The Health Risks of Mold Exposure

indoor mold allergy symptoms

Mold spores are naturally present in the air, but they become a problem once they encounter the proper environment. When mold spores find sources of food and moisture, it can trigger mold growth. This is problematic because of the property damage and potential health effects it can cause. Mold will eventually destroy the structure of whatever materials it is growing on.

With more time, the mold can spread to new areas and cause severe damage to the materials it has already grown on. If you find that mold is growing in your residential or commercial property, then you need to be concerned for the property’s structural integrity.

However, what is even more concerning than the property damage mold can cause are the health risks it presents to anyone who has been exposed to it.

Continue reading to learn more about mold basics, mold health risks, mold prevention, and mold removal.

Mold Basics

Because mold spores are naturally present in the air, mold can grow in your home or business at any time. All the fungus needs to start growing are the right conditions. These conditions include a food source and a moisture source, which is why mold growth is a common occurrence in the aftermath of water damage.

Mold often uses cellulose as a food source which is a substance found in many common building materials. So, when drywall, hardwood, and other porous building materials suffer water damage, mold growth is likely to follow.

Mold Health Risks

Mold Remediation Case StudyIf mold has grown in your property, then it will negatively affect the indoor air quality. When people are exposed to mold, there is a chance that their health will be harmed. Similar to seasonal allergies, mold symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, wheezing, nasal and chest congestion, breathing issues, and even skin rashes. Headaches and fatigue are other negative symptoms of mold exposure.

These symptoms can happen immediately or be delayed. However, the longer someone is exposed to mold, the worse the symptoms can be. So, while these mold symptoms may begin mild, they will become more severe the longer you are exposed to the fungus.

While there are thousands of mold types, there are particular types that produce toxins called mycotoxins. One example of such is Stachybotrys chartarum, which is commonly known as black mold. If exposed to these toxins, people can suffer from serious illnesses.

Certain people are more prone to mold health risks. This includes seniors, infants and kids, people with respiratory conditions, and individuals with weaker immune systems.

How to Check for Mold

Mold can have various characteristics depending on the species. However, household mold is often black, brown, green, yellow, or white in color. It can often have a fuzzy or velvet-like texture.

Aside from seeing the mold, another easy way to tell if you have mold growing in your home or business is by noticing its smell. Mold gives off a musty odor, similar to the smell of rotten wood, so encountering such a smell could help you figure out whether there is a mold issue. This can be particularly helpful in situations where mold is growing in concealed areas.

When you’re worried about mold, you deserve an assessment that delivers quick, scientifically accurate results. After all, the sooner you know the results of a mold inspection, the sooner you can take action to resolve the problem. The professionals at ServiceMaster NCR can ensure that your property is mold free with our innovative mold testing and removal process.

How to Prevent Mold Growth

Knowing of the potential dangers of mold, it is in your best interest to prevent mold from growing in your property. That way, you do not have to deal with the issue and risk serious property damage or health issues.

The best way to prevent mold is to control the moisture and humidity in your home or business. This means maintaining humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent, addressing any excess moisture immediately, and running the exhaust fan during and after bathing and showering. For example, use a dehumidifier on humid days to help keep the indoor humidity down. Or if you notice a leak, get it fixed right away so water doesn’t pool up.

What to Do About Mold Growth

If you discover mold growing in your home or business, then you must take immediate action to prevent the mold from spreading further and affecting new areas. Small cases of mold can often be cleaned on your own using home remedies. However, it is recommended that you seek professional help for mold removal, especially in cases regarding large amounts of mold. If you have mold allergies and/or breathing problems, then it is always best to have a professional help so that you do not risk your health.

Professional mold removal is recommended for various reasons. For one, you do not want to expose yourself to the fungus because of the potential mold health risks. Even if you wear an antiviral face mask and rubber gloves, it is not enough. Professional technicians, however, have the proper personal protective equipment to keep them safe from the ill effects of mold.

Improper mold removal methods can irritate the mold and worsen the damage. Because of this, it’s better to skip out on the home remedies and just allow a professional to work on the mold. It guarantees that the proper methods will be used so that the mold is not only removed thoroughly, but does not return.

Professional Mold Remediation Services

ServiceMaster NCR offers professional mold removal services to homes and businesses in Alexandria, VA, and the Washington D.C. area. We provide these emergency services on a 24/7 basis to ensure you get immediate assistance. With our help, your property will be restored to a clean, safe living or working environment.