Health Risk Mold
" Health risk mold: When does mold make you sick?? "
Anyone who discovers mold in their home should react quickly. Mold spores are extremely harmful to health. Here you can find out which preventive measures you should take against mold and how you can remove the stubborn microorganisms sustainably.
In addition to the right temperature, optimum humidity is crucial for us to feel comfortable within our four walls. If the air is too dry, we are tormented by irritated mucous membranes, burning eyes and tense skin. Our respiratory tract is impaired and we become more susceptible to infections – a strong topic that is repeatedly discussed in the media, especially before and during the heating season. However, a too humid room climate also has an equally unpleasant effect on our organism. We feel an oppressive sultriness, sweat more and struggle with bad odors. One significant danger we often underestimate: high humidity combined with cold ceilings, walls and floors promotes mold growth. Find out here what preventive measures you should take against this and how you can remove mold effectively.
A persistent fungus is spreading
Mold spores are found everywhere in the atmosphere – both outdoors and indoors. But do not worry: the concentration of microorganisms is usually so low that they do not affect our health. Estimated 120.000 different species cavort in our world, and by far not all of them are harmful. It only becomes problematic when the spores find ideal conditions to settle and spread. Low air circulation, high humidity, cool surfaces – it doesn't take much, and the frugal fungi first strike an invisible web of cell threads on wallpaper, concrete, textiles and other organic materials. The notorious black fuzz develops only in the second phase of the growth. The fungus feels particularly at home at temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius. When mold is first discovered, it is usually already too late to prevent it effectively. Then it is necessary to take specific measures to remove the mold.
Sick due to mold?
Basically beforehand: Not every kind of mold makes you sick. We even eat some of them, namely those on various types of cheese. The most dangerous spores for humans are those that enter our lungs through the air we breathe. The disease aspergillosis is caused, for example, by the spores of the mold Aspergillus. In case of predisposition an allergic reaction occurs, in people with a weakened immune system an infection is possible. Normally lungs, sinuses and ears are affected, in rare cases even skin, liver, heart and kidneys are infected. Different symptoms can be observed. Coughing with sometimes bloody sputum, shortness of breath and fever are frequent reactions to an Aspergillus infection. This is accompanied by constant fatigue and listlessness, in the worst case even meningitis can break out as a consequence.
Other types of mold spores also cause adverse health effects. For example, visual, sleep and concentration disorders can occur without any apparent cause. Gastrointestinal complaints, irritation of mucous membranes, respiratory problems and neurodermatitis are other symptoms that can be caused due to mold exposure. Since these symptoms can also be caused by other diseases, a medical diagnosis and the correct treatment are essential.
Special protection for children
Our little ones are extremely sensitive to permanent exposure to spores. We should therefore take even the slightest sign of mold infestation seriously and take effective measures. The use of a dehumidifier, for example, is a good way to achieve optimal humidity levels. A sensible ventilation behavior is also helpful. Open all doors and windows completely for 10 minutes several times a day, and mold will not develop at all. The recently more and more frequently installed living space ventilation systems also fulfill their purpose in this respect.
Effective removal of mold
Once mold has spread, it is high time to do something about it. If it is a small nest, we simply wipe away the black fluff with a damp cloth. It works even better with high-proof alcohol, vinegar or methylated spirits. This is how the infested areas are disinfected. The microorganisms killed. But beware: movement swirls up dangerous spores that can enter the respiratory tract. It is therefore advisable to use a mouthguard. If the mold has not only settled on the surface, but deep down, there will be no getting around hiring a specialist. In any case the cause of the infestation should be investigated. This is the only way to take countermeasures. To get rid of it in the long term.
The matter is somewhat more complicated if entire walls or even rooms are infested with the troublesome mold. It is dramatic if the cause is a building defect such as inadequate insulation, construction faults or a damp cellar. Remedying these deficiencies costs a lot of money – for many people an unaffordable undertaking. Even if the cause has finally been eliminated – in order to remove large-area mold, we are usually dependent on the assistance of a specialist company. Experts are better equipped for this, use dehumidifiers and can also take the necessary protective measures.
Effectively prevent mold infestation
Mold thrives best when it discovers a good breeding ground and there is sufficient moisture present. If outside temperatures are hot, the moist air condenses on the cool walls – ideal conditions for spores looking for a new home. Dehumidifiers prevent this circumstance – the modern devices remove the moisture from the air, preventing water condensation on floors, ceilings and walls. Generous airing is also an effective means of boosting air circulation and achieving optimum humidity levels. The risk of mold infestation is highest in bathrooms and basements. In any case, the following applies: removing mold is tedious and expensive. It is far less expensive and more effective to take sensible preventive measures.