Are you aware of all the dangers of mold in the home? You may know that mold in the home can cause health problems, but many people are not aware of the severity of the risk.
The greatest dangers of exposure to mold are the serious adverse effects it can have on your health and on the health of your family members. Mold-related health problems range from a runny nose or cough to life-threatening pneumonia or bleeding in the lungs.
Potential health problems caused by mold include:
The dangers of mold are greatest for infants and young children, elderly people, and those with certain pre-existing health problems. For instance, those with respiratory disorders like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema will likely suffer more from the effects of mold. Those with compromised immune systems, like people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, are also more susceptible to mold-related illnesses. However, anyone can be affected negatively by mold, even healthy young adults.
Many pet owners aren’t aware of this, but pets are not immune to the dangers of mold in the home. They can get sick from mold, too. Small pets are especially susceptible, just like babies and small children are, but pets of any size can be affected.
Some signs that your pets are being negatively affected by mold in the home include:
See your vet if your pet shows signs of mold-related health illness. In addition to the appropriate veterinary treatment, it may be necessary to remove your pet from the home until the mold problem can be dealt with. Without proper treatment, pets can die from excessive exposure to household mold.
If you see mold growing in your home, then obviously you have a mold problem. However, mold often grows in places where it’s not easily spotted, like inside walls, under floors, in attics, and inside heating and air conditioning ducts. If you smell a musty odor in your home, you probably have mold growing somewhere. If your home has been flooded or had extensive water damage of any kind, you almost certainly have some mold, even if you don’t see any. Even a small water leak can cause mold to grow. If you, a family member, or a pet have any of the symptoms described above and you’re not sure of the cause, it’s also possible you have a mold problem.
To find out if you have mold in your home, we recommend hiring a professional mold tester. You can purchase mold tests to conduct yourself, but a professional has been trained to perform the tests correctly in order to get the most accurate results, and also knows where to test for mold in order to make sure all the mold in the home is discovered. They will also return after you’ve had the mold cleaned up to test your home again to make sure no mold was missed. Click here for a list of certified mold testers in your area.