Discovering that there’s mold in your home can be stressful and shocking! But worrying that there might be mold in your home is almost worse. How do you know if it’s hidden somewhere? Is there a possibility it could be harming you or your loved ones? CAN you get sick from mold in your house? A professional mold removal company reveals all here.
Table of Contents
- Can You Get Sick From Mold in Your House?
- Is Mold Sickness Dangerous?
- Do You Have to Leave Your House If There’s Mold?
- How Do You Know If Mold Is Causing Your Sickness Symptoms?
- When To Get a Mold Inspection
- Key Takeaways
Can You Get Sick From Mold in Your House?
Yes, you can get sick from mold in your house. Not everyone experiences mold sickness, however. Only some are sensitive to it. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe, as with any illness or allergy. For example, we here at Cleaner Guys actually have a couple of team members who suffer from slight mold allergies. They’ve found that by just wearing an N-95 mask, they are fine to do our professional mold removal work. However, others have much more severe reactions that are not so easily tamed.
Knowing how to recognize the signs of mold sickness is something everyone should know, because just about everyone lives inside buildings that can get mold growth in them. Read on to learn what symptoms to look for.
Symptoms Of Mold Sickness
According to the CDC, symptoms of mold sickness typically include:
- A stuffy or persistently runny nose
- Unusual amounts of wheezing and coughing
- Red and itchy eyes and/or skin
- Severe reactions can escalate to fever and shortness of breath
Now, these symptoms obviously look almost identical to the common cold, and other minor virus illnesses. So, how do you tell the difference? Jump to this section to find out.
Is Mold Sickness Dangerous?
No, mold sickness is usually not dangerous. However, it can be very dangerous for those with asthma and other respiratory illnesses, according to the same CDC source. This will usually be abundantly obvious because someone with asthma or a similar respiratory illness will develop extremely severe reactions to any mold spores floating around your home. Some people even suffer fevers, fatigue, and other symptoms. You can never know whether these severe symptoms are mold or something else unless you get a mold inspection!
You can listen to one such harrowing story below. It’s from a popular podcaster with severe previous health conditions who was completely bedridden by hidden mold in her home. All credit and rights to the audio below belong to Mikhaila Peterson.
Do You Have to Leave Your House If There’s Mold?
You should definitely leave your house when there’s mold IF you or a loved one has previous respiratory issues, and is showing severe mold sickness symptoms (see above). However, if you’re just suspicious that there may be mold in your home because you or a loved one are experiencing mild symptoms, then you almost certainly do not need to leave your house. Even if you find mold in your house, if no one’s symptoms are severe, in our professional experience, you should be fine staying in your home.
We have performed expert mold inspection and removal for decades, and in our experience, severe mold sickness reactions are exceedingly rare. More often than not actually, the mold had been growing in their house for a long time, because nobody had any indication or symptoms that it was there!
How Do You Know If Mold Is Causing Your Sickness Symptoms?
One indication that these symptoms are mold sickness and not a cold is if they last an unusually long time, and stay about the same without diminishing. Based on the average lifespan of a cold, an “unusually long time” here means more than a couple weeks. This is an indication that something external in your space is causing your sickness, because if the symptoms aren’t going away naturally, that means the cause isn’t going away naturally.
Another indication that these symptoms could be mold sickness and not a cold is if you experience the symptoms most strongly or exclusively in one place. When you leave that space and go outside or to some other building, the symptoms lessen or temporarily dissipate. This indicates that the cause of your symptoms is in one location, which is helpful in pinpointing where the mold probably is.
How to Check for Mold Yourself
So, if you think there’s probably mold in your house, what can you do about it? Well, luckily for you, you have professional mold removal specialists here to help. (It’s us, Cleaner Guys!) In our decades of experience, we know exactly where mold typically grows and thrives. Here are, in our experience, the top 5 places mold likes to grow in a house.
- Attics. No one ever goes up there, right? And it’s warm, dark, and cozy — all things mold loves.
- Inside walls. The inside cavities of your walls are also dark, warm and cozy. And if there’s a water pipe leak inside there somewhere, or moisture getting in some other way… mold will probably grow there. We see it every day.
- Crawlspaces. No one ever checks there either, do they? It’s damp and dark, which is good for mold — and there’s often rodent feces down there too, and mold loves feeding on organic material.
- Inside under-sink cabinets. Once you’ve got that space filled up with stuff, how would you know if there’s mold back there? Well, sinks and their pipes can be damp places, and we often see mold back there where you don’t notice it.
- Behind large appliances and furniture. We most commonly see mold behind refrigerators, because they emit a lot of dampness — but ever thought about behind your bed’s headboard? Ever spilled water by your bed? I know I have. That’s how it starts.
Ok, so, that’s not very encouraging — you probably don’t want to check all those nasty places! Especially attics and crawlspaces (shudder). We get it. So, here are two solutions.
First, check out our list of the top 4 sneakiest places mold can hide — these are much easier for you to check out!
Second, consider just getting your home inexpensively checked for mold by professionals who know what they’re looking for, and what to do if they find any.
When To Get a Mold Inspection
Getting a mold inspection is a good idea when you’ve determined that you or your loved ones’ sickness symptoms are probably mold sickness, but you can’t find the mold yourself.
It’s also generally good practice to get a mold inspection once a year, in our experience — mold doesn’t take long to grow, and there are so many places it can hide. Not only that, but if you don’t catch it early on, it can cause severe damage as it eats through your home from the inside out. And we know that that cleanup job is usually thousands of dollars more expensive.
If you live in Western Washington State, Cleaner Guys is worth checking out for a mold inspection service; we boast the best prices and the fastest results in the area!
If, however, you don’t live in Western Washington State, then check out this article on how to find and choose the best mold inspection company near you!
Conclusion: yes, mold in your house can make you sick. However, you may not have severe symptoms, or any at all! That’s why annual mold inspections are a good idea, because you could have mold hidden in your home and not even know it.
We covered whether you should leave your house if there’s mold in it, whether mold sickness can be dangerous, and how to check for it yourself! Now go, be empowered to take care of any mold problems you may have. We here at Cleaner Guys have your back if you need backup.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. No part of this article is medical or legal advice, and may not be used as such. For all serious medical matters, consult your doctor. For all serious legal matters, consult your legal advisor. This article contains Cleaner Guys’ experience and opinions only.