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How can growing mold can damage your home and your health?

Growing mold is a natural process when certain fungi, commonly known as molds, reproduce and thrive in suitable conditions. It is everywhere but require specific conditions to grow and multiply.

Mold growth typically requires moisture, suitable temperature, and a food source for proliferation. Mold spores can be dormant until they encounter a favorable environment, at which point they grow and spread.

Besides the unsightly appearance, mold can pose health risks to humans and animals. Mold releases microscopic spores into the air, which, when inhaled, can cause allergic reactions, respiratory issues, and other health problems, particularly for individuals with asthma, allergies, or weakened immune systems.

Home damage by growing mold: All you need to know

Growing mold can damage your home in several ways:

Structural Damage

Mold feeds on organic materials such as woody doors, insulation, and walls, leading to structural damage. As mold grows and spreads, it gradually breaks down these materials, weakening their structural integrity. This can lead to sagging walls, crumbling drywall, and compromised structural elements.

Growing mold can cause structural damage to a home in several ways:

·         Weakening of Materials

Mold growth typically occurs in damp and humid environments. When mold spores settle on surfaces such as wood, drywall, or insulation, they can begin to feed on organic materials, breaking them down and weakening their structural integrity. Over time, this can lead to rotting, warping, and deterioration of the affected materials.

·         Degradation of Organic Substances

Mold thrives on organic substances, including cellulose, in wood and paper-based products. As mold colonies grow and spread, they consume these materials, causing them to decay.

This degradation can compromise the strength and stability of structural components, such as wooden beams, support pillars, or even load-bearing walls.

·         Moisture Retention

Mold requires moisture to grow and thrive. As mold colonies expand, they can contribute to moisture retention in the affected areas. This excessive moisture can penetrate porous materials and lead to their swelling, distortion, or delamination.

For instance, prolonged exposure to moisture can cause the drywall to become soft and crumbly, compromising its structural integrity.

·         Corrosion and Rusting

Certain types of mold, such as the “black mold” species produce corrosive metabolic byproducts. These byproducts can corrode metal surfaces, such as pipes, electrical wiring, or structural reinforcements.

Corrosion weakens these materials, potentially leading to leaks, electrical malfunctions, or structural failure.

·         Compromised Air Quality

Mold growth often releases spores and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These airborne particles can spread throughout the home and be inhaled by occupants, potentially causing respiratory issues, allergies, or other health problems.

Getting rid of affected materials is advised to mitigate these health risks, which can involve structural repairs.

Surface Damage

Mold growth often results in visible stains, discoloration, and a musty odor on walls, ceilings, carpets, and furniture. These stains and discoloration can be difficult to remove and may require extensive cleaning or replacement of affected materials.

Deterioration of Paint and Finishes

Mold can cause paint to bubble, peel, or crack. It can also damage wallpaper, causing it to loosen or peel away from the wall.  However, the growth of these molds can severely compromise the appearance of your home and may require repainting or re-wallpapering.

Damage to HVAC Systems

Mold can infiltrate heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Once inside, it can spread through the ductwork and contaminate the air circulating throughout your home. This can spread mold spores to other areas, exacerbating the mold problem and potentially impacting indoor air quality.

Damage to Personal Belongings

Mold can damage personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, books, and electronics. Mold can stain or degrade fabrics, deteriorate leather, warp wooden furniture, and cause irreversible damage to paper-based materials.

Decreased Property Value

Mold growth and the associated damage can significantly lower the worth of your home, which can lower its demand for potential buyers. They may require costly repairs or remediation before selling.

However, it’s important to address mold growth promptly to minimize damage to your home. Identifying and resolving the source of moisture that promotes mold growth is crucial to prevent further damage.

Health Risks of growing mold

Notably, the type and amount of mold, the duration of exposure, and an individual’s sensitivity and overall health are the major factors behind the severity of the health risks. Growing mold can pose several health risks.

Following are the health risks caused by your direct or indirect exposure to mold:

Allergic Reactions

Mold spores are known allergens and can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. Symptoms may include sneezing, coughing, itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, and skin irritation.

  • Mold spores contain allergenic proteins that can elicit an immune response in sensitive individuals.
  • When individuals inhale or come into contact with these mycotoxins, they can experience more severe allergic reactions, respiratory issues, or other symptoms, depending on the specific mycotoxin and the individual’s sensitivity.

Respiratory Issues

Unknowingly inhaling mold spores can lead to respiratory problems, particularly for people with asthma, allergies, or compromised immune systems. It can cause or worsen asthma attacks, bronchitis, and respiratory infections.

Toxic Mold

Specifically, some molds (black mold) produce mycotoxins. Exposure to these mycotoxins can have toxic effects on the body. Symptoms may include respiratory issues, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and in severe cases, organ damage.


People already under some kind of treatment because of severe infection, such as chemotherapy or HIV/AIDS, could be more susceptible to fungal infections caused by mold. These infections can affect the skin, lungs, sinuses, and other organs.

Irritation and Inflammation

Mold spores and mold components can irritate and inflame the eyes, throat, and skin, leading to discomfort, redness, itching, and irritation.

These substances also cause inflammation in the respiratory system, leading to symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and throat irritation. In more severe cases, allergic reactions can cause difficulty breathing or asthma attacks.


If you notice significant mold growth or suspect a mold problem in your home, it’s recommended to seek professional assistance for proper remediation to avoid health risks and property restoration.

Fun Fact:

On About Us | Plumbing Tulsa | Acts of Service Plumbing, you’ll find how our owner Rick Hudson overcame his early plumbing challenges. Learn more about our leaders and team.

One of many great companies we’ve had the pleasure of serving is making a difference in the Tulsa and surrounding areas. Visit their website: Paul Davis Corporate – Restoration and Emergency Service Provider.