When we first moved into our home, many of the walls and tiled surfaces were covered with mold. My allergies made me a mess. I constantly had a blocked, runny nose, an itchy throat, sneezing and watery eyes. My son also showed signs of a mold allergy, making it even more important for us to clean up. We ended up removing every part of the house that was affected by mold and fixing the plumbing to get rid of the excess moisture that was causing the problem.
How much should we be worried about mold in our homes? What effect can it have on our bodies? How does it grow, and how can we prevent it?
Molds are a form of fungus. There are many different types of mold, and they can be found both inside and outside. Molds spread through the production of spores, which are present in all indoor environments and cannot be removed.
Molds grow best in moist, warm and humid environments. This is why you often find mold in the bathroom, and why winter is a prime time for mold invasions. Molds have a variety of forms and textures, and may be any number of different colors. They often look like a discoloration or a stain to a surface. They can have a velvety, fuzzy or rough appearance. Spores make their way into the home either through the air or after attaching to objects or people. Clothing, shoes and pets can let mold into your home. Mold only grows if spores land somewhere with excessive moisture and suitable nutrients. That’s why they’re often found where leaks or flooding have occurred and near windows where condensation builds. Wallpaper and insulation are also typical hotbeds for mold growth. This growth is usually visible and also has a musty odor.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says “mold exposure does not always present a health problem indoors, however some people are sensitive to molds.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disagrees, saying that that mold can irritate the eyes, lungs, nose, skin and throats of individuals even if they don’t have a mold allergy like me.
Professor Stephen Spiro, the deputy chairman of the British Lung Foundation, says “Certain mold species can cause serious lung infections and scarring.” Who should you believe? I say it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have mold in your home and have noticed any respiratory symptoms, it’s best to remove it if you want to enjoy good health.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.