Mold Allergy Symptoms
Molds come in a variety of forms and mutations. Molds usually grow in an environment between 70-80 degrees, which is the typical temperature range in an average household. Mold can grow in air conditioning ducts, damp wood, refrigerator filters, and anywhere you have a water leak.You can be enjoying a restful night of sleep when you are awakened in the middle of the night. You do notice that you feel congested and your nose starts to run. You run to the bathroom to blow your nose.
This same sequence happens night after night. You begin to suspect that you have an allergy to something in your house. If you experience allergy symptoms such as irritated eyes and stuffed up nose at night then you most likely have a mold allergy. This mold allergy can be frustrating unless treated properly.
Molds come in a variety of forms and mutations. Molds usually grow in an environment between 70-80 degrees, which is the typical temperature range in an average household. Mold can grow in air conditioning ducts, damp wood, refrigerator filters, and anywhere you have a water leak.
By morning your congestion begins to clear. Mold requires the absence of light in order to grow. Mold release its spores into the air during the nighttime dark hours. This may be a reason why you wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning. Your air conditioning unit has kicked in and is releasing mold spores into the air. These mold spores catch you when you are sleeping and your body responds with congestion, sneezing, wheezing, and adrenalin that wakes you up.
What can you do about a mold allergy?
There are many different molds that can grow in your home. It is hard to pinpoint exactly which molds are present because there are often a great number of mutations. You can search you house for any leaks and mold infested areas. These areas can be cleaned up with air filters, mold lights, and with an ozone generator. An ozone generator is the most effective tool at killing mold. Ozone generators produce an ozone gas that seeps into every crevice of your home. It finds virtually all the mold spores and kills them.
A mold allergy can keep you up at nights, but don’t let it. Invest in an air filter, mold light, and ozone generator to get rid mold. You will sleep much better and not have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night to a runny, itchy nose.
Mold allergies are more common in warm weather, but can be a year-round problem. Here’s what to do for mold allergy prevention.
By David Freeman
Alternaria. Aspergillus. Cladosporium. Penicillium. Unless you have a special fondness for fungi, you’re probably not too familiar with these or any of the thousands of other common molds.
But if you’re among the estimated 5% of Americans who have mold allergies, you may be all too well acquainted with the itchy eyes, nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, skin irritation, and other symptoms mold allergies can cause. Severe mold allergies can even trigger potentially dangerous asthma attacks.
Mold allergies are more common in warm weather, but are essentially a year-round problem in some parts of the country.
Like other common allergies, mold allergies arise when the immune system mounts a vigorous reaction to an ordinarily harmless substance or organism — in this case the microscopic spores that float in the air indoors and out. And as with other allergies, mild symptoms of mold allergies can often be controlled with over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants and prescription steroid nasal sprays. In severe cases, allergy shots are generally effective.
Mold Allergy Prevention is the Best Treatment for Mold Allergies
But experts agree that mold allergy sufferers are better off avoiding mold in the first place.
That means steering clear of places where mold is likely to lurk: decomposing vegetation (think compost piles, decaying leaves, wooded areas, etc.) as well as antiques shops, flower shops, farms, summer cottages, greenhouses, saunas, and anyplace else where warm, damp conditions prevail.
Most important, it means taking steps to ensure that your home — where the average American spends 90% of the time — is a mold-free zone.
Does that mean you’ll have to give up the Stilton? Probably not. “Cheeses and other moldy foods can bother some people with mold allergies, but generally this isn’t a problem,” says James L. Sublett, MD, chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, Ky., and vice-chairman of the indoor environments committee of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Six strategies that can make a big difference in mold prevention – READ MORE
Carpet mold can produce unpleasant odors, degrade your carpet, and cause wheezing in asthma sufferers. Check underneath furniture regularly, in order to catch mold at the surface of the carpet. If the mold has reached the carpet’s backing, it will be significantly harder to treat, but there are still several remedies to try. Professional carpet cleaners have access to additional treatments and machines, but some of these are available to rent from tool rental services, without having to hire a professional.
Method One of Three:
Removing Carpet Mold with Home Supplies
2. Ventilate the room. Open all windows and doors in the room with the moldy carpet. Air flow will reduce the humidity that encourages mold, and lessen associated odors. If you plan to use a chemical cleaning product, ventilation will reduce the chance of irritating your lungs and eyes.If there are no windows to the room, turn on a fan pointing toward a doorway.
3. Sun the carpet if possible. If your carpet is removable, move it outside and hang it over a sturdy clothesline. 24–48 hours of direct sunlight will help kill mold spores, and remove moisture that encourages mold growth.If the carpet is soaked through to the backing, not just the upper fibers, it may take much longer to dry. Leave it in direct sun in an area with good ventilation for several days.
