That small mold spot left on your wall or ceiling after your water damage episode may look harmless, but watch out. Moldy homes can be a real health hazard. If you can see mold, there is a problem that must be addressed before it makes you sick.
Any mold spot could get enough water to bloom and spread spores throughout the home. If those spores get enough moisture they’ll sprout again. These spores, plus the breakdown of the substrate they’re growing on and byproducts they create, are what cause health problems.
Due to the wide variety of substances created by molds, there can be many different reactions. Thus, it’s always best to get a mold treatment whenever there is water damage. Here are some symptoms to look for that could be signs of a mold problem in your house.
Some people are very sensitive to mold. Just entering a house with water damage or even just dampness can cause sensitivity symptoms. Some of these include:
- Fatigue and headaches
- Poor memory and concentration
- Chronic stiffness
- Allergy symptoms (runny nose, red eyes, cough, sore throat)
- Unusual chronic sensations
Due to the wide varieties of molds and levels of sensitivity, the symptoms can vary. But nearly anyone will have a negative reaction if the mold concentration is high enough. This is why mold counts are included in air quality reports. If you’ve been experiencing strange medical symptoms, you may want to get your home checked for mold and dampness.
Some molds are very dangerous to humans. Black mold and white cotton mold spores can survive in the lungs and try to sprout. The result is a mold infection that can be quite expensive to get rid of and potentially fatal. If you notice these molds in your home they must be treated right away. The children, elderly, and immunocompromised people are at high risk for mold infections.
Mold and water damage can do more than just damage your home. It can damage your lungs permanently. Some people develop asthma from exposure to mold spores or are triggered by mold spores in the air. Asthma is a serious condition that could become chronic. Children are especially at risk.
Upper respiratory problems
Even for the non-allergic, mold can cause a reaction in the body that simulates an upper-respiratory problem. Chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and colds could be a sign that you have a problem. If you’re just sick all the time, get your home checked out for mold.
These are extremely dangerous. People on immunosuppressants or who have certain autoimmune diseases must stay away from molds to prevent a life-threatening infection. Such people need to do more than just keep their homes free from mold. They should avoid forests, compost piles, and cut grass. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is the main disease to watch out for here.
Don’t let mold get a foothold in your home. If you see a small spot, some bleach water and a good scrubbing take care of it. But if it’s large or extensive, get a mold inspector or water damage expert to check it out and treat it.