San Diego is coming into a new season of allergies with the upcoming spring, but are your allergy symptoms being caused by something else? If you treat your allergies with over the counter allergy medicine, yet you can’t seem to shake them for good – you might have mold issues in your home. Allergy and asthma sufferers are more susceptible to a flare up triggered by inhaling mold spores.
Symptoms of Mold Allergies
Symptoms of mold induced allergies are what you would expect for any allergy. Allergy medication can minimize the effects of seasonal or environmental allergies, but if your allergies have been triggered by mold spores, your symptoms can be expected to persist until you treat the mold issue in your home. Some of the most common symptoms of allergies include:
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Post nasal drip
- Restricted breathing
- Asthma flare-ups
Complications of Mold Allergies
Long-term exposure to mold can wreak havoc on your health. Not only are you at risk of persistent allergy symptoms and flare-ups, but mold can induce some serious respiratory ailments, including:
- Mold Induced Asthma
- Sinus Infection
- Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis
The Mold to Blame
Keep in mind that all mold is not created equal. While mold and fungus span a wide spectrum of types there are common mold types that are present in the air we breathe and are typically harmless. A healthy immune system may not experience a mold allergy, but someone that has pre-existing allergies or suffers from asthma are most at risk for a flare up in mold allergies.
Commonly found in homes and businesses that have water or moisture issues and most common in warm inland environments. This type of mold spore is dangerous to those with mold allergies and asthma because it is dustborne and spreads in large colonies.
One of the common toxic molds growing in homes. This type of mold can be found in carpets and upholstery and becomes hazardous because of the large amount of dry and hydrophobic spores that are kicked into the air after dusting and vacuuming. Also commonly found in potted plant soil as organic material is a huge food source for this mold.
When growth happens indoors this mold species can be found in carpet, curtains, wallpaper, and upholstery that are exposed to persistent moisture. Apart from the mold allergies this species triggers, other health issues include: eye, ear and sinus infections.
Signs of Mold and Where to Find it
Mold can be tricky to find. It likes to hide in dark damp places that we don’t usually tend to look, but there are many ways to detect signs of mold in your home.
You can often sniff out signs of mold in your home. Mold typically has a very distinct dank smell commonly associated with the scent of mildew.
You might not be able to see the actual mold but the signs of trouble will be visible. Do you have discolored paint on your walls, peeling wallpaper or a droopy wall/ceiling? This is a major red flag for water damage issues inside walls in your home.
Another issue that contributes to undetected mold in your home is that it comes in a variety of shapes, textures and color. Mold can appear in the following ways:
- Clustered spots
- Black, gray, white, gray-brown or gray-green in color
Prevent Mold and Avoid Mold Allergies
Moisture and water leaks left without fixing are the major sources of mold issues that invade your home and weak havoc on your health. Take the proper steps to prevent mold issues that trigger allergies and other respiratory conditions.
- Eliminate sources of moisture in crawl spaces and basements
- Proper maintenance of HVAC units
- Change filters regularly (your A/C sucks moisture out of the air and filters out mold spores from ambient air)
- Ensure proper ventilation in bathrooms
- Run fan during baths and showers; keep them running after you finish
- No bathroom window? If you can, keep door open during shower
- Don’t install carpet in high moisture areas like bathrooms and basements
- Make sure stormwater drains away from your home
- Use a dehumidifier
Protect Yourself – Hire a Professional
There are many DIY tips and tricks on removing mold from your home, from using vinegar to treating with hydrogen peroxide. However, if you are not treating the source of the mold – you are damning yourself to serious damage to your health and to your home.
Mold is often a symptom of a much larger issue in your home. Water damage, moisture issues, and mold remediation, if left untreated, can turn into a costly expense for homeowners. Hire a professional restoration company to deal with these household problems. You don’t want to put your health at risk and they are equipped with the tools to ensure a proper solution to the root issue of your mold.