Can Mold in Your Home Make You Sick?
Mold is one of the more invasive and hidden things in your home. Mold tends to grow and proliferate in dark damp spaces, exactly where you don’t want it to be. So, if it’s so far away in those deep dark places in your home, what harm could it do, right? Can it really make you sick?
Absolutely. In fact, some types of mold can make you extremely ill without you even knowing it. Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a family of black molds that can make you incredibly sick if the spores are exposed to the open air and circulated around your home.
But mold in your home is in more places than just those dark, damp corners.
Not just in the walls…
The mold we often think of in our homes is often in the walls or corners where water tends to collect. However, there are many types of molds that can make you ill that are all over your home, not just in the walls.
One of the most common places that mold can proliferate is in your food. Peanut butter, cheese, or bread are great mediums for all kinds of mold. In some places, you may not even notice that mold is present. Ingesting the moldy food can cause nausea, vomiting, and upper GI issues.
Similarly, your kids’ toys are a hot bed for molds of all kinds. Bath toys that can take in water but may not be fully dried after use are particularly troublesome. Worst of all, your kids may put the toys in their mouths, or attempt to drink the water from them – yuck!
Coffeemakers, humidifiers or other appliances that use water to work are particularly bad for mold as well. The water reservoirs or areas where water is held either before or after use can be the perfect place for molds to grow.
Something we perhaps don’t think of are the many types of towels and sponges you have in your home that you use frequently. You could be inadvertently washing your dishes or drying yourself with a moldy, stinky towel or sponge.
All of these kinds of molds can make you very sick. If ingested, mold spores can cause anything from light allergic reactions to full anaphylactic shock. They can also cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headaches, trouble breathing and more. In children, it can be even more hard to diagnose.
How do you get rid of these kinds of molds? Think critically about the things around you. Clean or swap out your children’s toys frequently. Use cleaners in your coffee maker or humidifier. In both cases, a solution of white vinegar and warm water can easily kill and sanitize mold that may be present in these items.
The food is a bit easier – toss it in the bin. We don’t want to waste food, but we also don’t want to ingest moldy bread or peanut butter. Think about the quantities you buy and use and adjust accordingly.
What about the mold in the walls?
So, what about that pesky mold in the walls? It can make you equally as sick, often far worse. It can cause similar symptoms but is often inhaled as opposed to ingested. Mold spores can travel through your HVAC system quickly and easily, populating new areas or causing reactions among you and your family.
To mitigate the mold in your home, the first thing to do is locate the source and use chemicals like bleach or mold spray to kill it at the source. Additionally, find any leaks or water that may be present and clean up. Also, ensure that filters for your HVAC system are clean and fresh.
This can be a daunting task, so don’t be afraid to call in a professional. They can diagnose the problem and recommend solutions with no effort on your part – it will likely cost less than you think as well. Fill our our form or give us a call to get a free quote from a mold specialist near you.