DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   General DIY Discussions (
-   -   can mold make you sick?? (

fcamargo6thave 06-20-2009 01:15 AM

can mold make you sick??
Also posted this under safety but noticed not much traffic there so i reposted here

I am not 100% sure i have mold in my house but i am convinced i do. In north jersey it has been raining for the past 15 days almost every day, and i started to get a leak in my second floor of my house. Now i bought this house 4 yrs ago with no major problems, until i noticed i had water leaking in, i went in between the attic and i come to find out the previous owner put a heavy duty contractors bag on the base of the floor which had about 6 inches of water for at least 2 feet of the area keep in mind this bag is big about 6 feet across (very sturdy bag) i am surprised all the weight did not cave that area in. So you figure it has been 4 yrs of water accumlating up there. I went up there for at least an hour to clear that part up and noticed that there is white fungi growing and alot of dark/purpleish wood rotting up there ( the smell is bad even with a mask. Now my main concern is that i have been getting sick i feel dizzy all the time and with no energy. I feel like i have no balance , i have been on antibiotics for 2 weeks which worked on me (doc thinks its a ear infection) but now i am dizzy and have slight pain in my neck. Don't know what to assocaite these dizzy spells.. Could this mold make me sick like this???

Just Bill 06-20-2009 06:14 AM

Some molds are just plain not good for humans, and some people are more sensitve than others. Leaks are not a good thing. Mold can develope wherever there is moisture, but it is not always the deadly kind. Still not a bad idea to get things fixed up, since mold and wood rot usually go together. Often it is as simple as spraying with a 10:1 water:bleach solution.

Ron6519 06-20-2009 07:42 AM

Yes, mild can make you that sick. If the cause is not fixed and the mold isn't completely removed it can make the house unlivable.
I think you're way past DIY remediation on this as your health has already benn affected. Call your insurance company and get a mold remediation team in there to deal with the problem. Get someone to repair the leak.

stuart45 06-20-2009 05:46 PM

Black mold is one of the worst, especially for people with breathing problems. Mold is usually caused by condensation as it likes the pure water produced by it. Some types of timber rot produce a white fungi, but white mold is not usually as bad for your health as black. The main thing is to remove the cause of the problem and dry out the area.

Daniel Holzman 06-20-2009 07:38 PM

Stuart, I suggest you check all the facts before making statements about mold. I have no idea how you conclude that black mold is worse than white mold.

There are approximately 100,000 species of fungus. The definition of mold is

Mold: A very large group of microscopic fungi that live on plant or animal matter. Most are filamentous organisms and produce spores that can be air-, water-, or insect-borne. A common trigger for allergies. (from the Medical Dictionary).

Mold is not caused by condensation, as you state. Mold grows in a moist environment if there is a suitable substrate, and a suitable food source, such as drywall.

Timber rot does NOT produce a white fungus, as you state. Some fungi that happen to be white participate in the breakdown of wood, however there are a variety of different colored fungi that also participate in wood decomposition.

About the only accurate thing you state is that it is necessary to dry out the wet area to reduce the mold growth.

The OP seems to believe that their problems are mold related. This is an issue for a doctor, as some people are allergic to mold, and some molds produce toxic products. Medical diagnosis over the internet in an on line DIY room is clearly out of this forum's expertise.

As for fixing the problem, clearly the OP needs to get the roof repaired. Does not sound like a DIY problem to me.

stuart45 06-21-2009 04:48 AM

You need to check some of your facts also. Condensation is not the only cause of mould growth but is the major cause in housing. Some types of rot such as dry rot (Serpula lacrymans) produce a Mycelium of white silky sheets and white strands. Black mould has been proved to be the most serious type for health reasons by the Building Research Establishment.

Maintenance 6 06-22-2009 07:01 AM

Mold can make some people sick IF they have some allergic reaction to it or the chemicals produced by it. It makes no difference what color the mold is. "Deadly black mold" is a media hype to sell test kits and magic mold killing potions. Mold need three things to thrive. It needs moisture of 60% or 0.6 water content. It doesn't care whether it's clean or dirty water. Second it needs an organic food source. Drywall paper or wood or dust/dirt will work fine. Finally, common household molds need temperatures in the range of 40-110 degrees. Mold spores are everywhere and will set up shop when these conditions exist. Persons with normal immune systems, who do not suffer from chronic respiratory ailments do not usually suffer from exposure to molds. However, continued exposure may result in an acquired sensitivity. Wood rot is not the cause of mold, it is the result of organisms attacking the wood. These could be molds or bacterias. A mold colony will establish itself on a surface that meets the three criteria listed above. They will send out mycelia into the food source, almost like roots. This is to transport food to the rest of the colony. Mycelia will produce another colony if the surface dries and will no longer support growth, but becomes re-wetted in the future. Removal of any of the three conditions will cause a mold colony to go dormant. Mold growing on the underside of a roof for instance will go dormant in cold climates if the temperature drops too low, but will re-activate in spring when temps warm back up. As molds consume food, they produce some rather noxious chemicals that can be harmful to other organisms, including humans. This is a method that molds use to protect themselves, however it is common for parasitic molds to attack a host mold and consume it as food. This is really what mildew is, a parasitic mold. And this is why you will often see multi colored molds in one place. The appearance color is usually an indication of the species of mold, but can be related to the food source. Mold spores are abundant everywhere on earth, including Antarctica. They live in bark mulch, bathroom corners and inside the loaf of bread sitting on your counter. To the OP, you need to get to a doctor to be sure of the cause of your condition, but you also need to get some-one in to clean up whatever you have existing and eliminate a possible source of trouble. If you hire a remediation contractor, insist on a third party air test before and after the job. Review what steps he will take and don't be afraid to ask questions. Sometimes the cure is worse than the mold.

