Is Mold in an Apartment Dangerous? Quick Answers to a Scary Question

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Discovering mold in your home is a disturbing event. What do you do? Can you get it off yourself? How did it get there? But probably your biggest worry is this: is mold in an apartment dangerous? Will I or my family be hurt by this? Luckily, the situation is probably not as bad as you feel it is. We’re Cleaner Guys, a professional mold removal company, and we’re here to give you a quick but thorough answer to whether mold is dangerous to you or not.

Is Mold in an Apartment Dangerous?

The short answer is that mold in your apartment is not healthy, but it is usually not dangerous. There are a couple of species of mold that are extremely dangerous and toxic; click here to learn what you need to know about them. However, most molds are only what we call allergenic. This means that exposure to most molds and their spores can lead to allergic reactions that we call mold exposure sickness. However, not all people experience mold sickness. Some people don’t experience any mold sickness symptoms at all, while on the other hand, some people experience extreme reactions. There is a spectrum of reactions to mold exposure, from negligible to severe. Let’s go over the signs and symptoms of mold sickness.

What are the Symptoms of Mold Sickness?

Mold sickness symptoms usually present as a respiratory illness, because mold sickness is usually caused by exposure to and inhalation of mold spores. According to the CDC, the following are common mold sickness symptoms.

  • A persistently congested or runny nose
  • Unusual amounts of wheezing and coughing
  • Red and itchy eyes and/or skin
  • Persistent headaches (particularly if you don’t have a history of headaches)
  • Severe reactions can escalate to fever, shortness of breath, and even severe allergic reactions

The Severe Symptoms

Typically, the only time mold is truly dangerous is when it is exposed to individuals with compromised or weak immune systems, or with respiratory illnesses like asthma. These individuals can experience severe reactions to exposure to mold spores, including severe fatigue, migraines, shortness of breath, and fever, all the way up to an asthmatic reaction.

If you or anyone living in your apartment has a weakened immune system condition or a respiratory illness like asthma, get them out of the apartment immediately, and do not have them return until the mold is completely removed. This is when mold can be truly dangerous.

Beyond the more severe reactions, however, you may notice that many of the milder mold sickness symptoms look similar to the common cold. So, how do you tell the difference? How do you know if you’re sick from mold or not?

getting sick from mold sickness symptoms

How Do You Know if Mold is Making You Sick?

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” means more than a couple of weeks. This may be 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 area. If the cause is mold in a specific area, then when you leave that space, the symptoms will lessen or temporarily dissipate. This indicates that the cause of your symptoms is in one location, which can help pinpoint where the mold probably is.

Can You Sleep in a Moldy Apartment? Can You Live in a Moldy Apartment?

If you do not have a weakened immune system or any kind of respiratory illness or disease, it usually isn’t dangerous to stay in an apartment with mold. However, mold exposure is not healthy either, so you should try to get the mold removed as soon as possible, so as not to compromise your health.

We have performed expert mold inspection and mold remediation for decades, and in our experience, severe mold sickness reactions are exceedingly rare. More often than not, the mold had been growing for a long time, because nobody had any indication or symptoms that it was there!

Still, for your overall health, it’s best to have the mold professionally removed as soon as possible.

Can I Clean Mold Myself? What Kills Mold Best?

Everyone would like a simple solution to cleaning mold, that doesn’t involve hiring a company. Unfortunately, in our experience, with most mold growth, home remedies do not 100% kill mold. Home improvement and cleaning publications on the internet may tell you differently, touting home remedies like bleach and vinegar, but they are not mold removal experts, and we have debunked both of these methods, here and here.

Unfortunately, the only way to kill mold for good is usually complete removal of the material it’s growing on. Occasionally, a powerful commercial bleach detergent can work, but the only detergents strong enough are those used by professional mold removal technicians, and are not for layman’s use. They also severely damage any drywall and paint surfaces, and so can only be used in attics and crawlspaces.

Since the only foolproof solution to getting rid of mold for good is removing it completely, you will need to hire a professional mold removal company. Removing the mold yourself is highly inadvisable and risky. Use this guide to learn how to choose a trustworthy mold removal company.

Occasionally, if the mold growth is extremely small, you may be able to clean it at home yourself. Skip to this article to learn how.

mold removal process

More Resources

The Ultimate Guide to Dealing With Apartment Mold, A to Z

Top 5 Ways How to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Apartment

Top Places to Look for Mold in an Apartment

If you need mold removal in Western Washington State, we highly recommend you check out Cleaner Guys! We are the only mold removal company around that boasts award-winning work AND affordable prices. Call us today at (360)757-4300.

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.

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