Molds, although they are a very common problem, can cause serious health issues if left undetected and untreated for a long time.
Have you ever noticed the slimy, smelly black spots on your bathroom curtains or on damp cardboard or upholsteries after a water damage apocalypse? Or have you noticed the white, flaky white patches on your basement floor or crawlspaces?
They are different types of household molds that range from yellow, powdery patches through orange films to black, slimy spots. Molds can make you sick, and in some cases, extremely sick.
If you are prone to skin allergy if you have kids and pets at home, or if your elderly parents are living with you, address mold problem immediately for you and your family may be at a higher risk of developing respiratory diseases.
If you ever notice your eyes watering, itchy, or red or if your throat is irritating, or if you involuntarily have developed new skin rashes, you probably might be dealing with some fungal or allergic reaction. During such a time, it is advised to cleanse your home thoroughly and get yourself medically checked.
What is Mold?
Before you learn about the hazards, it causes, understand what molds are exactly.
Molds are a kind of fungus or microbe colony that usually grows in dark, humid, and hot places.
Molds are everywhere, you are exposed to them every day, and they can be black, white, yellow, green, orange, and purple. As they flourish in moisture, they reproduce through small, airborne water spores.
These airborne mold spores are quite harmless in small quantities. But, when they settle on a dark, damp spot, they start to grow in a matter of 48 hours. They can thrive for many years in the same spot as well.
While molds can be of great help in preserving nature, outdoors, when they start growing inside your home, they can cause several health problems if inhaled in a large amount.
Idle Places for Molds to Grow
Molds can grow in/on any damp place, right from a couch to a boat docked near the riverfront. However, since it produces a dangerous effect inside the house, the common places that they can develop on are:
- Crawl spaces
- Kitchen cabinet
- Underneath of sink
- Laundry rooms
Floor, appliances, furniture, and carpets are food for the mold.
Hazards of Mold
Although there is a common belief that black mold, also known as crawlspace mold, is highly toxic and can cause severe health problems, there is no extensive research backing this up.
Black molds release mycotoxins, which are a toxic compound usually produced by the fungus. However, research suggests that only those mycotoxins that have Stachybotrys chartarum have shown links to various allergic and respiratory health issues in people who live mold-infested buildings.
Mycotoxicosis is a major mold poisoning health concern, the symptoms of which include aches, pains, headaches, memory loss, mood changes, and bleeding nose.
Molds may also cause allergic reactions and irritation in people who are prone to allergy. A few allergic reactions that you may experience are a runny nose, sore throat, wheezing, dry cough, watery and red eyes, dry cough, and sinusitis.
Mold exposure can also worsen a case of asthma or preexisting lung problems, especially in young children below seven years.
Furthermore, it was also observed that people, including children, having a weak immune system, those who have cancer, HIV, undergoing terminal illness treatment, etc. were more susceptible to mold-spread diseases.
Molds can cause health problems. But not all molds release mycotoxins. However, since we aren’t sure of it, taking precautions ahead of time is always a good idea. And therefore, clean and sanitize the surface affected by mold through a professional cleaning team.