What Causes Mould To Grow Indoors
Mould only grows when there is sufficient moisture on a surface or humidity in the air. Common causes include:
- leaky roofs and walls including and blocked gutters and downpipes
- leaky plumbing
- condensation from cooking, showering, clothes drying and from breathing inareas with poor air circulation eg cupboards and corners and furniture against uninsulated outside walls. Avoid conditions encouraging mould growth, by using heat, insulation and ventilation. The cheapest and easiest way of reducing moisture and humidity levels is by ventilating a room by opening a door or window. Use exhaust fans where available.
Is Exposure To Mold Making Me Sick
If youre experiencing a runny nose or a cough that doesnt seem to go away, it could be more than just a common cold. It could be mold. Exposure to mold can cause a number of cold or flu-like symptoms, including:
- Coughing or wheezing
- Dry, itchy skin
- Worsened asthma or allergies
Unlike the common cold if the symptoms are caused by mold, these issues will continue to come back. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time in the affected area. Here is more information about mold and what to do if you think it could be the cause of your never-ending cold.
How To Detect And Remove Mold From Your Home
Mold is likely to appear in damp areas of your home, including your kitchen, bathrooms, or basement. While some mold is easy to spot, it will quite often grow behind walls or underneath surfaces like wallpaper. Mold has a strong, musty smell, so when it comes to finding mold, its better to follow your nose.
If you find mold in your home, or you suspect there may be mold in your home causing unwanted health effects, call a mold removal and remediation specialists.
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Toxic Mold Sickness And Poisoning
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Toxic mold is formed by volatile organic compounds that are, in turn, formed by the production of mold spores. These toxins can be extremely dangerous to humans and may even begin to affect the nervous system and the respiratory system.
Some of the symptoms associated with mold poisoning include nausea, hives, asthma, runny nose, chronic coughing, rapid or labored breathing and skin rashes. More extreme symptoms that can result from mold poisoning are lethargy, dizziness, memory loss and even infertility in a person who has been exposed to toxic mold for a prolonged period of time.
If you suspect toxic mold is a problem in your home, then it is necessary to not only eradicate the infestation, but see a health specialist for any symptoms that appear to be the result of mold poisoning.
What Causes Mold To Grow Indoors
The conditions present in your home can play a critical role in the formation of mold in your indoor environment, with certain ideal conditions causing mold growth. Moisture is usually the most important condition that needs to be present in the environment since mold cannot grow without moisture in the environment. Additionally, mold will require a food source such as wood, drywall, or cotton to feed on in the environment, darkness to minimize exposure to ultraviolet light, warmer temperatures, oxygen, and time to thoroughly grow and spread within the environment. When all of these conditions are met in an indoor environment like your home, mold will flourish and grow rapidly which can leave for major problems to both your indoor air quality and to the health of those exposed to this mold growth.
Other issues in a home can also promote the growth of mold indoors, these can be normal occurrences in the home that will unknowingly advance mold that is developing in the area. Elevated levels of humidity indoors have been correlated with the growth of mold, as mold feeds off of high humidity levels in the air. Also, poor ventilation will aid in the progression of mold growth indoors since it will create pockets of moist air in the environment for mold to thrive.
Mold Problems in House
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Mold Symptoms: Is Mold Making Me Sick
No one wants to think about mold growing in their home, but since the side effects of mold exposure can be serious, its something you cant ignore. Symptoms are wide ranging, and since mold often grows out of sight, it can be difficult to pinpoint mold as the cause. Check out this symptoms checklist to see if you might have mold growing in your home.
Disclosure: The symptoms listed here are for general informative purposes only. Speak with your doctor for specific medical advice relating to any unexplained symptoms you have.
How Safe Is It To Eat Moldy Bread
While its never completely safe to eat moldy bread, the risks are fortunately not that high and not that serious in general cases. For those with severe allergies, you can experience more significant health effects, although this is relatively rare.
The greatest danger is with people who frequently eat moldy bread. The toxins produced by mold can increase your risk of developing serious health problems. This is why its best to avoid moldy foods in general.
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Types Of Mold Sickness And Symptoms
Mold can be found almost everywhere, though it thrives in warm, humid environments. It spreads by releasing tiny spores that float through the air. Some types of mold also produce mycotoxins, microscopic organic compounds that can attach to mold spores and cause additional health effects when inhaled.
