How Can Mold Affect My Children's Health?
Burst pipes, leaky faucets, and improperly sealed doors and windows can all lead to water damage. When left untreated, water damage can lead to wood rot and other, more serious forms of harm to your home. One of these more severe effects is indoor mold growth.
While indoor mold growth may not seem like a big deal, it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. Mold spores spread quickly, and it doesn’t take long to escalate into a full-blown infestation. Many people know that mold growth is bad and that hiring a mold remediation expert to handle the mold in your home is important, but everyone realizes the substantial health effects mold can cause for those exposed to it. Families with children should be especially aware of mold issues and the potential negative health consequences. Mold can cause new or worsening health issues for anyone, but often more harshly affects children and those with preexisting health problems.
What Do the Health Risks of Mold Include for Children?
Since young children don’t have fully developed immune systems and often have more sensitive skin, they are more at risk when exposed to a mold infestation. The symptoms caused by a mold-related health issue often resemble common allergy symptoms, which means that the mold growth could potentially remain undiscovered and go untreated for more prolonged periods. Unfortunately, the longer it’s left untreated, the more difficult mold removal becomes.
If your child experiences the following symptoms, it might be a good idea to test for mold in your home:
- Itchy nose
- Eye irritation
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Nasal Congestion
- Skin irritation
Less commonly, neurological symptoms can develop in more severe cases of mold exposure — especially with toxic black mold. These can include:
- Shortened attention span
- Memory issues
- Slowed Reflexes
- Cognitive Dysfunction
What Causes Mold Growth?
Mold requires very little to thrive. All mold needs is a warm, damp environment. It can become even worse if these damp areas are dimly lit. Roof leaks, standing water, burst pipes, and even general humidity can provide mold with everything it needs to start growing. And once the growth starts, it’s hard to stop.
Mold particles are small and will cling to nearly anything. Even in as few as 24 to 48 hours after water damage, mold can start growing and spreading rapidly. You can have a full-blown mold infestation within twelve days if the conditions are right. At that point, it’s going to be hard to fix without calling in professional mold remediation experts.
Is There Anything I Can Do to Prevent Mold Growth?
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to significantly reduce your chances of getting a mold infestation in your home. The first step is to make sure the humidity levels in your home are as low as possible — ideally, don’t let them exceed 50%. If you live in a naturally humid environment, you can decrease the humidity levels in your home with a dehumidifier or certain types of air conditioners.
Make sure that the air in your home can flow freely. Most kitchens and bathrooms have exhaust fans that lead directly outside, so it can be helpful to run those every once in a while (especially on humid days).
If your home has a leak or other source of potential water damage, you should get it fixed immediately. Mold spores love standing water. If you have a leaky roof, pipe, or window, make sure you clean and dry the spots where water has accumulated as thoroughly as possible once the leak has been fixed.
Clean your bathrooms with mold-killing cleaning solutions and keep in mind that bleach won't work on porous surfaces. Bathrooms are one of the most mold-susceptible rooms in your home. This is in no small part due to the steam that often accumulates during showers and baths. Tiled floors also provide grooves for moisture and water droplets to accumulate, leading to potential mold growth.
Replace or get rid of any carpeting or soft, upholstered furniture if it sustains water damage that you can’t deal with immediately. Avoid using carpeting in places (like bathrooms and basements) that experience frequent exposure to moisture. Remember that small children spend most of their time on the floor and that contaminated carpeting will disproportionately affect them compared to adults.
What to Do If You Have a Mold Infestation
You may experience a mold infestation regardless of your prevention efforts. If that’s the case, you may be tempted to find a DIY mold removal method online. While these cleaning solutions may look like they’re doing an excellent job removing the mold, they often only remove it at the surface level. Usually, mold infestations are already pretty severe by the time they reach the surface. If you can see mold, there’s a good chance there’s an even bigger infestation where you can’t see it. The best course of action if you find mold is to enlist a team of mold remediation specialists. Call AdvantaClean today at 877.800.2382 and get your mold problem resolved before it affects the health of you or your children.