What to do if you have mold in the house
20 June 2022
Molds are fungi ( mushrooms) that are invisible to the naked eye. They can form colonies in various places in a building if they are present:
- Excess of water or moisture;
- A sufficient amount of nutrients, such as cardboard or drywall.
When present on small areas and cleaned quickly, mold is generally not a big problem. On the other hand, when it develops significantly, it disperses particles into the ambient air that can be inhaled and that can cause health problems.
Mold in the house – symptoms
Symptoms that may be associated with mold exposure vary. Everyone can react differently according to their level of exposure and their general state of health. The main symptoms are:
- Irritation of eyes, nose and throat;
- Runny nose, sinus congestion, cold-like symptoms;
- Increased in frequency and severity of asthma attacks;
- Chronic fatigue or headache.
- It is important to note that the symptoms found can also be caused by other types of indoor air contaminants such as:
- Tobacco smoke;
- Volatile organic compounds, mainly formaldehyde, from household products (such as paints and varnishes) and building materials (such as chipboard or plywood);
- Allergens from, for example, saliva and pet hair;
- Particles suspended in the air from, for example, wood or kitchen appliances.
Some people also have a higher risk of developing health problems due to exposure to mold, such as those suffering from allergies, asthma or chronic diseases, the elderly, young children and infants, people with a weakened immune system due to, for example, chemotherapy treatment or a recent organ transplant.
Mold in the house – solutions to adopt
You can take some precautions to avoid exposure to mold and develop related health problems. It is important to prevent the development of mold in the house and to recognize it when it is present. To do so:
- Make sure that the humidity of the air in the house is kept low enough to avoid condensation (usually between 30% and 55%);
- Open the windows to properly ventilate the house, especially during activities that produce a lot of moisture such as bathing, showering and cooking food;
- Elimination of mold.