Thursday, June 20, 2024

How To Know If You Have Mold Allergies

Your Symptoms Only Show Up At Certain Times

How do I know if I have mold?

If you have seasonal allergies, your symptoms should arise and go away around the same time each year. For most people, seasonal allergy symptoms begin in the spring and end in the fall. However, depending on your allergy triggers, you may experience allergic rhinitis in any of the four seasons. Here’s a rundown of plants that commonly cause seasonal allergies:

Spring: Tree pollen, particularly that from oak, elm, birch, cedar, willow, poplar, horse chestnut and alder trees.

Summer:Grasses, such as ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, Timothy grass, Bermuda grass and more.

Fall:Pollen from weeds is the main concern in the fall months. Many people are allergic to the pollen in ragweed, tumbleweed, pigweed, sagebrush, Russian thistle and more.

Winter: Most people find that their allergies go dormant during the winter months because most plants don’t pollinate during winter. If you still get watery eyes and a runny nose during cold weather, you might be allergic to indoor allergens, such as dust mites, mold or pet dander.

What Are Signs Of Mold In Your House

Homes are supposed to shield us from the harmful things outside like water, wind, and extreme temperatures. Sometimes, however, our houses fail to provide the necessary shelter and moisture enters our house and allows mold to grow.

If there is adequate moisture mold can grow in our bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and attics. Mold can also grow undetected inside of our walls.

As someone who grew up with allergies, Im vigilant about monitoring moisture inside my home. I have felt the effects of mold allergy symptoms and suffered for a long time.

In addition to health problems, mold can cause structural damage and damage to furniture inside a house.

In todays article, Ill share 13 important signs of mold in your house. Growing up I remember seeing mold in my bathroom and near windows. At the time I didnt realize it but the fungus was affecting the quality of my life.

Why Does Subfloor Mold Develop

Subfloor mold usually develops due to an undetected moisture intrusion between the different layers of flooring, especially when the finish flooring is sheet vinyl, laminate flooring, or ceramic tile. I say especially only because if your flooring is carpet, the moisture is much more apparent and quickly and easily discovered.

Unwanted moisture can originate from many different sources such as a slow supply line leak on a faucet or toilet. Another common, and usually harder to determine source of excess subfloor moisture, is a faulty wax ring seal under a toilet that allows water to escape from drainpipes and affect the subflooring. Anytime you have warm temperatures , a source of water, and organic food materials like plywood or OSB, it is possible for mold to develop.

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Surprising Facts About Mold Allergies Vs Seasonal Allergies

Sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat, congestion, coughing, headache you sure know it when those miserable allergy symptoms flare up. But are they seasonal allergies, or could they be caused by mold, one of the most common triggers of allergy symptoms?

Seasonal allergies are often triggered by pollen, which are microscopic grains that plants use for fertilization. Mold and mildew, on the other hand, are fungi that release spores into the air, which enter your nose and lungs when you breathe.

Getting relief depends on figuring out what type of allergies you have, so that youre taking the most effective medicine for you.

Dr. Mia Finkelston, who treats patients on LiveHealth Online, shares these 5 surprising facts about mold allergy and how to tell if it may be causing your allergy symptoms:

  • Mold grows quickly in heat and high humidity this includes wetter environments like the beach, a pile of leaves or damp forests, as well as indoor spaces like your bathroom, basement, or under the kitchen sink.
  • A mold allergy can trigger asthma, with symptoms like coughing, chest tightness and wheezing.
  • Outdoor mold most often causes allergy symptoms from summer through early fall, while indoor mold may cause symptoms year-round.
  • Some people have a delayed reaction to mold, which means symptoms like congestion or asthma may get worse over time.
  • Most homes have some level of mold in the air even if you cant see it which can cause allergy symptoms.
  • References:

    A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results

    Signs and symptoms of mold allergy »

    Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.

    Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Mold Spores In Basement

    How To Prevent Mold Exposure In Your Home

    Mold exposure may adversely affect your health, even if you do not have asthma or a mold allergy. By keeping your home clean and free of visible mold, you can help reduce your daily exposure to the airborne allergen. Mold can start to grow when mold spores land on any wet surface in your home, and signs of mold growth include water stains and an earthy, musty odor.

    You can help prevent mold growth in your home by:

    While the ideal situation is to prevent mold growth in the first place, you cannot always avoid stumbling upon a surprise patch of mold in your home. If this happens to you, try to eliminate the source of excess moisture and clean up the mold as quickly as possible using detergent and water, according to the EPA. You may have to throw away any porous or absorbent materials that have been become moldy. When you are finished, you should make sure that the entire area, including all furniture and other objects that have come into contact with the mold, is completely dry.

