Here’s a scary fact for you; around 70% of houses have mold. Yup, these creepy little fungi are probably spreading their spores around your house right now.
Before you panic and throw your Gorgonzola cheese in the bin, you should know that not all types of mold are harmful.
To help you identify the good from the bad, we’re going to give you a crash course on the dangerous types of mold and the potential health effects of mold in your home.
Types of mold
There are over 100,000 different types of mold. Some types of mold help humanity, like the mold that makes blue cheese, or penicillin. Other types of mold can be harmful to humans. These harmful molds fit into three groups.
Allergenic molds trigger allergic reactions in people and animals. If you have existing allergies, the negative effects of mold can amplify your symptoms.
Pathogenic molds are also known as infectious molds. They cause disease and infections, even in people who don’t have any pre-existing conditions.
Toxigenic molds produce a chemical poison called mycotoxin that can trigger a toxic response in humans and animals. Often referred to as “toxic mold”, prolonged exposure can lead to serious health conditions such as invasive aspergillosis.
Mold releases tiny airborne spores that we inhale. As these spores clash with our immune system they trigger flu-like symptoms.
Mold allergy symptoms include congestion, eye irritation, sneezing, coughing, skin rashes, headaches, and wheezing. If you have an impaired immune system or existing allergies, allergenic mold can cause severe asthma attacks or hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
Pathogenic molds cause fungal infections. These infections often affect your sinuses, digestive tract, lungs, or skin. Athlete’s foot is a common infection caused by pathogenic mold.
Toxigenic mold causes invasive mold infections that are often life-threatening. People who are most at risk are people who have recently had a transplant, cancer patients, and people with compromised immune systems.
Toxic mold is often mislabelled as “black mold.” In truth, many molds are dark in color, but this doesn’t mean that they are all toxic.
Signs of Mold
Mold grows fast, overtaking a small area and then rapidly expanding. Sometimes, it looks like small, dark spots that can be mistaken for dirt smudges. Other types of mold appear light and stringy, almost like spider webs.
Even if you can’t see mold, you may be able to smell it. It’s often described as having a musty, damp, or earthy smell. Mold comes in many different colors and often has a powdery or furry texture.
It thrives in damp, dark areas like basements and bathrooms and can also settle around your windows if there is lots of condensation build-up. If your home has suffered from water damage, mold may be growing in your walls and floor too! Check out these unexpected places mold may be hiding in your home.
Prevention is better than cure. To prevent mold from forming in your house, you need to control the moisture level. Repair water leaks as soon as you can and dry the affected area thoroughly. Keep your home well ventilated and use a humidifier if you live in a humid location.
If you find mold growing in your home, call in the professionals. The experts, like those at Pressure Pros, use soft washing to remove mold without damaging surfaces.
Be Wary Of the Negative Health Effects of Mold
Some types of mold can quite literally take your breath away! With the harmful health effects of mold in mind, keep a close eye out for signs of mold growth in your house. These sneaky fungi could be hiding where you least expect them.
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