If your home has water damage from a fire or flooding, you’re likely to find mold in your home soon after. Even if your home has not seen severe water damage, you may still have mold hiding in places you never thought to look. While the relationship between toxic black mold and your health is widely known, there are other types of mold that may be lurking in your home and threatening your family’s health.
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus. Nearly everyone is exposed to this living organism on a daily basis, both indoors and out. Outdoor mold is a normal part of nature that helps decompose dead organic material such as plants, leaves and wood. When it comes inside, it decomposes paper, wallboard, dust, carpeting, paint and other items in your house. When mold grows on a surface, it can appear in different colors such as black, green, orange and purple, depending on the type of mold. If you’ve ever noticed a dark, slimy substance at the base of the bathtub or toilet, that is mold at work. Mold thrives in areas with high levels of moisture where it will continue to grow and spread.
Mold and Your Health
If mold is present in your home, surface mold isn’t the only issue. Tiny mold spores travel through the air and enter your body when you breathe. Inhaling a small amount of mold spores may not cause you any harm unless you are sensitive to mold. Family members who are allergic to mold or suffer from other medical conditions are at a greater risk of increased health problems from the presence of mold in the home. This group of people typically includes:
- Infants and young children
- Elderly adults
- Those who suffer from chronic lung disease
- Anyone with asthma or that uses an inhaler
- People who have compromised immune systems because of cancer, liver disease or HIV
When it comes to mold and your health, you don’t want to take any chances. A presence of mold can cause a number seemingly unrelated health conditions.
Where Does Mold Hide?
The most common places to find mold growing in your home are humid or wet areas, such as:
- Laundry Rooms
While these areas provide ideal conditions for mold growth, mold commonly hides in carpets, drywall and within the wooden infrastructure of your home. It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to settle in, and once it starts, it becomes difficult to control without the help of a mold remediation specialist. Any area of your home that has received water damage needs thoroughly dried as soon as possible to prevent mold growth and reduce the health risk.