    Mold Allergy Symptoms And Signs

    Hurricane Harvey made his unwelcome arrival in Houston, TX on August 25. Homes all over the state are badly affected by the floods. With increasing dampness coupled with warm temperatures and secondary flooding issues, theres an increased risk of infestations of toxic black mold in homes in our area.

    Unfortunately, mold in house thrives in this general atmosphere. In fact, it can grow within days.

    Mold growth after a hurricane is extremely common and extensive. Take for example in the case of Hurricane Katrina. Studies revealed extensive mold growth in New Orleans homes affected by the devastating storm, even in those that had only flooded part of the way.

    In the case of a terrible event such as Hurricane Harvey, be aware that levels of mold may sometimes continue to increase for as long as a year after this category of natural disaster.

    As the waters start to recede here in Houston, and we go back to our properties and businesses to evaluate the damage, it leaves us susceptible to the signs and symptoms of mold.

    In this post, we want to give you a heads up to the mold allergy symptoms and signs so you know what to look out for.

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    Mold Allergy: How To Know If You Have One

    Mold is everywhere. Its indoors, outdoors, in our trash, and it can grow on our food.

    Were all exposed to mold in some way each day, and a little isnt much of a problem. But if you have a mold allergy, it can cause reactions that threaten your health and make life uncomfortable.

    Lets look at what a mold allergy is, how to tell if you have one, and what you can do about it.

    How To Tell If Your Apartment Has Mold And What To Do About It

    Mold Allergies

    Learn how to tell if you have mold in your apartmentand what steps to take if you do.

    Whether youre about to sign a lease or already in an apartment, you should know the telltale signs of mold. Mold can lead to property damage as well as an array of health problems, so youll want to take care of any mold problems as soon as you discover them. By learning the signs and symptoms of apartment mold, youll know when you need to take action.

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    Allergies Know The Enemy Molds Part 1

    Along with pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds, molds are animportant cause of seasonal allergic rhinitis. People allergic to molds may have symptoms from spring to late fall. The mold season often peaks from July to late summer .

    Mike has a couple of allergies and one of them is mold. After working in mold remediation for field for several years all he needed to do was walk into a building and he could tell you if there was a mold problem. Within a few minutes his eyes would start to puff up and his nose would clog. The good thing is outdoors he does not have a problem.

    Unlike pollens, molds may persist after the first killing frost. Some can grow at subfreezing temperatures, but most become dormant. Snow cover lowers the outdoor mold count dramatically but does not kill molds. After the spring thaw, molds thrive on the vegetation that has been killed by the winter cold.

    In the warmest areas of the United States, however, molds thrive all year and can cause year-round allergic problems. In addition, molds growing indoors can cause perennial allergic rhinitis even in the coldest climates.

    What Is A Mold Allergy

    If you have an allergy that occurs over several seasons, you may be allergic to the spores of molds or other fungi. Molds live everywhere. Upsetting a mold source can send the spores into the air.

    Mold and mildew are fungi. They are different from plants or animals in how they reproduce and grow. The seeds, called spores, travel through the air. Some spores spread in dry, windy weather. Others spread with the fog or dew when humidity is high.

    Inhaling the spores causes allergic reactions in some people. Allergic symptoms from fungus spores are most common from July to early fall. But fungi grow in many places, both indoors and outside, so allergic reactions can occur year round.

    Although there are many types of molds, only a few dozen cause allergic reactions. Many molds grow on rotting logs and fallen leaves, in compost piles and on grasses and grains. Unlike pollens, molds do not die with the first killing frost. Most outdoor molds become inactive during the winter. In the spring they grow on plants killed by the cold. Indoors, fungi grow in damp areas. They can often be found in the bathroom, kitchen or basement.

    Read Also: How To Remove Mold From Glass

    Warping Or Paint Peeling

    Warping or paint peeling doesnt mean you have mold but its another sign of moisture. If the moisture doesnt dry up, mold will surely grow.

    If you see warping or paint peeling you may have to remove a section of a wall to see whats happening within.

    Once you find the cause, fix it and repaint or replace the warping.

    How Common Is Mold In Buildings

    Mold Allergy

    Molds are very common in buildings and homes. Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.

    The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. We do not have precise information about how often different molds are found in buildings and homes.

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    How To Prevent Symptoms

    Although they happen any time of year, allergies to outdoor mold can be worse in summer and fall. They can be especially bad when wet leaves sit around in piles. To avoid problems from mold that’s outside:

    • Stay inside when mold counts are high.
    • Keep wet leaves away from your home. Clean gutters.
    • Get rid of standing water in your yard.

