Indoor moisture can be the culprit of many home structural problems such as mildew and mold problems. Even the cold, dry weather cannot prevent the growth of in-home mold if there is moisture already trapped inside the house. These types of fungi can grow into the materials of your home such as on walls and roofs and cause many home structural and health problems. They can even grow on books, clothes, and toys.
Many people just don’t realize how hazardous those little organisms are and what kind of health issues can they cause. This is why in this article we cover the causes and signs of moisture, mold, and mildew inside the house, and the health hazards they expose you to when you have mold or other moisture problems in your home.
What Causes Mold at Home
Mold spreads through spores that are literally everywhere, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. They are just invisible to the naked eye. Molds get into your home through various inevitable methods, for example, through air, which allows fungi spores to enter through your home windows, ventilation systems, and doorways. Mold spores can also attach to people or objects such as clothing, shoes, vehicles, and pets. However, mold will only start growing if the spores land in a place that is suitable for flourishing.
A perfect environment for mold growth would have enough moisture and a suitable supply of nutrients. Mold would usually flourish in areas where the air does not circulate, such as behind closets and cabinets. It would also often appear on windows where condensation builds up. Mold and mildew are also associated with areas where flooding and leakages took place.
Signs of Mold
Mold can often be mistaken for dirt spots, but as it expands quickly, you’ll be able to tell it’s no stain. The color of molds can be anything from black, white, dark green, or even spotted. It may also appear either cottony, powdery, or velvety. You need to be able to tell the different characteristics of mold vs mildew because in this way, you’ll know exactly how to get rid of it. For instance, mold spreads in more circular patterns compared to mildew which grows a lot flatter, similar to a spill stain that keeps growing.
Usually, mildew can be scrubbed off and cleaned off the surface, while mold can require full replacement of the infected surfaces. Mold will have an earthy, musty smell and if you drop a couple of drops of bleach, its color lightens in about a minute. There are signs of moisture damage, mold, or mildew in your home if you see warping, peeling, or cracking in whatever material you see the stains growing on. Make sure you stay alert with the signs early on.
You won’t automatically become sick at the sight of mold in your home but there can be many health-related problems and complications.
Mold and moisture-related problems let out spores, fragments, cells, and other unstable organic compounds during their growth. These particles then enter the air we breathe and can produce irritants, allergens, and mycotoxins, all of which can be toxic and particularly to people with certain sensitivities. This is in addition to many nose, throat, and lungs irritating particles that enter the air when materials break down due to dampness. These can be very harmful to individuals with asthma and chronic lung conditions.
Many of us suffer from sensitivity and allergy to certain mold-related particles which can cause specific reactions to being around mold. Mold allergies are serious and can cause similar symptoms to those of seasonal allergies and hay fever. This is because these allergies are caused by airborne substances as well that damage the upper respiratory tract. Symptoms of mold allergies include nose itchiness, running of the nose, sneezing, throat itchiness, and watery eyes. Usually, asthmatic patients and people with mold allergies would suffer from asthma attacks whenever exposed to environments high in mold particles.
Aspergillosis is the name of a serious health condition that affects people who are weak to a specific type of mold called Aspergillus. People with this type of condition would usually have weakened immune systems or underlying lung diseases that lead to their serious reactions against breathing in Aspergillus spores, compared to most people who would have no problem breathing in the same spores. However, patients may either suffer from allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, allergic aspergillus sinusitis, aspergilloma, or chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. Symptoms vary between each of these conditions, for example, ABPA causes breathing problems and affects the lungs. While Aspergilloma, or fungus ball causes bleeding coughs as well as similar breathing issues.
Indoor moisture can cause many problems such as mold and mildew. If left untreated, mold can spread across your entire walls and require the replacement of the walls in order to be removed. You’ll need to get it professionally taken care of before it starts growing over the surfaces it appears on. While there may not be much to do to stop it from entering your house, there’s a lot to do when it comes to controlling its growth and putting an end to it.