Mold exposure does not always cause adverse reactions, and different types of mold can cause a person to react in distinctly different ways. However, those who are sensitive to mold or have mold allergies may experience the following symptoms after exposure, according to the CDC:
- Nasal stuffiness
- Eye, throat or skin irritation
- Coughing or wheezing
Reactions may be more severe in those with:
- Mold allergies
- Weakened immune systems
- Chronic lung illnesses
If you are in one of the above groups, the CDC recommends staying away from likely sources of mold, such as wooded areas, compost piles and freshly-cut grass.
Illnesses Caused By Mold
There link between health issues and mold exposure has increased over the years, with a list of illnesses cause by mold presence in your home lengthy with the most common of these illnesses being asthma and allergies, infections, and mold illness or toxic mold syndrome. Mold fungi can easily grow in your indoor environments and produce mild health symptoms like headaches, cough, throat issues, and other respiratory issues, along with other more significant health problems that can develop over-time as exposure progresses.
Below we are going to discuss the most commonly experienced illnesses caused by mold in your home.
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Why Does Mold Make Me Sick
We come in contact with molds on an everyday basis. You might be wondering if we are always surrounded by them, then why do they make you sick. Constant mold exposure is what results in severe mold sickness.
Before talking about the symptoms of mold sickness, lets talk more about what molds really are.
Molds are a natural part of the environment that are found both indoors and outdoors. Many outdoor molds are an important part of the ecosystem because they break down the dead substances and deposit them back into the ecosystem.
There are over 300,000 molds in the world. Some mold species are considered harmless, while others can lead to some serious illnesses. The most common molds found in buildings and homes are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus.
Can Mildew Smell Make You Sick
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Mildew usually affects plants and crops. If it develops indoors, however, it can also pose health risks. When inhaled, mildew spores cause coughing, headache, sore throat, and respiratory problems Prolonged exposure can cause a variety of health problems, depending on the strain of mold.
Furthermore, can the smell of mold kill you? In reality, all molds including black moldcan produce toxins, but exposure to mold is rarely deadly. People are exposed to mold through spores that are released and travel through the air. It’s true that some people are more sensitive than others to mold.
Also, how do you know if mold is making you sick?
If your Total Body Burden is high, or you are genetically predisposed to recycling toxins, regular exposure to mold can cause allergy symptoms, such as:
What’s the difference between Mould and mildew?
Mildew is typically white, gray or yellow and grows on the surface of moist, warm areas. Its texture is fluffy or powdery. On the other hand, mold tends to be green or black, and it usually grows underneath the surface of anything that has gotten wet. Its texture can be fuzzy or slimy.
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It Might Be In Your Peanut Butter
If you love a good PB& J, think twice about the brand you’re using: it may be moldy. According to the Society of Toxicology, peanuts are the food most likely to be contaminated with aflatoxin, a dangerous species of mold. While some of these molds can be killed off by roasting the peanuts, it doesn’t work every time. Aflatoxins are acutely toxic and in large amounts can cause vomiting, convulsions, liver cancer, hemorrhaging, coma and death.
The Rx: “You can reduce your aflatoxin exposure by buying only major commercial brands of nuts and nut butters and by discarding nuts that look moldy, discolored, or shriveled,” advises the National Cancer Institute. “To help minimize risk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tests foods that may contain aflatoxins, such as peanuts and peanut butter. To date, no outbreak of human illness caused by aflatoxins has been reported in the United States, but such outbreaks have occurred in some developing countries.”
How To Prevent Sickness From Mold
“To avoid basement mold making you sick, the most important thing is to deal with it immediately,” said McBride. “And keep in mind that molds don’t only grow in basements, they can thrive unseen behind baseboard heating, between walls and in attics. Basically, anywhere moisture can be present, which is why heating, ventilation and air condition systems are notorious for creating mold issues.”
And because mold can grow within 24 hours of an area becoming wet, McBride suggests reducing the risk of long-term exposure by tackling the source of any excess moisture in your home whether thats condensation or a leak. When you know what’s causing the damp problem, you can carry out the appropriate home repairs.
