentified disease processes, a constellation of disparate symptoms.” As such, it is a term that covers a range of unidentified and unquantifiable poisonings that are unquestionably linked to mold exposure.
Given that the average person spends around 16 hours of the day at home, all of the above issues can grow at a rapid rate. This is why mold identification and removal requires your full attention.
Your Health Isn’t the Only Thing at Risk
Nothing is more important than your health, but you should also know that mold can damage your home. Whether you’re a tenant or a homeowner, the financial consequences can be huge.
While paying the average cost of $500-$6,000 for mold remediation (depending on property size and affected areas) may feel like a big expense, it’ll save you a lot of money in the long run. Left untreated, mold can damage your home in several ways, including:
- Collapsed Ceilings
- Broken Window Frames
- Caved in Floorboards
- HVAC Contamination
- Broken Walls
- And more
This is because mold literally eats away at the wood, drywall, tiles, and other household materials. In severe cases, replacements comfortably surpass the $10,000 mark. Frankly, rectifying the issue immediately is vital for your finances as well as your health and peace of mind.
The first step to treating mold is to identify it. Mold most commonly thrives in rooms with moisture exposure such as bathrooms, en-suites, and kitchens. However, it can appear in any room and may also affect external areas.
Knowing the difference between mold and general dirt and grim is key. The most frequent offenders are:
- Penicillium – Green/blue color, fuzzy, likely to appear on wallpaper and fabrics
- Alternaria – A black, fuzzy plant mold that often appears under sinks and other damp areas
- Aspergillus – Yellow/green color with red/brown underneath. Found near damp and dust
- Cladosporium – A green/brown outdoor mold that can enter the home on wood and textiles
- Stachybotrys – Toxic black mold that can appear green and has a musty stench
In total, though, there are over 100,000 types of household mold. So, if you’re worried that the symptoms of mold have surfaced, an extensive check from a mold remediation specialist is advised.
If Your Home Has a Mold Infestation, Act Now!
Whether it’s allergenic, pathogenic, or toxigenic mold, it’s imperative that you regain control of the situation today by removing the mold and getting your health checked out. While only a medical professional can handle the latter, our team of professional mold removal technicians is perfectly positioned to help with the former.
Take control today by giving us a call or using the form below.