4. Remove moisture with baking soda. This step will absorb moisture and reduce odors, but further efforts will be required for all but the lightest mold problem. Sprinkle the affected area generously with baking soda, leave on overnight, then vacuum it up.Talc-free baby powder may be used instead. Avoid baby powder that contains talc, since this can cause serious harm if inhaled.
Read more at wikihow.com
Whether you’re covered on mold related insurance claims often comes down to the source of moisture and the wording of a policy.
Mold strikes fear into the hearts of those who’ve heard horror stories about toxic mold, expensive mold remediation, and denied home owners mold related insurance claims. Yet mold can be found anywhere, including in most homes. It’s usually harmless.
Mold needs moisture to thrive. Problems can arise for home owners when the presence of persistent moisture goes undetected or unresolved, leading to widespread mold growth. Moisture can result from high indoor humidity, flooding, or a leaky roof or dishwasher.
Whether mold damage is covered by home owners insurance often comes down to the source of that moisture. Take an hour or two to review the language of your policy, especially as it pertains to water damage. Look for mold exclusions or limitations. Call your agent if the wording is unclear.
Mold and Home Owners Insurance
Most basic home owners insurance policies exclude coverage of damage caused by mold, fungi, and bacteria, says Mark Ferguson, property claim specialist with General Casualty Insurance in Sun Prairie, Wis. Yet that doesn’t mean a mold claim will be denied automatically.
In most cases, if mold results from a sudden and accidental covered peril, such as a pipe bursting, the cost of remediation should be covered, says Ferguson. That’s because technically the pipe burst is the reason for the claim, not the mold itself. Claims are more likely to be rejected if mold is caused by neglected home maintenance: long-term exposure to humidity, or repeated water leaks and seepage.
It’s hard to put a precise dollar figure on mold damage because most insurers don’t separate mold claims from water-damage claims, says Claire Wilkinson of the Insurance Information Institute. About 22% of all home owners insurance claims result from “water damage and freezing,” a category that includes mold remediation, according to the III. A 2003 white paper on mold from the III put the cost of the average mold claim between $15,000 and $30,000, at least five times the average non-mold home owners claim at that time.
After a rush of mold claims in the early 2000s, most states adopted limitations on mold coverage. Amounts vary, but a typical home owners policy might cover between $1,000 and $10,000 in mold remediation and repair, says Celia Santana of Personal Risk Management Solutions in New York. Most policies won’t cover mold related to flood damage. For that, home owners need separate flood insurance, which averages $540 per year through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Read more on mold related insurance claims at www.houselogic.com
Consumers expect their homes to be safe, durable, comfortable environments. Increasingly, however, home buyers are becoming aware of potential problems in home construction. Mold, caused by water intrusion, has become a major concern for the construction industry.
Dangers of Residential Mold
But for all its corrupting menace, to what extent should we be worried about mold when it invades our homes? If these are the effects that it can have on our possessions, what effects can it have on our bodies?
In this spotlight feature, we take a look at precisely what mold is, what causes it to grow, whether it is bad for our health and, if so, what can be done to stop it.
What is residential mold?
Molds are a form of fungus. There are many different molds and they can be found both indoors and outdoors. Molds spread through the production of spores, which are present in all indoor environments and cannot be removed from them – spores are capable of surviving in harsh conditions that otherwise prevent the normal mold growth.
Molds grow best in moist, warm and humid environments – easily created in the home during the winter. When mold spores land on a damp spot they can begin to grow, digesting the material they are growing on as they do so. Molds are capable of growing on a variety of different surfaces, including fabric, paper and wood.
Common indoor molds include:
- Alternaria – found in damp places indoors, such as showers or under leaky sinks
- Aspergillus – often found indoors growing on dust, powdery food items and building materials, such as drywall
- Cladosporium – capable of growing in cool areas as well as warm ones. It is typically found on fabrics and wood surfaces
- Penicillium – typically found on materials that have been damaged by water and often has a blue or green appearance.
Molds take a variety of forms and textures, appearing as white, black, yellow, blue or green and often looking like a discoloration or stain to a surface. They can also have a velvety, fuzzy or rough appearance, depending on the type of mold and where it is growing.
How do we get mold in home?
Mold spores, invisible to the naked eye, can be found everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Spores make their way into the home either through the air or after attaching to objects or people. Open windows, doorways and ventilation systems are all gateways through which spores can enter. Clothing, shoes and pets can all facilitate the arrival of mold within the home.
Mold will only grow if spores land somewhere that has the ideal conditions for growing – places with excessive moisture and a supply of suitable nutrients. If this does not happen, molds do not normally cause any problem at all.
