There are many negative health effects of mold, and if you suspect that your home has a mold problem it is essential that you take immediate action in order to prevent the mold toxicity health effects that may occur from continued exposure.
Some of the short term effects of mold exposure may include: allergies, runny nose, sinus infections, headaches, and digestive problems. If the problem is left untreated, long term mold toxicity health effects include serious problems such as cancer, reproductive problems, sudden infant death syndrome, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus and fibromyalgia.
The symptoms generally start small, and most people don’t realize that they are being poisoned by mold in their home. But, over time the symptoms will become worse, and serious health problems can occur with continued exposure to the mold.
There are a few steps that can be taken to clean up the mold problems in your home and avoid the health effects of mold; however it is essential that you are cautious with the cleanup process in order to protect your health and thoroughly clean up 100% of the mold. Some people make the mistake of trying to clean up the mold without the proper information, and they may actually experience increased mold toxicity health effects because they unknowingly exposed themselves to more mold during the cleanup process.
If you choose to clean up the mold on your own, be sure to wear the proper types of protective equipment in order to avoid the health effects of mold. When a person inhales the mold spores or allows the mold to come in contact with the skin, serious health problems can result. Protective equipment should include items such as: goggles to protect the eyes, a face mask to filter the air that you are breathing, rubber gloves to prevent contact with the skin, long sleeves and pants to protect the skin, and a hat or hair covering to prevent mold spores from getting in your hair. Be sure to immediately wash all clothing with hot water and high quality laundry soap immediately after the work is completed, because leaving the contaminated clothing in the home may cause the mold spores to spread.
Additionally, even though the mold may appear to be gone, it is common for mold spores to continue to be present deep within the walls and within the insulation. During the cleanup process, an untrained person may accidentally cause cross contamination because the mold may spread to other areas in the home. When this cross contamination occurs, the household will still be exposed to the health effects of mold, and this exposure may even increase if the mold spores have spread into the HVAC system of the home.
Most people clean up the visible effects of mold, such as staining on the paint or hard surfaces. However, many of the serious problems actually occur in places that are not visible. For example, even though you may be able to improve the appearance by scrubbing the paint and applying a new coat of paint, there is likely mold within the wall and insulation which will continue to cause exposure and put your family at risk of mold toxicity health effects. In the picture to the right, most of the mold is in the wall and not visible.
There are specialized types of equipment that should be used during the cleanup process, such as a negative air machine, HEPA-filtered vacuums and high quality cleaning solutions that will completely kill all of the mold spores. When this cleaning process is successfully completed, the mold should be contained and completely removed, avoiding any situation that may cause the mold to spread or become worse. It is absolutely essential that proper cleanup processes are followed in order to avoid mold toxicity health effects, because even a little bit of remaining mold can grow and continue to cause health problems.
We recommend all homeowners with a mold problem schedule a free consultation to discuss how a professional could assist with the mold removal process. Professionals know how to locate all sources of mold in the home and how to remove it safely. They also have the right equipment to do the job. Even homeowners that plan to remove mold themselves can benefit from scheduling a free consultation with a professional, because they’ll gain valuable tips and advice about how to best do the job.
To find a list of professionals offering free consultations in your area, just click here.