Your home is a refuge from the outdoors, including harsh weather, pollution and insects, but there is one thing that can infiltrate your home without you knowing it: mold. A little mold might seem innocuous, but it can pose a threat to your health as its spores become airborne and it grows and expands to other areas of your home. Initial exposure to mold may cause sneezing, itching and watery eyes, but prolonged exposure can be detrimental and cause cancer, bleeding lungs or even brain damage so it's crucial to test your home for mold. Even minimal mold exposure for someone who suffers from a mold allergy or asthma can be dangerous.
Mold is commonly caused by extensive water damage or moisture in your home. Severe storms, hurricanes, flooding or simply heavy, damp moisture in your home can cause mold to form. Mold commonly forms on/in:
- Wall Cavities
- Ducts and Vents
Mold flourishes in darkness, moisture, and dusty areas and comes in a variety of different genus types. Some types are more harmful than others and generally appears as black or white depending on its genus. Is Mold Making You Sick? While it's normal to sneeze or even cough from dust in your home, mold might actually be the real culprit, especially if you're suffering from breathing problems. Exposure to mold can cause a unique illness called mold sickness.2 People who experience this illness suffer from the following symptoms:
- Swollen and Irritated Eyes
- Chronic Headaches
- Discoloration of The Tongue
- Low-Grade Fever
Mold affects everyone differently and can enter the human body through a variety of different pathways. Touching mold-covered surfaces, inhaling mold spores and even eating moldy food can potentially make you sick. If you suspect you may be suffering from mold-related health issues, consult your doctor to get an official diagnosis. Keep in mind mold sickness is commonly misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, asthma or emphysema. Types of Mold That Make You Sick There are thousands of species of mold, and each one can cause different effects in people. White mold is fairly common and is typically a strain of Aspergillus. Black mold is the most harmful type of mold, and is composed of Cladosporium
and Stachybotrys chartarum, which release myotoxins. Breathing in these myotoxins can severely affect your immune system and aggravate asthma symptoms. Black mold can also cause sickness and other issues including:
- Chronic Sinus Infections
You can remove mold yourself but doing so can be dangerous to your health, as disturbing mold can make the spores airborne, letting them travel to other parts of your home and putting you in a situation where you're likely to inhale dangerous levels of mold particles. If the mold is small enough, you can effectively remove it (while wearing proper safety gear) from a hard surface using a mixture of one cup full of bleach in a gallon of water without spreading its spores. However, to remove mold from furniture and upholstery or larger instances of mold, it's best to consult licensed waterproofing and mold remediation technicians who can effectively remove mold for you.