Health risks are one of the main reasons why people guard carefully against residential mold. It’s true that mold colonies can cause serious structural and financial problems for your home, but the list of potential symptoms for acute mold exposure is far more troubling. Homeowners work hard to keep their families healthy, and neglecting potential mold risks is a costly error in terms of health and wellness.
Not only can symptoms be serious; they can also be difficult to spot. People often live with mild symptoms for months or even years before they realize mold is the culprit. It’s also possible to chalk your symptoms up to mold, when in reality there isn’t a mold problem in your home. The big question many homeowners find themselves asking is: Are my health symptoms related to mold exposure? Or are they symptoms of other illnesses and/or allergies?
The affordability and effectiveness of professional mold testing makes it very easy to get clear answers to these questions. Experts can scan your environment for signs of mold, using special instruments (including infrared sensors) and techniques. Samples are then taken back to a laboratory and tested to determine what, if any, type of mold is burdening your home.
Mold specialists may be voiced in mold-related health symptoms, but they are certainly not medical professionals. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to do their own research, and/or consult a doctor if mold exposure is suspected.
But is there any way to tell immediately whether your symptoms are mold-related? There’s no exact science, since symptoms can often mimic those of other common illnesses. However, there are a few important points that can help you narrow it down.
1. Is more than one person exhibiting symptoms?
The majority of people exhibit symptoms of some kind when exposed to harmful quantities of mold spores. If more than one person who lives in your home (or visits regularly) is exhibiting symptoms than seem like allergy (red eyes, fatigue, lack of concentration, sinus congestion, etc.), mold exposure is something that should certainly be ruled out.
2. Have the symptoms been going on for some time?
People often live with mold-related health symptoms for weeks, months or even years before they find out what’s really going on. If you and your family members have experienced more illness than usual, or if you’ve noticed mysterious health symptoms for quite some time, there is a significant chance that mold is to blame.
3. Has it been awhile since your home had a professional mold inspection?
If you’ve never had your home tested or scanned by mold remediation professionals, now may be the time. It’s relatively in expensive, and provides invaluable insight into the levels and types of mold that are present in your home. If you’ve never had this done, or if you’re just finding out about residential mold and the problems it presents, consulting a professional can give you peace of mind.
A mold-free environment means a healthier lifestyle
It’s not always easy to spot the symptoms of mold exposure and recognize them for what they are. A good place to start is by reviewing the CDC’s list of mold-related health symptoms and cross-checking this information against your family’s recent medical history. Professional mold testing will then give you a definitive confirmation on whether or not your home contains harmful levels of mold—and a definitive way to fix the problem. Good luck!