Water damage is one of the main reasons for mold contamination in the home. And such damage may happen at any part of the house for various reasons. The mold infestation is highly likely, especially if there’s no efficient water damage restoration or the responding team is not so…responsive. You see, mold needs 48 hours in order to grow and spread. And if the environment is suitable, this will happen whether you know it or not.
Now, the severity of mold infestations is not fixed. Not all mold species are the same. At the same time, not all people are prone to get sick due to mold. Of course, mold is never a good thing – indoors and so the severity of the matter is always grave.
Mold in the house, the whys and the hows
There are thousands of types of molds in nature. The number of indoor mold types is limited and their dangerousness varies. Some are particularly toxic when touched or inhaled; some are not. The scientific names of Aspergillus, Eurotium, Cladosporium, and Penicillium are only a few of the many mold spores that could be found in all parts of the house – air ducts, insulation, wallpaper, carpets, damp walls, painted surfaces, wet wood, furniture, et cetera.
Since mold is found in abundance in the natural environment, it can enter the home via windows, doors, shoes, and items. The question is why it sticks around! This has to do with the indoor environment. If the mold species find what they need to grow and spread, they stay. Their ideal environment is humid, hot, and dark. They feed off of the moisture, grow, and spread destroying the surface in the process. No wonder mold infestation often follows water damage incidents.
The appearance of the indoor mold species is different – they vary in color too. And although having fungi in the house is never a good thing, some mold types are particularly dangerous. Or some people are particularly sensitive and can become sick easier.
Who is susceptible to sickness due to mold?
Not all people react the same way to mold infestations. It depends on their age, health condition, and susceptibility to mold. The most susceptible group of people?
• People with allergies
• People with a weak immune system
• Those with bad nutrition or prone to alcohol
• People with respiratory problems and other chronic diseases
• Those who have an allergy to mold
Which are the usual symptoms, showing that a person is affected by mold?
• Dry throat
• Runny nose
• Red and itching eyes
• Shortness of breath
• Skin rash/irritation
Things get tougher when a person is highly exposed to dangerous mold species or is too susceptible. In such cases, people get really sick with fever, cough with blood, difficult time breathing, and chest pain.
Can you see mold in the house?
If you have gone through some water damage (burst pipe, leaking roof, etc.), mold is likely to form around this area. And it forms if the water damage remediation was not effectively or quickly done. In this case, mold has the time to grow and spread. And now, the restoration team doesn’t only have to fight water and dampness, but also remove mold. So, the sooner you call a water damage repair team, the less the likelihood of mold growth.
Sometimes, mold cannot be seen. That’s when it grows due to extensive dampness under sinks, under carpets, and behind wallpaper. In such cases, it’s harder to understand the presence of the enemy but you should trust your senses. Let your nose lead the way. If you smell a musty odor, follow it. It’ll probably lead you to a hidden damp (for some reason) space where mold has grown. Even if you don’t smell mold, be suspicious of its presence if you suddenly have some of the common symptoms. Get tested. Check if you have the symptoms when you are at home.
If you are new in this house, make an inquiry about older incidents of water damage. Or maybe a fire. Apart from dealing with fire damage, restoration teams usually have to extract water used by firefighters.
Leave nothing to chance. When it comes to mold, even the most innocent species have a reason for being there and may affect some members of your family. Stay vigilant and keep your home free of dampness – hence, free of mold.