Can Mold Make Me Sick?
Many people wonder if mold can make them sick – in short, yes. It’s especially harmful for those with compromised respiratory systems and serious mold allergies. Because the mold spores are invisible, they can get everywhere and cause a number of physical reactions.
Reactions mold can cause:
- allergic reactions
- runny nose
- persistent sore throat
- red eyes
- skin rashes
- shortness of breath
- seasonal bronchitis
- frequently upset stomach
If you’re inexplicably experiencing any of these side effects, you might have mold in your home!
Where Can You Find Mold Around Your Home?
When it comes to mold, we often blame fruits and veggies. This isn’t actually true! Mold can grow anywhere around the house if there’s one prominent thing:
The presence of water.
As Doctor Joseph Lstibureck put it in his 2008 medical write-up on mold for Building Science,
“Mold requires water. No water, no mold. Mold is the result of a water problem. Fix the water problem. Clean up the mold. And you have fixed the mold problem. To avoid mold problems, avoid water problems.”
It’s a simple as that. Mold thrives in damp, humid, dark areas. This can be anywhere from your drains and AC vents to your walls and carpets.
We Speak From Personal Experience
When we moved into our home, we ended up leaving for a multi-week trip within a week. When we returned home, there was mold on our windows. We had not had the chance to deep clean the house before leaving, so I immediately went to the sink drains to see if they had been cleaned by the prior owners.
What I found in each was something that I will not describe to you because you deserve to keep your lunch down.
Here’s the kicker: Our house is less than 5 years old, has a great central air system, and was in great condition when we moved in.
Two factors caused the mold buildup in our home:
- The prior owners didn’t clean their drains.
- We turned the A/C off when we left on our trip, allowing the internal humidity of the house to rise with the outside air.
In essence, our home became a massive petri dish.
How to Prevent Mold in Your Home & Stay Healthy
While it might seem like mold is inescapable, we do have some good news. There are measure you can take to help prevent the spread of mold in your home and limit the contaminants.
Things you can do to prevent mold:
- Clean your drain plugs weekly with a disinfecting solution (actually pull them out to do this).
- Clean your drains with a bio-friendly solution like BioClean (we sell this and our Partner Plan members enjoy this service).
- Keep your A/C running when it is hot, humid, or both outside (like right now). Your A/C CONDITIONS the air – it doesn’t just cool it. That A/C is essential to keeping your home below the 60% internal humidity tipping point.
- Run the bathroom fan for 15 minutes after a shower or bath to help remove moisture. (also, make sure that fan is clean)
- Use a fan or de-humidifier in areas of the home that don’t have central air. These areas can be hot-beds for air-born illness.
Beyond these steps, you can turn to our skilled professionals at Frasier's Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for Indoor Air Quality Testing. In fact, we are one of the few in the Three Lakes, Rhinelander, & Wausau areas to provide the service. We not only diagnose and give comprehensive data on what’s going on with the air in your home, but provide you with some state-of-the-art options with ways to combat especially complex air quality challenges.
Stay safe and healthy in your home with our indoor air quality services. Contact our team at (715) 227-3223!