House Mold: Why It Could Be Putting Your Health At Risk

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Everybody is probably more familiar with mold growing on their stale bread or on any of their food that is way past their expiration. And we are all aware of the side effects of ingesting this type of mold and so we know that it can make us very sick. However, not all kinds of mold are dangerous to humans. As a matter of fact, there are particular species of mold that help produce the best cheese in the world (blue cheese) or an antibiotic like penicillin. Hence, it really just takes a matter of identifying which ones could be beneficial and potentially harmful to us. 

Why are House Molds Harmful?

In general, molds can be found anywhere, but most of it can easily be found in our own homes! 

Not only mold is unsightly and embarrassing to guests, but they also give off an unpleasant musty smell that is very off-putting. Especially if you’re trying to put your property in the market, a growing mold problem can, unfortunately, diminish its market value. 

In addition to that, molds are essentially built by nature to break down organic matter and instigate its decomposition. Now, mold doesn’t just grow anywhere. Meaning to say, the environment has to be suitable enough for the fungi to develop, that is to say, that the surface has to have high amounts of moisture and humidity. It must be wet and damp, and so because of this molds tend to grow more frequently in attics, crawlspaces, shower areas, kitchen sinks, and others. Mold in basement is also a pretty common sight most especially if there has been flooding or any form of water damage. The problem with molds located in basements is that the fungi tend to gradually eat away the wood, the joints and any other part of your home that is made up of organic or porous material. 

On a more serious note, mold in your home can also pose as a health hazard particularly to people with weakened immune systems or to others who are already struggling with a respiratory condition. Having said that, one of the things that you should do to secure your family’s safety is to maintain general upkeep, conduct mold inspections if necessary and make sure to treat it as soon as you see it. 

3 Types of Mold

To give you a better idea of what strains of mold are harmful, we have categorized it into three.

Allergenic

Allergenic molds are those that can trigger asthma, allergic rhinitis, or any other respiratory conditions to individuals who have a hypersensitive reaction to fungi. But apart from respiratory-related side effects, other allergic reactions could also include eye or skin irritation. Nevertheless, not a big percentage of the population are easily susceptible to small amounts of allergens caused by molds unless it has gone beyond normal levels. In reality, only about 20% – 30% of the total population are hypersensitive to mold exposure. 

Pathogenic

Pathogenic molds are fungi that can cause an infection even to people who are in good health. Pathogenic mold can take a grave toll on people who have a suppressed immune system and so it most commonly affects infants, children, and the elderly.

Toxic 

Toxic molds on the other hand, are species of mold that actually releases toxic substances called “mycotoxins.” These are poisonous chemicals that are both present on the mold itself and on the mold spores which are typically airborne. For this reason, this type of mold is considered the most hazardous to humans. In fact, excessive exposure to toxic molds can cause adverse health effects and could actually even lead to life-threatening cases. 

Common Types of Toxic Mold

“Black mold” is an infamous term used to refer to deadly toxic molds. Here are just a few of the most harmful types of mold that you need to be aware of. 

Stacybotrys Chartarum 

Stacybotrys Chartarum is most frequently associated with the term “black mold” because of its more toxic characteristics. This type of mold usually develops inside the house hiding behind walls and ceilings. 

Memnoniella

Memnoniella is a similar strain of fungus to Stacybotrys Chartarum hence it’s also called “black mold.” The differences between the two can only be seen under a microscope. 

Alternaria 

Just like any other molds, Alternaria thrives on moist and humid surfaces. It’s commonly found in carpets, windows, in the air conditioning system, and as well in wallpapers. Alternaria causes pulmonary disorders and greatly affects little children.

Aspergillus

Aspergillus is the gray or green spots that usually grow on wooden surfaces. They are dangerous to humans because they can cause serious allergies, lung infections, hay fever, and permanent disability among others. 

High-levels of mold exposure is a serious threat to both your home and your personal health so if you have suspicions that your home could be dangerously infected with mold, do not think twice and get your property immediately tested by a qualified mold professional. 

If you’re residing in Virginia Beach, you can call on black mold VA beach to give you accurate and effective testing and treatment of your home.