How to tell if mold exposure is affecting you, and where to find the problem

Mold, the microscopic organisms that live virtually everywhere, can be most commonly found on organic material such as soil, foods, and plant matter. However, if there is sufficient moisture in your home, it is likely that mold is growing there, too. And while mold growth isn’t a problem in nature, when it contaminates your home it could cause health problems and damage your home.

Allergic responses to mold include hay fever or asthma and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat or lungs. Allergic responses can come from exposure to dead or living mold spores, so killing mold with bleach or other disinfectants may not prevent allergic responses.

The most common symptoms seen in people exposed to mold indoors include:

  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Eye irritation such as itchy, red, or watery eyes
  • Respiratory problems, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing
  • Coughs
  • Throat irritation
  • Skin irritation, such as a rash
  • Headaches

Those who are most at-risk for health problems from mold exposure are individuals with current respiratory sensitivities and individuals with compromised immune systems.

Mold problems can usually be seen or smelled. Mold growth may often appear as slightly furry, discolored, or slimy patches that increase in size as they grow. It can be smelled by the distinctive musty odor that mold growth produces.

To spot mold in your home, be on the lookout for these common sources of moisture (which commonly cause mold growth):

  • Flooding
  • Roof leaks
  • Plumbing leaks or drainage problems
  • Damp basements or crawl spaces
  • Steam from the bathroom or kitchen
  • Condensation resulting from poor or improper insulation or ventilation
  • Humidifiers
  • Wet clothes drying inside the home or a clothes dryer venting indoors
  • Poor or improper ventilation of combustion appliances

Indications of a moisture problem may include discoloration of the ceiling or walls, warping of the floor, or condensation on the walls or windows. The key to preventing mold growth is controlling all moisture problems.

To find or get rid of potential mold problems, call Rainbow International at 701-297-7800.

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