Silent Killers in Your Home: The Dangers of Mold
Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Toxic mold can cause serious illness and even death.
But, all molds, toxic or not, are a cause for concern especially at elevated levels indoors.
"This is what happens when you don't winterize your home, when it gets really cold."
Rick Tegan is the guy you call if your house looks like this.
Earlier this year, a pipe broke in this vacant home.
Months later the owner stopped by and found the house infested with mold.
"Basically there's not a lot that we can do except completely gut everything out of it,” Rick Tegan, Service Master.
This house has what's called Sick Building Syndrome or SBS.
That's when your indoor air becomes contaminated with mold or fungus.
And, if you're house is sick, you could be to.
But, how do you know if the type of mold in your home is making you ill?
"There's no way to really tell. If you're concerned I would consult your physician," said Tegan.
Signs that your house may be sick are eyes, nose and throat irritation, headaches and fatigue.
"This house is really sick, but sometimes you can't see the mold and the mildew that is under a floor or in the walls or in an attic," said Noel Briggs, Advanced Restoration.
Obvious signs of mold are stained ceilings, a musty earthy smell, black, pink or orange spots on the walls, a damp basement or leaky pipes.
"Mold needs a food source and water to survive. The front paper on sheet rock it can survive, in a wall, insulation, on studs and sometimes that's unseen," said Briggs.
You're most likely to find mold underneath sinks, in bathrooms, utility rooms or around outside spigots.
"Do a good inspection probably every three to six months around where your water is coming into your house," said Tegan.
Keeping an eye out could mean keeping your home mold free.
Infants, children, the elderly and people with breathing conditions are at a greater risk than others.
If you believe you have a mold problem experts recommend you call an industrial hygienist.