Mold is one of the biggest threats to a healthy home because it diminishes air quality and triggers allergies. Fungi flourishes in warm, damp environments that lack sunlight, so dens, basements, crawl spaces, the backs of toilets, and inside walls are places it lurks. If you're purchasing a new home, it's crucial to have it inspected for mold, as it significantly alters the appraisal of the home. If you're currently renovating your home and stumbled upon mold, contact a mold professional immediately. Mold can have a major impact on your health, from mild-to-severe allergic reactions to exacerbation of chronic conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the three most common types of mold that affect homes.
Aspergillus is unavoidable, as it's all over the environment, including in homes. If you're particularly sensitive to aspergillus, it can cause problems. You may experience itchy watery eyes and a stuffy nose. It can especially be a problem if you have a chronic lung condition, such as bronchitis, asthma, or emphysema. The aspegillus spores are breathed in from the air in your home, which can trigger immune reactions. Exposure usually won't cause problems in healthy people. Those who are most at risk are elderly adults, infants, people with chronic lung conditions, and those whose immune systems are compromised.
Cladosporium is found in the air and on surfaces in your home such as carpets and mattresses. Concentrations typically dip in the winter and peak in the summer, so if you're sensitive to this mold, you'll likely notice that your symptoms are more bothersome during the summer. Over time, continued exposure to high levels of cladosporium can lead to chronic allergies and infections. If your immune system is healthy and you're not that sensitive to cladosporium, you likely won't have issues. However, exposure to cladosporium is known to cause infections of the eyes, sinus, and skin.
A particularly problematic mold that causes health problems in humans is stachybotrys, also known as black mold. Exposure to this fungi has lead to reports of severe illness. It can cause you to become very sick and can even cause pulmonary hemorrhage, which refers to bleeding of the lungs or upper respiratory tract. Infants are particularly at risk because their immune systems are still forming. If your home is found to be contaminated with troublesome levels of this fungi, it's typically recommended that you vacate the home until the infestation is eradicated.