Molds play a vital role in the ecosystem. They help to break down trees, dead leaves, and plants. But they are only valuable in the outdoors. Once they find their way inside a property, they can cause several complications.
When excess moisture settles into porous surfaces in your home, such as the drywall, they can attract mold. Mold poses more than a cosmetic problem.
It will damage your home and disperse its spores, spreading throughout the house and cause several health complications to the occupants.
Mold sickness and related health complications can be tough to deal with. Therefore, it becomes crucial that you know what mold is and understand some of the risks it poses to your home so that you can take the right precautions.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that comprises several tiny organisms. It can be purple, white, green, or orange. It thrives on moisture and produces small, lightweight spores that travel through the air.
These spores are harmless in small amounts, but you can experience several health effects when inhaled en masse.
The health effects of mold exposure can be especially worse if your immunity is compromised. Mold needs moisture to grow and is likely to develop in damp places around your home, such as crawl spaces, bathrooms, the basement, kitchen, and the laundry room.
Signs of Mold Growth
Mold appears as a little spot on a moist or damp area in your home, but it spreads quickly. It can be spotted, white, black, or even orange. This makes it relatively easy to notice, more so since it appears cottony or powdery and has a musty smell.
If you notice something that looks like a dirt stain on the wall, bathroom, ceiling, or any other area that might be exposed to humidity or moisture, you should check it out immediately. The sooner you do, the better since mold growth happens very fast.
What Are the Potential Mold Health Issues
Health issues from mold exposure can be severe in people with a weakened immune system or existing respiratory issues. Here are some of the reasons why you should get rid of mold as fast as possible.
Irritation and Allergies
If you have an allergy or sensitivity to mold-related particles, you will likely experience an adverse reaction to mold. This is because this fungus produces similar symptoms from other allergies like seasonal allergies or hay fever.
Severe allergies can also cause shortness of breath since mold spores often affect the upper respiratory tract.
Some of the symptoms of mold allergy include:
- Watery eyes
- An itchy/sore throat
- A blocked or runny nose
- An itchy nose
- Dry cough
If you have a mold allergy and happen to be asthmatic, too, you have a higher chance of having an asthma attack in a mold-infested environment.
Note that babies and even older kids exposed to mold are at risk of developing asthma before seven years old.
Several unstable organic compounds, cells, spores, and fragments spread through the air as mold. They produce mycotoxins, irritants, and allergens that can be very toxic when inhaled.
Moisture encourages these materials to break down, increasing the volume of dust and particles in the air. The particles can irritate the throat, nose, and lungs and can cause severe breathing problems.
If you have a chronic lung condition, asthma, or difficulty breathing altogether, you face a higher risk of experiencing health-related complications from mold exposure.
Aspergillus, a type of mold, can cause severe mold sickness known as aspergillosis. People with a weakened immune system or underlying health conditions can experience an extreme reaction.
Some types of aspergillosis that one can be diagnosed with include:
- Allergic Aspergillus sinusitis affects the nose and can also cause one to have a headache
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) that attacks the lungs causing breathing complications
- Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis presents symptoms such as weight loss, coughing, and breathing problems
- Fungus ball or Aspergilloma that causes one to have a cough that may produce blood, and breathing problems
Note that not everyone can suffer from health issues caused by mold. For example, some people can inhale mold spores but will not get sick mainly because they have a strong immune system.
Fungal and Bronchial Infections
Mold may also trigger the production of bacteria and microbes. When exposed to these bacteria, they can trigger an inflammatory response or inflammation in some people.
Microbes also increase the risk of fungal and bronchial infections. This can lead to:
- Allergic fungal sinusitis
- hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- lower respiratory tract problems in children even if they were previously healthy
- chronic rhinosinusitis
- allergic alveolitis
Suppose you have been exposed to mold and are experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, fever, wheezing, headache, eye and skin irritation, or irritation on your mucus membrane. In that case, you should see a doctor immediately.
Some types of mold, such as black mold, can also cause severe health complications. This is because black mold releases mycotoxins, which is a very toxic substance produced by the mold.
Therefore, mold poisoning or mycotoxins can cause:
- Aches and pains
- Changes in mood
It is crucial to note that eating moldy folds can cause worse cases of mycotoxicosis than inhaling fungal spores.
If you have a healthy immune system, you are at a lower risk of suffering from mold sickness. However, people with compromised immunity, such as those undergoing cancer treatment, transplants, HIV/AIDS, and more, are at risk of health issues caused by mold exposure.
The severity of the infection or condition will depend on how long they have been exposed or the number of spores inhaled.
Get Rid of Mold to Prevent Health Issues
If you have a breathing problem or compromised immunity, you should take the necessary steps to make your home mold-free.
Try and check out the places they are most likely to hide and use the proper methods to get rid of it before it grows further. You could try to DIY but considering your health is at risk, you don’t want to take any chances.
Instead, hire Mold Removal in Indianapolis, Central Indiana’s best mold remediation company.
Get in touch with any of our experts to inspect your home, and clear any existing mold you might have by calling us at (317) 648-9414.