Mold is a naturally occurring type of fungus that’s found nearly everywhere in the world. It propagates by releasing microscopic mold spores and mycotoxins into the air. When these spores land on a warm, moist surface, with a modest amount of available nutrients they can germinate into a new, active colony. Under the right conditions, certain strains of mold can develop into a colony in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
Unfortunately, one of the best environments for mold to thrive can be found inside our human homes. Especially homes with moisture and humidity issues. This makes your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room some of the prime locations for mold to thrive. Though it’s just as happy to set itself up in your basement crawl space or even in your attic, under a roof leak.
Different Types of Mold
You might be surprised to hear that there are different types of “Strains” of mold. Some are seemingly benign and pose a minimal threat on paper. Whereas some like Stachybotrys chartarum or “Toxic Black Mold” can be very dangerous, posing a severe threat to your short-term and long-term health.
Though even a so-called benign strain of mold can still pose a health risk. Especially if there are people in your home who have chronic respiratory conditions, respiratory allergies, and chronic inflammation conditions. This is often related to the irritation caused by mycotoxins attached to the microscopic mold spores themselves.
Sometimes a mold problem is blatantly obvious, and other times an active mold colony does an impressive job of hiding from plain sight. The problem with these hidden mold colonies is that they can still release a large volume of mold spores into the air.
You might be suspicious of a mold problem if you notice one or more of the following things in your home.
- Discolored blotches on drywall and woodwork
- Bubbling wallpaper
- Earthy or musty odors concentrated in one or more rooms
- Bubbling paint
- Persistent water spots with a discolored edge
Health Signs of a Mold Problem
Mold infestation in your home can also cause medical or health symptoms. These might occur even if you can’t visibly find an active mold colony. Common symptoms of a mold problem in your home can include things like:
- Frequent sneezing
- A persistent dry cough
- Recurring headaches
- Problems with chronic inflammation
- Frequent asthma attacks
- Respiratory allergy flare-ups
- Ninus and nasal congestion
- Nasal irritation
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Red eyes
- Blurry vision
- Trouble breathing
- Sore throat
- Skin irritation, like rashes or hives
A lot of people who aren’t sure if there is a mold problem in their homes might go away for a vacation or a long weekend, and notice their symptoms go away. Then when they return home their symptoms flare back up again in the presence of airborne mold spores.
The Health Threat of Toxic Black Mold
The molded strain Stachybotrys chartarum or so-called “Toxic Black Mold” is one of the most insidious types of mold that can make people sick. It typically causes the same symptoms as more benign strains of mold such as sneezing, coughing, wheezing, watery eyes, and headaches. Though the symptoms tend to be more severe. This is due to the potency of the mycotoxins as well as the way the mold spores harm the human body.
Toxic black mold can also cause fatigue, memory loss, and an inability to focus. These symptoms can worsen over time. Some chronic inflammation conditions can get so bad that individuals have had to seek medical attention, and a few have even required hospitalization.
How Long Does It Take For Mold To Make You Sick?
Just how long it takes for an indoor mold infestation to make you sick will depend on several factors. First is the type or strain of mold you are dealing with. Seemingly “Benign” strains of mold tend to cause mild irritation and can worsen over the course of weeks of exposure. This is usually due to the volume of mold spores in the air and the mycotoxins they carry.
Toxic black mold caused by strains like Stachybotrys chartarum is known for causing symptoms within days of frequent exposure. Individuals with respiratory health conditions, allergies, and chronic inflammation conditions are more likely to react early, and with more severe symptoms.
What To Do If I Find Mold In My Home?
Technically the EPA says that you can wipe away and disinfect a small area of mold in your home. Though this requires a concentrated cleaner that used hydrogen peroxide or another oxygenating compound to kill the microscopic roots of a mold colony on a porous surface.
If you find a more significant mold problem in your home, it’s best to call a professional mold remediation specialist. A lot of the cleaning products sold at the retail level simply don’t have the potency to kill mold down to its roots.
Compounding this is that untrained individuals with consumer-grade equipment are more likely to disturb an active mold than they are to eradicate it. This can cause mold colonies to spread to other parts of your home that weren’t previously infested. It can also put an excessive amount of mold spores in the air, which can make your family members and pets sick.
Calling in a professional mold remediation specialist like Affordable Remediation gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing true experts are on the case. Our specialists have access to commercial-grade cleaning products that are formulated to kill mold quickly.
We also have commercial-grade equipment and special training to find all active mold colonies in your home. We then eradicated them without the risk of mold spreading.
Afterward, our specialists will provide you with professional documentation to note what was done and how it was cleaned. This can come in handy for a future real estate inspection or insulate you against liability concerns in the future. We also dispose of any severely mold-infested materials in accordance with all EPA, state, and local safety regulations.