Is mold a topic that is worth losing sleep over? With so many “professional” opinions that are floating around the internet, this is a question that has a lot of people divided. Some authorities on this subject feel that mold is a topic that has been hyped up for the sake of marketing, and poses no real long term effects to people who are exposed to it. Yet scientific research shows that certain strands can produce mycotoxins, which are in fact highly carcinogenic to human beings. Whatever side of this debate you decide to align yourself with, keep in mind that mold as it appears in nature serves one purpose, and that is to be a decomposer, or nature’s trash crew! Whenever you come into contact with something that has been designed by evolution to decompose and break down organic material, it would make sense to be at least somewhat cautious.
Regardless of what your thoughts on mold are, it is a topic that cannot be avoided. Not only do we come into contact with it practically everywhere in our outdoor environment, it is highly likely that most homes and commercial structures actually host some level of mold as well. Because of things like poor air circulation, leaky pipes, and every day activities such as bathing and cooking, we provide an ideal setting for mold spores to take root and begin growing due to the amount of moisture in the environment.
Unless you live in a hospital operating room, you are more likely to win the lottery than you are to live in a home that is not affected by mold. Just because you are living in a home with this problem, does not mean that you are automatically at risk for health complications. There are many variables to consider when determining an individual’s health risk from mold exposure in their home, such as the amount and type of mold that is present, the age of the individual, and how likely you are to come into contact with the mold.
If the mold is growing behind a wall, or under the floor, it is possible to live with it for years without experiencing any damaging effects, or even knowing that you have a problem. Without an infrared scan though, you will be in for the surprise of your life if you decide to do any kind of renovation. Hidden mold is probably the most dangerous to deal with because it can grow for years without any problem, and then one day your perfect house has to be evacuated for health concerns. Once the affected area is opened up, the spores drift freely in the open air, and it becomes impossible to contain the problem at this point. Depending on which strand you are dealing with, the home may become unlivable until the problem has been completely resolved. In most cases, problems like this are actually the result of a previous disaster involving water that was not properly remediated, so unless this describes your situation, there is probably no cause for alarm.