Mold can often be found in areas where leakages and flooding have occurred and near windows where condensation builds up. Wet cellulose materials are most supportive of mold growth, including paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles and wood products. Wallpaper, insulation materials and upholstery are other typical launchpads for mold growth.
Mold growth is usually noticeable – it is usually visible and often produces a musty odor.
Read more about mold in home at medicalnewstoday.com
Got bathroom mold on your ceiling? Here’s how to get rid of it and prevent future infestations, too.
It’s one of the most common problems in any house; it’s also one of the easiest to prevent and cure — as long as you haven’t let it get out of hand.
“Bathroom mold occurs primarily because mold loves damp, dark, isolated spaces,” says Larry Vetter of Vetter Environmental Services in Smithtown, N.Y. “Typically, a bathtub, shower, or entire bathroom remains damp enough for mold growth just from showering or bathing.”
Common Causes of Bathroom Mold
- Lingering moisture caused by lack of ventilation
- Leaky toilets, sinks, and plumbing pipes
- Damp cellulose materials such as rugs, paper products, wood, wallpaper, grout, drywall, and fabric
So how do you know if you have a mold problem? Matt Cinelli, owner/operator of AERC Removals in North Attleboro, Mass., says, “If you can see it or smell it, you’ve got it.”
Finding the Mold in Your Bathroom
Bathroom mold isn’t always obvious. Check out hidden areas, such as under sinks, access doors to shower and bath fixtures, around exhaust fans, even in crawl spaces and basements underneath bathrooms.
“It could be starting in the bathroom but actually forming in another room,” says Cinelli, adding that lack of proper ventilation is the biggest culprit for mold growth.
Preventing Bathroom Mold and Mildew
The best defense is preventing mold from occurring in the first place. Yashira Feliciano, director of housekeeping for Conrad Conado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, offers the following tips for keeping mold out of your bathroom:
- Use your bathroom ventilation fan when you shower or bathe, and leave it on for 30 minutes following the end of your bath; if you don’t have an exhaust fan, install one.
- Keep household humidity levels below 50%; an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help.
- Use a mildew-resistant shower curtain, and wash or replace it frequently.
- Don’t keep bottles of shampoo or shower gel, toys, or loofahs in the shower, as they provide places for mold to grow and hide.
- Wash your bathroom rugs frequently.
Read more about mold and mildew removal at HouseLogic.com
Would you buy when there is mold damage or mold in house?
Mold serves a useful purpose outdoors by helping in the decomposition of dead trees, but inside a house, it can cause allergic reactions that range from sneezing or a rash to potentially life-threatening asthma attacks. Because mold cannot grow without moisture, homebuyers should be concerned about identifying the source of the moisture and the cost to repair or eliminate it as much as they are about the mold itself.
Most current laws that require sellers to disclose knowledge they might have of the existence of mold in house do not require testing or remediation, so purchasing a home with mold is truly case of buyer beware.
How Does Mold Get Into a Home?
Mold spores are airborne particles that are invisible to the naked eye. People are exposed to them on a daily basis both indoors and outside without suffering from any adverse reactions. The trouble begins when the spores land on a damp surface inside a house and mold begins to grow.
None of the different types of mold is capable of growing without moisture, so eliminating mold in a home involves more than just treating the mold. Permanent results require getting rid of the source of the moisture.
A person’s sensitivity to mold will determine the potential health risks from exposure to it. Some people are more sensitive than to mold than are other people. Tests are available to identify the type of mold that is present, but testing can be expensive and a person who is sensitive to mold should avoid exposure to any mold found in the home regardless of the type. Reactions to exposure to mold can range from eye and skin irritation to life-threatening asthma attacks and lung infections in mold-sensitive individuals.
Read more about buying a home with mold in house at theballengroup.realtytimes.com/
Educate Yourself About Toxic Mold
Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances.
Mold spores are ever-present in the air. Under ideal conditions, these naturally occurring and very resistant spores can take root in your home or workplace, or in your food. Molds make toxins (mycotoxins) that can change how you feel, how you think, and even how long you live.
Everyone is most likely at risk for toxic mold exposure, regardless of your geographic region, climate, socioeconomic status, race, age, or gender. As with most other medical challenges, awareness is your most powerful weapon.
About 25 percent of Americans are genetically inclined to experiencing serious illness from toxic mold exposure.
Exposure to molds have a variety of health effects depending on a person’s level of sensitivity to molds and their span of time they are exposed and the nature of exposure. Breathing in or handling mold or mold spores may cause health problems such as allergic reactions in vulnerable individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also create asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.
Because mold toxins are so unique and their effects are so extensive, symptoms of mold toxicity are complicated and varied, making it challenging for medical professionals to arrive at the correct diagnosis.