Mold spores are everywhere and cannot be avoided. They float in through your open windows and doors, or come inside by riding on your clothing or your pets. Real problems in homes and buildings rarely occur unless there has been intense flooding, usually in basements, sometimes from leaky roofs, or where there has been an extensive plumbing problem. If spores land on a moist or damp surface, usually in a poorly lit area — they can grow. So the key to mold control is moisture control. Water-damaged areas must be dried within twenty-four to forty-eight hours to prevent mold and mildew growth.
Most people have a natural immunity to antigens present in mold, but some are more sensitive than others – and a moldy home is not a healthy home. At-risk individuals are mostly infants, the aged and asthmatics being treated with steroids. The highest level of danger is for those with pre-existing respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis or cystic fibrosis and those undergoing chemotherapy or other treatments that adversely affect the immune system. The most common health concerns include symptoms similar to hay fever. Others may experience respiratory difficulties or skin and eye irritations.
There are some reported extreme reactions, too, but those are rare and have yet to be attributed directly to mold – though an attorney may counsel differently. As one lawyer states in a recent Time magazine article, “For science to prove something, it has to be 100% certain. In a civil lawsuit, it only has to be proved 51%.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, determining the level of health risk is mostly a factor of looking at the individual and assessing whether they fall into one of the risk groups. However, exposure to mold is not a desirable living condition and it should be removed, just like you would also throw away moldy bread without eating it.