Lung & Home Health
Your home and your body aren’t too different: both are systems that need the right tools to excel. In nature, there are many creatures that coexist to help keep one another in good health - such as the oxpecker, which eats bugs from the back of the African Buffalo. Like this symbiotic relationship, making sure you care for your home means your home will help care for you. One important way that you can help your home help you is by keeping it free of mold growth.
One of the most important organs in the human body are the lungs; in your home, it’s the HVAC system. Both move air, and this important tool helps keep our bodies and homes comfortable and healthy. In a home with mold growth, however, your lungs could be having a lot of trouble.
A large study from Sweden found that people living in buildings with mold caused by water damage and dampness are more likely to have chronic bronchitis and sinus problems. Breathing disorders like asthma and allergies, both common mold side-effects, were also frequently found during this study. Around 11% of the homes studied had visible signs of moisture, one of the key ingredients in mold growth, and the more frequent these signs appeared, the more likely the residents were to suffer lung-related health issues.
Mold likes to grow in wet and damp environments where it is dark and there is an abundant food source - like in cabinets, basements, and attic spaces. Mold growth becomes a health concern because the spores it creates circulate via the air, and when our lungs breathe in those mold spores, inflammation can occur. Symptoms of mold allergies or sensitivity can be anything from itchy, watery eyes, to asthma attacks or lung infections. Mold doesn’t just affect you and your lungs, however - once it is in your home, mold can travel through your HVAC to other spaces, and cause damage to the structure of your home or appliances and heirlooms.
Over 26,000 adults responded to a questionnaire about respiratory symptoms in the Swedish study, and the team was especially interested in chronic rhinosinusitis, a condition that can be caused by mold growth. Interestingly, the researchers found that the effects of mold growth in the homes in this study could be worse than smoking - nonsmokers living in damp homes were 90% more likely to have nighttime shortness of breath.
Making sure that mold isn’t growing in your home and causing you and your family health problems is an important part of you and your building’s health. The Swedish study recommended having professional help to remove mold or repair water damage or dampness. Fixing these problems as soon as possible - before they get out of hand and begin to cause health trouble - was the best solution to chronic mold allergies.
If you experience any of the symptoms related to mold allergies, like a runny nose, headaches, cough, or have a health condition that may be exacerbated by mold growth, it’s good to have a checkup for both you and your home. Having a mold removal specialist like MoldTech visit and assess any possible mold growth or moisture in your home can give you peace of mind and make sure that you and you home coexist and support each other’s good health.