Mould is a type of fungus that subsists on animal and plant matter. It plays a vital role in ecosystems via biodegradation by releasing materials like carbon back into the environment. You’ll find moulds in various places as long as there’s sufficient moisture in the environment and low amounts of sunlight.
Unfortunately, while moulds are vital to nature, they can prove hazardous, especially to a household. Read on to learn more about their potential health hazards to a household.
Before anything else, it’s important to understand that the mould itself isn’t the culprit of the health risks you often hear from experts. Rather, it’s the spores which mould releases that can cause allergic reactions in most people. The adverse effects are particularly noticeable to those with high sensitivity to allergens, such as senior citizens, children, and people with respiratory conditions. (1)
If even one of your family members belongs to these categories, you might want to book an inspection with a professional mould removal company like MouldMen to safely remove mould. Otherwise, they may experience the following:
- Runny nose
- Skin rash
- Red eyes
- Severe asthma attacks (1)
As you can see, the health risks associated with household mould are roughly the same as with other allergens. Just like most allergens, the reactions may vary in severity according to exposure and sensitivity. It’s entirely possible for individuals to not experience allergic reactions at all. Similarly, mould can cause uncommon allergic reactions like fevers. At most, excessive exposure can result in hypersensitivity pneumonitis. (1)
Moreover, according to this study, exposure to mould at an early age (during infancy) can potentially increase the risks of respiratory allergies. These include rhinitis and asthma.
For these reasons, eliminating household mould and taking preventive measures are crucial for families. This is especially true if the household consists of members that belong to certain categories like allergic people, babies, children, and elderly people. If their reactions are abnormally severe, it’s best to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. (1)
When is the best time to book an inspection?
As much as you’d like to get rid of mould right away, it requires several steps, and mould inspection is one such step. It involves hiring a professional to determine what kinds of mould are growing in your home. Yes, there are different types of mould. Some are toxic and hazardous, while some are relatively harmless, though still an eyesore (2)
Mould inspectors also check for mould you normally can’t see, such as those in cracks, ducts, or in between the walls. Here’s a look at the signs that you need to book an inspection:
- If there was a flood recently as mould grows rapidly in wet environments
- If there’s a mouldy smell in your house
- If your family members are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms
- If you see one
- If you just recently bought a home, there may be mould due to lack of maintenance (2)
Even after confirming the presence of mould and hiring mould removal services, your job isn’t done yet. There are still other things you can do to ensure the safety of your loved ones.
How to deal with mould in your house
Mould only needs moisture and lack of sunlight to grow. As much as you’d like to get rid of mould, you cannot completely eliminate moisture in your home nor can you light up every area of your house. In other words, your house would most definitely contain mould, no matter what you do. You can, however, slow down their growth with the following tips:
- Fix leaky roofs and plumbing lines
- Maintain and clear gutters
- Open windows and doors regularly to aerate the home and reduce moisture levels
- Purchase and install dehumidifiers and air conditioners
- Maintain your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system
- Use vacuum cleaners regularly to remove spores from the air and on furniture
- Immediately conduct general cleaning in your home after a flood (3)
When cleaning, don’t mix bleach with mould-cleaning products as they likely contain ammonia. A bleach-ammonia mixture typically produces toxic fumes. You may get rid of mould, but you’re also producing another source of danger to your family.
A few chunks of mould may not seem consequential, but their spores may prove to be hazardous in large amounts. Unfortunately, you’ll have to live with mould. But if you wish to protect your household, above are the things you can do.
- “Mold allergy”, Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mold-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20351519
- “Mold Inspection 101: How Much It Costs and When to Get One”, Source: https://molekule.science/mold-inspection-101-how-much-it-cost-and-when-to-get-one/
- “You Can Control Mold”, Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mold/control_mold.htm