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Health Effects Associated With Molds And Dampness

 

 

Molds are fungi that grow in damp and moist places at home. They appear as unsightly patches that can either be black, green, brown, and smelly fuzzy growths.

Mold on Ceiling

They are rampant both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor mold is essential for breaking down dead plants and leaves; otherwise, trees and leaves would cover the world. On the other hand, indoor molds can grow in wood, under the sinks, bathroom tubs, laundry room, basement, and kitchens. They thrive under moisture and dampness.
 
When buying a home either from a property owner or real estate agent like movoto, ensure you do a home inspection. It will help you identify if the house is of quality with a proper ventilation system. Compromised housing is substandard in terms of material and adequate ventilation; thus, it is prone to mold problems.
 
Indoor molds are dangerous as they can cause adverse health effects. They multiply and release the spores in the air, which are easily inhalable.
 
They Cause Allergies
When molds grow in your home, they release spores that dominate the air in your house; hence you inhale them. They irritate the nasal airways and cause allergies like sneezing and irritation of the nose.
 
It is dangerous, especially if you have an infant as they are more prone to allergies.
 
Causes Asthma
Prolonged exposure to molds eventually causes asthma. Inhaling the mold spores causes chest congestion, wheezing, and chest tightness. 
 
According to the Environmental Protection agency, they conducted a study on children's home at the age of one to seven. Children living under damp conditions with exposure to molds were more prone to getting an asthmatic infection.
 
Additionally, the World Health Organization observed that a considerable proportion of 300 million asthma cases in children are due to moldy conditions and indoor dampness. 
 
Other Respiratory Infections
Staying under moldy conditions exposes you to bronchitis and other respiratory infections such as pneumonia. Such illnesses take a toll on your finances and even lead to more severe problems. 
 
Lung Conditions
Molds are associated with severe lung conditions like pulmonary hemorrhage, which is bleeding of the lungs. Extended exposure to molds will make you prone to such a disease.
 
People who have already suffered from allergies and asthma because of molds are more likely to have a reduced lung function, leading to death.
 
Depression
People who live in damp and moldy conditions are at high risk of stress and depression because of the discomfort of their living environment.
 
Stress and depression, in turn, will cause a strain on their already compromised respiratory system and cause adverse effects.
 
WHERE DO MOLDS OCCUR
 
Molds are most likely to develop in:
 
Poorly ventilated houses.
Damp houses
Houses that are overcrowded with a pile of items
Homes that lack appropriate heating
In rental houses where there is residential overcrowding.
In substandard houses, especially in low-income communities
In spots with water leakages in the house.
 
WHO IS AT RISK
 
Molds expose everyone in the family to infections, but some groups are more prone like:
 
Infants
The elderly
People with a weak immunity system compromised by pre-existing conditions such as HIV or tuberculosis or cancer.
Allergic people
People with chronic lung diseases
Expectant mothers
 
HOW TO PREVENT OR DEAL WITH MOLDS AT HOME
 
Common signs of mold growth in your home are cracked paint or wallpaper, stains, odor, dampness of items, damp basement, water stains, and frequent condensation.
There are several ways of preventing molds from growing in your home:
  • Heat your house adequately, and in the cases of cold seasons like winter, insulate your home to protect it from condensation and high air humidity levels.
  • Install proper ventilation to rooms exposed to molds due to their moist conditions such as the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry unit.

Home Ventilation System Diagram
 

  • Clean the home's hardwood surfaces and other places that are prone to molds thoroughly with soap, bleach solutions, and water.
  • If you come across molds in your home, clean it, and address their cause.
  • Throw away contaminated absorbent materials such as carpets depending on the level of contamination, as keeping them will make the molds continue thriving there.
  • Address any water leakages in your home adequately. Check drainage systems as well from time to time to ensure they rid off stagnant water.
  • Ventilate and heat your basement well as it is more prone to developing molds, especially during cold seasons.
  • Dry frequently wet spots in every 24 to 48 hours to avoid dampness.
  • Keep the doors and windows open during the day to increase air circulation.
  • With extensive mold infestation, seek the help of commercial mold remediation services.
  • Avoid renting houses in congested areas. Levels of dampness due to more water use are rampant in such conditions, leading to mold growth.
  • Do periodical house inspection in your home to ensure you deal with mold problems before they get out of hand.


​CONCLUSION

Molds are a danger to your health. Whether you are allergic or not, molds can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, and throat leading to infections. It would be advisable to be proactive and take precautionary measures to prevent fungi from thriving in your home.


 

 

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