The Harmful Effects of Mold

Mold in a flood damaged houseMold is a silent, yet poisonous, intruder in homes everywhere. Not only does it cause unsightly patches of fungi and an unpleasant musty smell, but it also causes a host of health problems and structural decay. It’s important to address mold as soon as you can to thwart its growth.

Structural Problems Caused by Mold

Mold is designed to break down decaying organic matter, such as dead plants, trees, leaves, or animals. In addition to the carbon produced by decaying matter, mold needs oxygen and moisture in order to thrive and grow. When these conditions are present inside a building, it takes between one to ten days for mold to start growing. If mold is allowed to proliferate, it will eventually cause walls and other wooden surfaces to peel, crack, and warp, and eventually compromise structural integrity.

Mold especially loves damp basements, kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms. Unfortunately, mold can grow very quickly—within 48 to 72 hours, it can spread throughout an entire building. Sometimes, it starts inside a wall or under a carpet. It may not be visible, but it can usually be identified by its strong musty odor.

Grout especially attracts mold spores, causing it to crumble and turn black and create entryways for mold into subflooring and walls. In kitchens and bathrooms especially, a thorough grout cleaning will occasionally be necessary.

Illnesses Caused by Mold

Mold can cause a host of health problems. In many cases, people who were previously healthy developed a number of respiratory issues when they were exposed to mold—allergies, asthmatic symptoms, respiratory issues, runny noses, sinus problems, fevers, infections, muscle aches, and sometimes even pneumonia or laryngitis.

Most people’s symptoms go away when they no longer live or work in a moldy building. However, about one in four people are in danger of developing CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome). These people are susceptible to the symptoms already listed, as well as a list of additional symptoms—headaches, fatigue, weakness, vertigo, abdominal problems, memory problems, blurred vision, hypersensitivity to bright light, and more.

Don’t assume that you’re exempt from mold problems if you live in a dry climate. Buildings in every type of climate can be impacted by a mold infestation. Mold doesn’t only grow in moist or humid climates—it can also be found in desert climates. This type of mold is especially tenacious, causing it to be even more resistant to mold removal efforts.

Mold is destructive—both to buildings and to humans. But when it’s addressed immediately, it can usually be completely removed. Make sure your home or office stays mold free at all times.