The long term effects of water damage in a building are something got mold?™ deals with every day. We also deal with misconceptions, skepticism, fear, anger and a whole range of other reactions so we make information sharing and education a top priority.
What we know for certain is that water damage in a building can result in fungal growth which can cause aesthetic and structural damage to a building. We also know that there are physical/health consequences. What we don’t know is why some people are affected and some seemingly are not. We also do not know for certain how serious the long term consequences are for people that are affected. The excerpt below, is taken from a blog by Mark Filidei, D.O. and published by an American organization called Amen Clinics. We offer it as information only and believe everyone should do their own research. Fungal contamination is real, but more real for some than others.
“It is estimated that half of the buildings in United States may be “WDB”, meaning water damaged buildings. Construction techniques in United States turn out to be a feast and buffet for mold and fungal organisms. Our homes here are often built of wood and drywall rather than stone or brick as in Europe. Mold and fungi thrive on drywall, wood and other soft materials. Mold thrives in dark and moist environments, and doesn’t take much water to get the process going. A small drip from a leaky toilet, shower, or sink is all it takes. Small roof leaks are also common causes. If you see a stain on the ceiling or the wall there is very likely an associated hidden mold growth. This is not the type of mold that you see on the shower wall, but rather it is lurking behind the walls and in air ducts, crawlspaces, and attics, etc.
The toxin-producing “black mold” Stachybotrys, as well as and other neuro-toxic molds, including Aspergillus, Chaetomium, and Wallemia can have a dramatic effect on the brain and behavior. There are 2 main effects of mold exposure: the physical airway irritating effects like allergies, cough and fatigue, and the more concerning effects on the central nervous system (CNS) and the brain. CNS symptoms can include brain fog, inability to concentrate, depression, sleep disorders, anxiety, irritability, headache, and confusion. Unfortunately there is about a 99.9% chance that anyone presenting with these symptoms will never have mold considered as part of the differential diagnosis. It is simply not on the radar screen of the vast majority of physicians. When was the last time your doctor asked you if your home had a water leak? Point made.
Issues in the home are not the only problem; many workplaces are also contaminated with mold, especially older buildings. Schools have been condemned because of mold contamination, office buildings, hotels, and industrial complexes can all be a source of the problem. Many of the government buildings in Washington, DC have been found to have significant mold contamination issues. Our law makers in Washington seem to have enough trouble getting things done; the last thing we need is for them to have poorly functioning brains due to toxic mold exposure!”