Many allergies are seasonal and time specific. People with pollen allergies typically experience symptoms during the springtime. However, having year-round symptoms of allergies is often indicative of another source: mold. If you’re experiencing constant irritated eyes, sneezing, coughing and stuffy nose, mold may be the culprit. As a matter of fact, some types of this mold are toxic and can cause serious upper respiratory problems. It is also important to remember that infants, young children and the elderly are especially susceptible to health problems due to mold growth.
Mold spores are airborne and can also produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that irritate the eyes, nose and throat. In the home or workplace they can sometimes be seen upon visual inspection, but are often hidden in walls, carpets, behind bathroom tile and basements. If you are able to see mold, it may appear as discoloration, staining, or fuzzy growth. It can be any variety of the following colors: white, gray, brown, black, yellow and green.
Mold has a pungent, earthy or musty smell. If you don’t see it, but notice an unusual persistent odor, you should investigate further. Don’t forget to check under carpets, pads, furniture, in sink cabinets, and behind dressers or stored items.
Mold will not grow if moisture is not present, but keep in mind that in the right conditions, it can start to grow within only 24-48 hours. Early detection and treatment are very important for healthy indoor air and to reduce clean-up costs. Porous materials, such as drywall or carpeting, may have to be thrown away if they become contaminated. It’s essential to fix any leaking pipes and to reduce indoor humidity levels by venting bathrooms and kitchens or running a dehumidifier.
About the Author
Founder and owner of Flood Masters, Michael began his career in the cleaning and restoration industry over 20 years ago and has been a business owner since 1988. Michael has completed hundreds of cleaning restoration projects, working with property managers, insurance agents and adjusters, plumbers, roofers and homeowners. Michael’s philosophy of taking care of customers is the foundation for Flood Masters’ customer-focused service. Michael holds numerous certificates with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). He regularly takes continuing education classes in all areas of the restoration industry.