If you live in Florida, you are likely aware that our humid weather and frequent rain showers sometimes create an inviting environment for mold growth in our homes and workplaces. But you may not be aware that mold is not just a hazard to building structures – it is responsible for a wide array of health issues that have often been misunderstood or escaped diagnosis in the past.
When taking a holistic view of your health and the factors that threaten it, it’s crucial to include the possibility of mold exposure and learn how to recognize the signs that a mold-related disease is present. You can then take the necessary steps to reclaim your health, and Faithfully Guided is here to help you.
Signs Your Home Has Mold
While mold has a distinctive earthy smell that may raise your suspicion, but you may not always be able to see it. It can hide behind your wallpaper, between your walls, in your ceilings, and any other dark area where moisture accumulates. If you suspect your home has mold but cannot find it with your naked eye, you may need to call in an expert. An environmental specialist can perform highly sensitive air quality tests to accurately detect the presence of mold or spores.
Where to Check for Mold
Any place in your home that is subject to moisture, particularly if that environment is dark for any length of time, is a likely spot for mold growth. These spaces include under sinks, window sills, closets, shower ceilings, tile grout, laundry rooms, and anywhere around air conditioning equipment. Pay particular attention to any areas that have experienced past flooding or water intrusion, such as a leaking water pipe.
Common Mold Types
A mold is a type of fungus different from yeast and mushrooms. It grows through producing filamentous hyphae and reproduces through spores. The three most common types of mold you may find in your home are Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Stachybotrys.
Mold Exposure and its Effect on Your Health
In the past, mold exposure was vastly misunderstood. As more information became available, public perception of mold exposure began to shift. For example, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website now includes an entire section dedicated to information concerning mold and its effect on overall health.
The CDC also explains that mold exposure may not affect some people, while for others, especially those with weakened immune systems, serious illness may occur. Symptoms often present in the respiratory system and the central nervous system.
Some regularly reported symptoms of mold exposure are:
- Asthmatic episodes
- Dry skin
- Itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Sinus problems
- Throat irritation
- Brain fog
- Inability to concentrate
- Memory loss
Each type of mold may be associated with a spectrum of disease manifestations:
- Aspergillus is present in breathable air and is typically benign except for allergy sufferers or those with a weakened immune system. If you are excessively exposed to this mold, your immune system may be further harmed. Ultimately kidney health and brains health may be impaired
- Cladosporium appears where there is water damage or excess humidity in the environment. Long-term exposure can result in asthma, allergic reactions, and eye irritation.
- Stachybotrys is a toxic mold whose spores appear green and black. This mold type does not occur as commonly as the other types. Still, it is incredibly detrimental to health predominantly because of its mycotoxin production that can lead to allergies, breathing difficulties, sinus problems,, cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, depression and brain dysfunction.
How to Prevent Mold
Schedule regular tests to ensure mold won’t grow in your home undetected, especially if you have had mold issues in the past. Where possible, control humidity levels through the use of a dehumidifier, and if your room’s ventilation does not seem sufficient, consider opening a window. Avoid placing carpet in rooms that are continually vulnerable to moisture. Promptly address leaks or noticeable moisture retention.
Treating Your Mold-Related Health Problems
If your building has extensive mold damage, the best course of action is to hire a professional mold remediation contractor. The damage may be beyond surface treatment and require drywall removal and replacement.
But, how do you detect and repair the damage to your health? If you suspect the potential for mold exposure or recognize the common symptoms, you should bring this concern to your Faithfully Guided team. We will then perform the necessary tests and create a health plan that includes evidence-based treatment and relevant restorative services.
Faithfully Guided is Here to Help You
Mold exposure is but one of the perils embedded into our busy lives that can go unnoticed and ultimately rob you of your full potential. It can be detected, treated and prevented. We are prepared to shepherd you through this and are devoted to guiding you to abundant life and vibrant health.