The Earth is teeming with microorganisms that compete with one another for every inch of living space and available resources.
One of the little-noticed, yet most dangerous of these competitors is mold. Mold can grow in just about any conditions, but it thrives in wet, damp basements. There are a variety of types of mold, that have varying degrees of effect on our health and our homes.
It’s important to stop any mold in its tracks, before it takes over your home. But, its especially important to stop the type of mold that can be toxic to you and your family’s health. If you let toxic mold grow rampant throughout your home, you can experience a number of adverse health symptoms.
Noticing these symptoms early on can be a matter of life and death for those living with toxic mold. Learn the signs today so you can take action to stop toxic mold from growing and spreading throughout your home.
Let’s look at what mold is and how to notice the toxic mold signs and symptoms.
What is mold?
Mold is a microorganism that grows to make a cobweb-like structure. We most commonly find mold on food that’s been left out of the fridge for too long. However, it can also grow in the walls, floors, and insulation of your home—among other places.
When mold finds a food source, it starts rapidly growing and producing spores, which have a different color depending on the species of mold. It’s usually this colored fluffy layer that we first notice, but mold can be growing invisibly on ceilings, walls, or any other porous material.
Mold spores are what cause health problems, but it is the spore concentration that matters the most. Toxic mold can come in a variety of colors and appearances. But the one thing the various strains have in common are that they produce spores that cause serious health problems, even at a low concentration.
So, if it’s difficult to tell by looking at the mold itslef, how can you tell if there’s toxic mold in your home? Toxic mold manifests a very specific set of symptoms within human beings. If you notice mold or dampness in your home and a few of these signs and symptoms, it’s highly likely that you have a form of toxic mold growing in your home.
Toxic mold signs and symptoms
1. Chronic cough
Coughing is meant to clear out the airways from irritants. Since spores irritate the airways, they trigger bouts of coughing. If your cough always triggers in the same room, you might have a mold problem. Infants, pets, and the elderly are especially vulnerable to mold-induced coughing.
2. Musty smell
If there’s a certain musty smell in a room, it’s most likely due to mold. As it grows, mold produces chemicals that we can smell. The human nose can detect chemicals to warn us of danger. In the case of mold, these chemicals come about due to rotting, which also attracts pests like cockroaches.
3. Skin rashes
Toxic mold spores falling on your skin may make it swell and itch. The underlying cause is inflammation, which can last way beyond the first contact with the spores. If you’re constantly exposed to toxic mold spores, you’ll have a tendency to have skin inflammation that keeps getting worse, no matter what you do.
4. Discolored walls
Patches and blotches of color on your walls are a possible sign of mold. If you also have a health problem, patches and blotches might mean the presence of toxic mold.
5. Chronic fatigue
Feeling exhausted after exertion is normal; feeling exhausted when you’ve sat around all day isn’t. Fatigue that kicks in during rainy days is likely caused by toxic mold that releases spores as the relative humidity increases. If you feel fatigued in some rooms but refreshed in an air conditioned room or outside in fresh air, you may have a toxic mold problem.
6. Allergy-like symptoms
Sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes are typically signs of allergy. If you get these symptoms without being allergic, a likely cause is toxic mold spores. The allergic symptoms happen because the immune system overreacts to an allergen, in this case toxic mold spores. There is no cure for allergy, only a temporary relief and prevention.
As the spores enter the sinuses, the body reacts by producing more mucus to trap them. Soon enough, the mucus builds up and clogs the sinuses, leading to a headache.
A 2007 Brown University study found that people who lived in moldy homes were more likely to have depression. There is no proof that mold spores cause depression, but the study suggests it has to do with a feeling of lack of control.
9. Digestive problems
As spores enter the body, the digestion starts hurting. Humans have 30-some feet of intestines, meaning that anything entering them will stick around and since spores cause inflammation, you’re looking at long-term stomach ache and cramping.
10. Joint and nerve pain
Exposure to toxic mold chemicals can lead to a lot of long-term health problems, such as cramping, tingling, and sensation of pain. There is no scientific explanation how the toxic mold chemicals cause this but a link has been noted. Symptoms of mold-induced joint and nerve pain often feel like arthritis.
What you can do about Mold in Your home
As soon as you recognize toxic mold signs and symptoms you should contact a professional. Any sort of cleaning, scrubbing, or attempt to remove the mold on your own could release the deadly spores into the air of your home, creating more problems.
A properly prepared remediation team will remove the mold and mold ridden materials carefully and with a number of safety measures in place to ensure that it does not spread further. Once removal has taken place, the air also can be cleaned with specialized machinery and filtration systems to ensure that any spores that may have been released into the air prior to or during remediation are removed, and that your family will be safe.
A Waterproofing Solutions Inc is experienced in dealing with all manner of mold cleanup and remediation. We have over 30 years of experience in dealing with mold remediation issues.
If you want a professional that you can trust to keep your property and your family safe from a dangerous infestation of toxic mold, contact us today.