The Effects of Living in a Home with Mold

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • December 24, 2019

How Mold Affects Your Home and Health

Let’s face it, there are few things scarier than coming across mold in your home. Mold’s unsightly appearance and musty odor can mean trouble for your home, especially if it’s gone unnoticed for some time. Mold is typically found in dark, damp and undisturbed areas, such as bathrooms, behind walls, in the attic, crawlspaces and underneath staircases. 

In this article, we discuss the effects mold has on your health and your home, as well as provide some tips to remove and prevent mold growth in your home.

How Does Mold Get Into Your House? 

Although not visible to the naked eye, mold spores are everywhere. Once it’s found a proper location to grow and develop, mold will quickly disperse more spores that travel through the air to find other susceptible spots to grow and thrive. 

How are spores getting in? 

  • Through the air (windows, doorways, or ventilation systems).
  • Attaching themselves to objects or people (vehicles, clothing, shoes, and pets).

 Ultimately, spores will always find a way into your home. However, they will only thrive with proper conditions and a steady supply of suitable nutrients. If the environment is unsuitable for the spores — meaning there’s no moisture and good air flow — mold will be unable to develop.  

Pro Tip: When mold grows inside the home, it usually produces a musty odor. So even if you can’t see mold, you should be able to smell it!

Effects Mold Has on Your Health

Mold can also pose severe health concerns for those who suffer from allergies, pre-existing respiratory issues, or weakened immune systems. Here are some of the most common health issues you may notice if mold is present in your home:

Breathing Issues 

As mold grows and matures, spores, cells, fragments and unstable organic compounds enter the air. These contaminants present issues such as allergens, irritants and mycotoxins, a toxic compound that is naturally produced by certain types of mold. Some of these can be harmful, especially to individuals who have a sensitivity to them. 

Dampness also aids in the breakdown of materials, increasing the volume of particles and dust in the air which can irritate the lungs, nose and throat. For a person with breathing problems, such as asthma or chronic lung conditions, these symptoms can get inherently worse. Check your home regularly for damp areas to avoid these symptoms. 

Allergy Issues 

Someone with a sensitivity or allergy to any mold-related particles could have an allergic reaction as well. Allergic reactions to mold can produce very similar symptoms to other common allergies, such as hay fever or seasonal allergies. 

Symptoms include: 

  • Runny or itchy nose
  • Itchy throat 
  • Sneezing 
  • Watery eyes 

Having a mold allergy, as well as asthma, means a higher chance of having an asthma attack when there is mold in the environment. 

Effects Mold Has on Your Home 

Mold can severely damage your home, too. When left untreated, mold slowly eats away at your home and continues to grow, causing severe damage to the structural integrity of your property. 

The visible signs of this can include damaged hardwood floors, discoloration of the walls and ceilings, or condensation on the windows and walls. If you happen to come across surface molds (mold that appears on shower tiles or on the corners of the sink), it is possible to remove them using this formula. However, more serious types of mold will not go away on their own and may require professional remediation.  

Home Protection and Prevention

By now, we can all agree that no one wants to deal with mold. So how can you keep mold at bay and protect your home from its effects? 

Controlling the amount of moisture within and beneath your home is the key to preventing mold. By keeping the humidity levels as low as you possibly can, you are creating an unsustainable environment for mold to grow.

Causes for high humidity levels in the home include:

  • Poor ventilation throughout the home 
  • Water used when washing and cooking 
  • The natural moisture in the air
  • Water leaks 
  • Tightly sealed windows preventing circulation
  • Rising damp 

The CDC recommends humidity levels be no higher than 50%. Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to help you keep the humidity within this range. 

Tips for lowering moisture in the home:

  • Respond quickly to leaks or spills 
  • Use a dehumidifier to reduce indoor humidity
  • Leave windows open to improve airflow 
  • Use extractor fans to remove moisture while cooking 
  • Clean surfaces regularly to prevent moisture accumulation 
  • Avoid placing carpet in bathrooms and basements 

As soon as you notice any signs of mold in your home, be sure to check your home thoroughly, especially in the unknown places mold may be hiding. If you determine it’s worse than you thought, it may be time to call in the professionals. 

For over 26 years, the Killingsworth Environmental team has been tackling even the moldiest of homes. If your home requires remediation, we’re up to the task. Download our free guide below to learn how our professionals handle mold. 

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