The Impact of Indoor Mold on Your Health
Although brand new construction is enticing, with those perfect walls and cutting edge kitchen treatments there’s something to be said for renting or purchasing a classic home. You’ll enjoy architectural touches that are rarely seen these days, with attention to detail that comes out of handmade construction preserved from another time. Older houses are fantastic, but you will face some challenges not often seen in newer buildings. One of the main issues you might face is dealing with water problems. Whether it’s a leaky roof, an older HVAC system, improper seals or simply old wood that hasn’t yet been replaced, water that’s left alone for too long will wreak havoc on your house. In the worst case scenario mold could develop, and that brings a whole host of health issues that could run the gamut from simply annoying up to life-threatening. Here’s a look at the impact of indoor mold on your heath.
Mold is constructed of millions of spores, and if you have a mold infestation it is likely airborne. Mold is easily breathed in, and once inside your system will cause all sorts of respiratory problems. It impacts everyone differently, with the worst effects felt by the very young, seniors or those with compromised immune systems. There has been some debate over the long term health effects of mold exposure, but there is no doubt that a myriad of short term ailments include mold as a primary cause.
There are two types of mold often found in a home. Benign mold is often light in color, and appears as small dots on the wall or on a wet spot on the ceiling. Although it isn’t toxic it can still cause all sorts of problems. If you’re exposed to this mold for any amount of time you could notice symptoms similar with an allergy attack. You’ll often have red, watery, itchy eyes, and possibly even itchy rashes on your skin as well. You might suffer from mild headaches that seem to linger, and will get caught up in sneezing attacks. It’s mostly just annoying, but over time could develop into a sinus infection.
Black mold is much worse. This is considered a toxic substance, and if you find it in your home you should get out as soon as possible and stay elsewhere until you can have the problem resolved. The issue is, mold isn’t always visible. Because it grows in dark, wet places it can often develop under the sink, beneath the floorboards or even inside the walls. You’ll experience the symptoms before noticing the mold, and in the case of toxic mold the symptoms can be quite severe. You could develop chronic bronchitis, ear or sinus infections that require medication. You’ll notice swelling under your armpits and in the neck area, as well as muscle and joint pain that seems to have no cause. You could develop asthma and experience acute attacks, or even cough up blood. You’ll be frequently tired, have the occasional nose bleed and a constant, pounding headache. There are many more symptoms, and the reactions will vary based on the individual.
If you do nothing about the mold, the indoor air quality and allergies you could enter the late symptom stage of mold exposure. This is when your life could be in danger. Blindness has been reported, along with long term memory loss and irreparable brain damage. Your lungs could bleed, you could develop cancer in a number of organs, and in the worst of cases death can occur. Obviously you never want things to get this severe, so if you notice some of the early symptoms you should have a professional mold inspector come in and look your home over from top to bottom.