How Does Mold in the Walls of Your House Affect Your Health?

Mold is fungus that eats dead plants.

Allergic Reactions

Mold can appear slimy or powdery.Mold can appear slimy or powdery.
Its spores are microscopic and hundreds of them float through the air in and around your home. When mold spores land on an area that has nutrients and moisture it will settle there and will begin to reproduce at a fast rate. Mold can eat almost anything to survive and is therefore primarily attracted to areas that have a lot of water. Mold growth in your home can actually lower your home value but it can also affect your health.

Some people are allergic to certain types of mold. If exposed to excessive mold growth in the walls of your house, they can experience an allergic reaction that could include a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, coughing and sneezing. If you have asthma or another chronic illness that affects your respiratory system, this allergic reaction can be worse.

Irritation

If you are not allergic to mold, you could still experience irritation if there is a lot of mold growing in the walls of your home. This irritation because of volatile organic compounds that mold secretes when it decays organic matter. These volatile organic compounds create the moldy or musty smell that is common when mold begins to grow in walls. Irritation happens when you are exposed to a lot of mold and when the volatile organic compounds irritate the central nervous system. This can lead to dizziness, an inability to concentrate and headaches.

Infections

Mold growth can cause some more serious health issues including lung infections. This is not common, but it can happen if someone with a weak respiratory system lives in a home that has a lot of mold growing in the walls. When this happens, the person will inhale the mold spores. Because their lungs are weakened, they may not be able to remove the mold spores. These will then begin to grow in the lungs and cause an infection that could cause asthma and that could eventually lead to death.

Prevent Mold Growth

Prevent these health issues by preventing mold growth in the walls of your home. Because mold needs water to survive, limiting the moisture content in your home will help prevent mold from growing in the walls. Do this by using and fixing ventilation systems in your home. Fix leaks and flooding as soon as it occurs and install a dehumidifier in your home if it continues to have mold issues.

About the Author

Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since 2006 and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award. She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.