    To keep mold allergies away when you’re inside your home:

    • Take off your shoes at the door.
    • Clean places where mold can grow often with bleach, including trash cans, sinks, and bathrooms. Get rid of soap scum, which can harbor mold.
    • When you shower, open a window or run an exhaust fan. Do that in the kitchen too when youâre washing dishes or running the dishwasher.
    • Find and fix any leaks right away. Dry wet areas within 48 hours to prevent the fungus from growing.
    • Run a dehumidifier to keep household humidity under 50%.
    • Make sure your clothes dryers and stoves vent to the outside.
    • Use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air filter.
    • Have your HVAC ducts professionally cleaned.
    • Donât give fungus a place to grow. Remove carpets and storage items from damp basements or bathrooms.
    • Keep water out of your home. Make sure the ground slopes away from your foundation, and check your roof for leaks.
    • If you have to clean up mold in your home, wear gloves, a mask, and goggles. You may need to hire a professional, or completely replace moldy ceiling tiles or carpet.

    Check everything you eat for signs of mold before you chow down.

    What To Do In Case Of Mold Allergy Symptoms

    In case of continued symptoms indicating possible mold exposure, you may do the following:

    • Consult the doctor if symptoms persist. Follow prescribed allergic medications.
    • Do something to prevent new mold growth, such as cleaning up leaks or spills right away, using exhaust fans or dehumidifiers to reduce humidity and moisture at home, regularly cleaning refrigerator drip pans and garbage cans, regularly checking drainage and clearing gutters.

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    How To Know If You Have Mold In Your Home Causing Allergies

    If theres mold inside your home, the last thing you want to do is waste any time getting rid of it. Mold can grow quite quickly. In just a few weeks, you may find that it has spread to multiple places within your home. Although you may want to get rid of mold the moment you know its there, its not always easy to know that you have mold in your house. How can you tell that theres mold somewhere in your house?

    What To Do If You Find Mold In Your Apartment

    Do You Have Mold In Your Body? The 3 Tests You Need To Find Out! with Evan H. Hirsch, MD

    You should act immediately if you discover mold in your apartment. Notify your landlord right away, and consider asking them to turn to a professional mold inspector. Mold tends to grow in concealed places, such as behind appliances or walls, and professionals have the right equipment to detect it.

    Once you or a mold inspector has detected a problem, your landlord should address the problem right away. They may clean the mold themselves or hire someone to do it. Properly sealing barriers and preventing further leaks, spills, or floods, then replacing, removing, or bleaching affected areas can solve the mold problem. However, toxic mold may require a professional mold removal service. Black toxic mold can pose a danger to people, and it can easily spread if it is not properly handled.

    If you find mold on your personal property, you can discuss that damage with your landlord. However, depending on the terms of your rental agreement, you may need to replace your personal items. You may send a claim to your renters insurance company.

    You can take a few steps to prevent mold from growing in the first place. Dry any moisture you see as soon as possible, and make sure you dont leave standing water anywhere. Whether that water comes from something you spill in the bedroom, or its around the kitchen sink, drying it out will help stop a mold problem before it begins.

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    Where Do Molds Grow

    Molds can be found wherever there is moisture, oxygen, and a source of the few other chemicals they need. In the fall they grow on rotting logs and fallen leaves, especially in moist, shady areas.

    In gardens, they can be found in compost piles and on certain grasses and weeds. Some molds attach to grains such as wheat, oats, barley, and corn, making arms, grain bins, and silos likely places to find molds.

    Hot spots of mold growth in the home include damp basements and closets, bathrooms , places where fresh food is stored, refrigerator drip trays, house plants, air conditioners, humidifiers, garbage pails, mattresses, upholstered furniture, and old foam rubber pillows.

    Bakeries, breweries, barns, dairies, and greenhouses. In addition, anytime there is a water leak, it is important that as soon as the source of the leak is repaired, the surrounding areas be inspected and cleaned if necessary for mold growth.

    Up Next Mold Part 2

    Till next time

    What Steps Can One Take For Mold Allergy Prevention

    There is no mold allergy cure. The best way to stay allergy free is by avoiding mold spores. Although it is difficult to outrun mold, you can stick to the following home remedies to prevent your exposure to them

    • Eliminate sources of dampness around you, especially in the basement
    • Use a dehumidifier. Mold thrives in humidity, so it is best to keep the humidity levels below 50% at home
    • Use an air conditioner, preferably one with a high efficiency particulate air filter attachment
    • Change filters on your furnace and air conditioner regularly
    • Ensure proper ventilation in all the bathrooms
    • Dont carpet bathrooms and basements
    • Keep organic plant containers clean and dry
    • Toss or recycle old newspapers and books

    When you are venturing outside, ensure your follow the following steps to avoid mold

    • Avoid going through places that can have high mold counts, such as a pile of dead leaves, damp areas, greenhouses and uncut fields among others
    • Wear a dust mask when youre out on a trek or going backpacking in the jungle
    • Keep your backyard and surroundings clean and dry as they are breeding grounds for mold
    • Avoid going out at night, especially during rainy season

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