I walked into a home here in Washington State over the weekend and I hadn’t gone more than a few steps before I began sneezing uncontrollably. We get about 20 inches of rain a year and this home had obviously soaked up a ton of it. Allergic people are grimly sensitive to mold. It may surprise you that black mold, even if dead, will continue to emit allergens into your living environment.
It doesn’t take a flood for mold to establish a beachhead in your home. Leaking AC systems, cracked or leaking pipes, standing water and poor drainage create a cozy environment for noxious molds. It only takes 72 hours for mold to set up quarters following excessive exposure of wood to moisture. And it’s not just wood: cellulose-backed carpeting, paper or cardboard make for potential hosts.
Not a DIY project
Environmental companies are best prepared for handling runaway mold. For one thing, just spraying mold with an anti-microbial aerosol will only slow it down. Everything that is cellulose-based (gypsum, fiberboard, sheet rock) must be removed and sealed in bags for disposal.
Your uninvited guests
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) can truly damage you. Reported maladies include memory or hearing loss, blurred vision, irritability, panic attacks, heart problems, nausea and vomiting, depression, asthma, stomach ulcers, joint pain, anxiety, seizures, chronic fatigue, hair loss, ringing in the ears, headaches and dizziness.
Get some help
There are home tests that you can buy at the DIY store to check for mold. Even if it’s not black mold, the CDC recommends you have all molds removed if you have allergies and sensitivity. You’ll find plenty of professionals out there with experience knocking down infestations. Investigate potential culprits and, if necessary, consider a window replacement project if your current set lets moisture seep into your living space.
My eyes get red just looking at these photos!