You may need to get a professional to remove mold for you, but if it’s only a small amount you could opt to deal with it yourself. However, if you do decide to tackle mold patches yourself, be sure to protect your health from toxic mold microbes by wearing an N-95 mask , disposable gloves and goggles.
Fungicides can be just as toxic as mold, so I would use an everyday household detergent to clean the area, McBride told Live Science. Youll also need to contain and decontaminate any items that have been affected. For example, storage boxes, furniture or documents, in order to reduce the spread of toxic microbes. You can use a dehumidifier to help prevent mold, however, these can be susceptible to growing mold themselves, so be sure to maintain it very closely.
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Rental Properties With Mould Issues
When a rental property has mould, the owner should fix any mould caused by faults in gutters or other fixtures, but the tenant should ensure that extractor fans are used when available and the home is aired regularly where possible.
Sometimes, the cause of the mould growth may be due to a building fault that may not be easily rectified.
If as a tenant, you have taken measures to make sure the building is properly ventilated and mould is still growing, you should raise the issue with the owner.
Information on mould in rental properties is available on Consumer Affairs Victorias website.
Tenants seeking further advice on their rights can also contact the Tenants Union of Victoria on .
Five Of The Most Common Indoor Molds
Mold illness is the variety of health problems that can occur from any type of mold exposure. Although a mold allergy is the most common problem caused by exposure to mold, mold can cause illness without an allergic reaction. Mold can also cause infections or irritants and toxic reactions. Infections caused by mold can lead to a variety of problems from flu-like symptoms to skin infections and even pneumonia.
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Can I Use It For Anything Else
Since many people use old bread to make breadcrumbs or pudding, you might think that you could do something else with bread that has a little bit of mold on it.
Unfortunately, the presence of mold means that you should only throw it away. Keeping even the parts that are not moldy is not your safest option. Any bread that has mold growth should not be used for any other dishes and should be thrown away promptly to prevent any problems.
How Common Is Mold In Buildings
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 Know If You Have Black Mold In Your House
Mold isnt always visible. If you can see mold, its only a sign of the real potential health risk, which is the harmful types of unhealthy levels of mold in the air of your home or workplace.
Airborne mold is all around us in both the outdoors and indoors. The types and amount of mold is what determines the potential health risk. Most of us are typically accustomed to the varieties and amounts of mold present in our outdoor environments.
Healthy indoor environments will have mold conditions similar to or better than those in the surrounding outdoors. Over time, because of moisture , many indoor spaces develop unhealthy types and/or unhealthy levels of airborne mold that can be harmful to you or your pets.
These signs will help you know if you possibly have unhealthy mold conditions in your house:
- Allergic symptoms
- A damp or musty odor in one or more places
- Frequent headaches
- The air in the home feels different
- Your house has been flooded or currently has leaks
- You previously tried removing mold yourself
Take note of how you feel in and out of the house. If the symptoms disappear or decrease when youre out and about, then you might have a mold problem, yes, even if you cant see mold.
Sneezing And Nasal Congestion
While many things can trigger sneezing, its also a symptom of mold toxicity that should get your attention. If youve never had allergies or hay fever symptoms and youre positive you dont have a cold, those sneezes could be indicative of mold exposure.
Sneezing is the immune systems standard response to allergens. It could also be a warning sign that your home has a mold problem.
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Can You Get Sick From Mold
Did you know that mold is a versatile fungus that has hundreds of thousands of species? These different mold species can range in severity and can trigger a range of specific health issues depending upon the species present in the environment and that humans may come into contact with or exposure. This naturally-occurring fungal growth can be found anywhere, especially those indoor environments that have optimal conditions like moisture, oxygen, warmer climates, and decaying matter for the mold to feed on to further promote its growth. As this mold begins to form within your indoor environment, it will release spores into the air, a small pollutant in the air that can exacerbate and trigger potential health issues in those exposed, leading to illnesses that may range in severity.
Exposure to mold and its spores can definitely lead to an individual becoming sick after continual contact in the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency , they state the impact that mold can have on human health, the describe how mold affects people as the following
Molds produce allergens and irritants into the air, and exposure to these allergens either through inhalation or touching may cause an allergic reaction that can elicit allergy-symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.