Mold has become an increasing problem in everyday life, hiding in all sorts of places and generally unpleasant to look at. People have been combating this menace for as long as can be remembered, but only recently have the health risks of mold been revealed. Categorized as a possible health hazard depending on the species of mold, one cannot be too careful around these miniature menaces and can soon be faced with an onslaught if not careful. Usually found wherever there’s moisture, almost any home is at risk of becoming a host for many a strange growth – this is why it is important to know the enemy before we get rid of it.
Everyone is at Risk
The truth of the matter when it comes to mold is that everyone within the household is at risk. Although the infestation might be localized to (e.g. the bathroom ceiling), everyone will still be exposed to it at one point or another. The damper the environment is, the higher chances of mold appearing. The key problem with mold is the particles it releases into the air on a regular basis (spores), these are inhaled by anyone in the vicinity and can pose a serious health risk. The true kicker comes in if we agitate the mold by trying to remove it without sufficient protection, then everything can go haywire as we’re hit with an extra-large “dose” and the health consequences can be extremely serious.
Health Risks Associated with Mold
Among the plethora of health risks associated with mold, a few tend to stand out, simply due to the severity of their nature. The most common problems according to Donald Dennis, MD, FACS, a highly experienced ENT surgeon, are chronic sinusitis, allergies, muscle and joint pain, shortness of breath, headaches and memory loss, chronic inflammation and ultimately, immune system impairment – it just gets better and better. There have been numerous studies that have linked these symptoms and many more to prolonged mold exposure – even areas one wouldn’t expect like gastrointestinal disorders. With such a high count of possible problems caused by mold, and none of these all that minor, removing mold from our homes should be a priority. In fact Dennis believes we need to go further and will not resolve health problems until we clean mold from our noses, our homes, and our clothes.
Places to Check
As previously stated, mold’s favorite spots around the house are usually damp with ample supply of water from things like leaky roofing, bad pipes in the walls and anything else we might think of. The first areas anyone should check are bathroom walls, any wall surfaces in the kitchen that are near the sink and corners wherever there is an abundance of moisture. Mold likes to latch on to these kinds of surfaces and slowly grow out before anyone notices. Another crucial spot is to check behind furniture, the tight spaces provide just enough heat and dampness for it to grow out. This is essentially a very annoying game of hide and seek. Thankfully, we can gain the upper hand as there are scientifically-proven mold screening kits available online that can detect growth and the microscopic spores before anything is visible to the eye.
Getting Rid of it is a Pain
When we do eventually find and identify mold in our home, getting rid of it is far from easy. First and foremost, without knowing what type of mold it is, we may be putting ourselves in substantial danger by agitating it. When provoked, mold does indeed release all the particles that are resting on its surface, shooting who knows what through our air canals into our lungs. A general rule of thumb is to take into consideration the coloration of the mold – if it’s black, stay back. Scraping it off won’t do, the area will need to be treated and purged of any contaminants.
When faced with a more discrete problem, i.e. the mold is hiding behind old and expensive furniture, getting to it can be quite a problem. And if it’s something serious like black mold, getting rid of it will require professional intervention. Most likely the majority of the room will have to be cleaned out and one might need to consider alternative storage options. With severe problems like these, moving a good chunk of a room’s contents is almost impossible space-wise, which is why short-term, self-storage solutions may be your best bet.
Tackling mold is no laughing matter, the dangers are real and many. With doctors becoming more and more aware of the severity some forms of mold can have on a person’s health, awareness is spreading and more and more people are out seeking professional help. When faced with a mold problem, consider calling an expert right away. These trained professionals are able to quickly identify and root out the problem while eliminating the chance of making the problem worse. Stay safe, stay healthy, don’t mess with mold.