Mold growth indoors causes structural damage to the home, such as decomposition of wood, drywall and carpet. In some people, mold increases allergies and upper respiratory irritation. Exposure to large amounts of mold increases the severity and frequency of asthmatic symptoms.
People who are sensitive to mold, allergic to mold, have compromised immune systems, or chronic lung infections are more likely to experience health issues from exposure to mold. Allergic reactions to mold mimic symptoms of hay fever, such as throat irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, eye irritation and skin irritation. More severe symptoms of mold inhalation include lung infection and increased asthmatic severity. The effect of mold on individuals vary. Research into the health effects of mold exposure is ongoing.
Mold needs water or moisture to grow indoors. Mold grows in a variety of colors, looks like spots and can smell musty. Regardless of the type of mold, the Center for Disease Control recommends removing it. After cleaning up and removing mold, it is critical to address any water issues to prevent re-growth. If the moldy area is less than 10 square feet, the homeowner or renter can clean it themselves. For areas larger than 10 square feet, clean up should follow the mold remediation guide provided by the Environmental Protection Agency.