Mold is everywhere – it’s in the food we eat, the air we breathe, and on almost every surface we touch – and most types of mold are relatively harmless. But one particular type of mold, Toxic Black Mold, has been identified as a dangerous strain. Exposure to this variety of mold can lead to Toxic Mold Syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that affect mental as well as physical health.
What is Toxic Mold Syndrome?
Toxic black mold produces neurotoxins – chemicals that damage neurons in the brain and impair a person’s mental ability. Exposure to these neurotoxins can cause symptoms such as:
- muscle pain, cramps, burning, unusual shooting (ice pick-like) pains
- fatigue, weakness, flu-like symptoms, fever, chills
- shortness of breath, cough
- abdominal pain, diarrhea
- chronic sinusitis, sore throat
- burning eyes, red eyes, sensitivity to light
- difficulty with thought processes, anxiety, memory loss, loss of concentration, confusion, disorientation, “brain fog”
- dizziness, balance problems
- metallic taste in mouth
- numbness and tingling
- night sweats
- temperature regulation problems
- excessive thirst and urination
- excessive menstrual bleeding
- flushed face
- chest pains
- kidney disease
In rare, but extreme cases, Toxic Mold Syndrome has even been linked to death!
Toxic Black Mold grows naturally in our environment, usually out of doors. But when conditions are right – dark, warm, and humid – it will thrive indoors because the cellulose contained in many building materials is an excellent source of food.
Since Toxic Black Mold cleanup can dangerous and costly, it should only be done by professionals. However, with a few simple preventive measures, you can save yourself and your family a lot of headaches (both literally and figuratively).
How Can You Prevent Toxic Mold Syndrome? Follow These 5 Tips!
Keeping your family safe from Toxic Black Mold isn’t difficult; it’s a matter of making your home inhospitable to molds of any type. Here are 5 ways you can accomplish that:
Check water pipes for leakage and sweating on a regular basis.
Sweating pipes can be easily eliminated with an inexpensive insulation kit available at most hardware stores. If you’re remodeling rooms that need a water exchange, make sure that pipes are wrapped in insulation and that there is absolutely no leakage before the wall is sealed. Consider wrapping basement pipes, as well; sweaty basement pipes are easily overlooked, making them a frequent contributor to mold growth.
Monitor indoor humidity levels.
If areas of your house tend to be humid – particularly in the basement – keep an eye on the humidity levels. Mold likes to grow in humidity levels above 60%. If you don’t have a thermostat with a humidity gauge, you can purchase an inexpensive one for about $30. In rooms with high humidity levels, add a dehumidifier to help keep them comfortable and mold free.
Check the attic on regular intervals, especially during the damp months.
Although mold cannot eat attic insulation, it loves the backing attached to it. Check for signs of moisture and keep the air in the attic circulating to prevent mold from taking up residence. Use a flashlight to look for signs of moisture. If your attic seems more humid than it should be, install an attic fan.
Look outside the house, too.
Piles of leaves, trees and shrubs, and other landscaping around the home can harbor black mold. Check these areas on a regular basis and remove any accumulated organic debris. While you’re there, you can multitask and check your foundation for cracks and settling.
Don’t forget your roof.
After a bad storm or high winds, take out a pair of binoculars and scan your roof for loose shingles. When shingles become loose, it’s easy for moisture to get in and set the stage for mold growth. Repair any loose shingles as soon as possible.
Concerned About Mold in Your House?
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