Mold Exposure Symptoms: What You Need to Do

Mold In the Home

Mold Exposure Symptoms

Outdoor molds are types of fungi that play an important role in nature. They help in the decomposition of dead trees, leaves, and other organic matter. But sometimes mold can be found in the dark, damp places of our homes such as basements and shower stalls. The mold you find may be green, brown, or black. Mold plays no beneficial role indoors and can destroy surfaces and cause a musty smell throughout the home. Mold can also cause severe health problems to those sensitive to it.

Symptoms of Mold Exposure

Although mold itself isn't toxic, some types of mold, including black mold, produce mycotoxins that have led to the term "toxic mold." These mycotoxins can cause allergies and other symptoms in people who are sensitive to mold. Mold allergy symptoms include a runny nose, red itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, and wheezing. People who have asthma are especially vulnerable to mold and mold spores. Some reactions can even be quite severe and include difficulty breathing, fever, and lung infection.

Allergic reaction to mold varies among individuals and symptoms depend on the type and amount of mold present. Allergic reactions to mold are treated the same as for general allergic reactions with antihistamines and other medications. Additionally, the offending mold must be removed and measures taken to inhibit its return.

Controlling Mold in the Home

If mold is visible, it isn't necessary to test for it, and since susceptibility varies from person to person, testing can't predict health issues. Acceptable levels of mold haven't been identified. The best way to prevent mold is to control moisture in the home. The following steps will reduce household moisture.

  • Clean and dry leaks and water damage right away.
  • Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid weather.
  • Use fans and open windows(when possible)to prevent dampness
  • Use bathroom fans or an open window when showering.
  • Don't place carpeting in basements or bathrooms.
  • Vent appliances to the outdoors.

Small infestations of mold can usually be cleaned with a solution of household bleach and water, but larger ones will require a professional. Mold damaged surfaces may have to be removed and replaced.

Mold and Your HVAC System

One of the most conducive environments for mold is your HVAC system. A warm environment with high water vapor content, HVAC ducts are especially prone to mold growth. Cold air passing through combined with water vapor in the outside environment causes water droplets to collect rather than evaporate. Dust, pollen, dirt, and animal dander that has collected for months feed the mold. The EPA recommends the services of an HVAC professional to remove mold from your HVAC system.

Don't live with unhealthy mold in your home. Our HVAC professionals at Ardmore Fresh Air are trained and equipped to solve all mold problems. Call now at (847) 792-1019 for more information.

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