Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Mold -Tackle the Bully

Image from Well Theory

Spring cleaning is an excellent time to take note of the health of your home. April showers are prime time to notice areas of water intrusion and mold. Environmental illnesses are well documented; most know of asbestos and the severe health consequences it brings. However, only recently are mold-related illnesses becoming part of the public consciousness.

One of the barriers to fully comprehending mold is that tolerance varies greatly between individuals. I’ve talked to many mold inspectors; all share their inadvertent role of becoming marriage and family counselors. It is not unusual for only one family member to show health issues from mold exposure. Unfortunately, other family members are confounded and may insist it’s all in their head; and it may be due to neuroinflammation. 

Mold is sneaky, it can survive even without a constant water source. I’ll give you a personal example; I would have bet the house (pun intended) there was no way my home had mold. I was living in Arizona and started to suffer unexpected asthma attacks. My doctor suggested I get my home tested for mold. You could have knocked me over!  A tiny shadow in my walk-in closet was the clue to the inspector. The air test and visual inspection confirmed that significant mold was on the other side of my ceiling. I was shocked and confused - we are in the desert? What I learned is it is not uncommon. All mold needs is damp air. At one point there must have been a roof leak that was sealed over. Enough moisture had remained, and this space between the ceiling and roof became a perfect habitat for mold to thrive and then go dormant. Flourishing anytime the humidity rose; there was no smell, no visual red flags, and no active leak. After it was remediated I could finally breathe easy.

The moral of the story is if you are suffering unexplained health issues that have no clear explanation; be mindful of your environment. It is paramount a mold inspecting company does not also do the remediation. Dr. Jill Crista, author of Break the Mold (www.drcrista.com), and Dr. Shoemaker; www.survivingmold.com are one-stop shops for mold education. Both doctors have created professional certifications for practitioners, yet their sites are also patient-friendly and educational.

“Mold is a bully and turns you into a wimp.” Dr. Crista. Don’t let the bully win.

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