Thurman 06-22-2009 09:59 AM

Gee, a lot of information on mold(s) here for sure. I do know this- while working on a rotted out bathroom floor, where the crawl space under the house prohibited being actually able to get under the house, I had to do all the work by removing the bath floor, the joist, etc. and working from the top. At one point I had to ease down between two existing floor joist that we were going to save, and they had this brownish-black stuff on them that looked like tree roots. NO, I didn't pay any mind to this stuff, just get-er-done, as far as the job. Weeks later I had this terrible sore throat, a cough, and started getting red bumps all over me that itched like hell. Treat it as a spring time cold, use calamine lotion on the itches and I'm getting nowhere. Off to the Doctor, YES I had an infection throughout my vascular system causing the sore throat, the coughing and now feeling like crap. The red bumps and itching were "folliculitis" (sp) which is inflammation of the hair follicles. Do you know how may hair follicles you have and where they are all located? All of this was caused by that "tree mold" stuff, I had to go back and get samples of it for lab testing. The homeowner had also been feeling sick since I had opened up the floor of the bath. They had to have someone come in to go under the house and treat all of this stuff to get rid of it. So, it seems that some molds are not harmful and actually good for us, and some are can be harmful. Good Day, David

Maintenance 6 06-22-2009 04:04 PM

There are many, many mold types out there. The ones that set up housekeeping on damp building products are not our friends. Molds are fungi, from the same family of life forms that bring us ring worm, atheletes foot, yeast infections and other nasty things, It stands to reason that if you work in an area that is highly contaminated, you may ingest or inhale a large number of mold spores or the chemical by products of the mold colonies, which could make you sick to some degree. You could also have a reaction to any of the bacterias that often set up shop in the same conditions that molds do. On the lighter side, the same group of life forms that bring us "toxic" molds also bring us cheeses, a variety of salad dressings and of course bakers yeast. As an FYI: Carbon Dioxide happens to be the chemical by-product of bakers yeast. And that's what makes all the little holes in your bread.

FrancescaLind 07-03-2009 08:06 AM

Just my 2cents on mold and condensation
We bought a house that has mold problems. THe house was built in the early 70's. We removed all the obvious, but still smelled mold. As it turned out, all the air/heat ducts in the ceiling downstairs had condensation that created a lot of mold on the inside of the ceilings drywall. We had to replace not only the ceiling, but the ducts too because of mold and rust. Anything producing even a drop of water can produce mold. Food and drink spills can produce mold.

Mold can make you VERY sick. Believe me, I know first hand how bad it can get after 20plus visits to the ER. It can affect your breathing and is especially bad for asthmatics. It can make you extremely tired to the point you can only clean or do something for five minutes and then have to lay down. It makes you depressed, dizzy, forgetful and can even adversely affect your sleep. In my case, it also triggered an allergic reaction where my entire body swelled up to three sizes bigger than I wear.

We have no other recourse but to ride it out here and hope to get our investment back someday. Mold should be taken seriously and if you are a do it yourselfer, read up on precautions to take to remove it. You need to wear a respirator, masks aren't good enough. If you can afford it, hire a professional. Good luck.

By the way, if you feel this is a non-disclosed issue from the previous owners, and it's within seven years, hire a lawyer and sue their deceptive *sses.

MoldyJay 01-09-2011 12:26 PM

I am partway into a new bathroom floor remodel and have removed the old owners hardwood from the bathroom. It was laid on top of the previous peel and stick and was very thick with black mold in spots. I have a 4 year old in the house and I am afraid to start tearing out the subfloor which also is moldy and rotted in spots. I feel capable of the structural work but this mold is making me think twice about disturbing it with a saw.
Any precautions or advice would be appreciated.

Ron6519 01-09-2011 01:00 PM


Originally Posted by MoldyJay (Post 566175)
I am partway into a new bathroom floor remodel and have removed the old owners hardwood from the bathroom. It was laid on top of the previous peel and stick and was very thick with black mold in spots. I have a 4 year old in the house and I am afraid to start tearing out the subfloor which also is moldy and rotted in spots. I feel capable of the structural work but this mold is making me think twice about disturbing it with a saw.
Any precautions or advice would be appreciated.

You can have the mold tested to see if it's a dangerous variety. If you want to tackle the project without testing it, you need the correct protective gear, the correct neutralizing solution and a way to get the stuff out of the house safely.

MagicalHome 01-09-2011 08:21 PM

A lot of important and relevant information about molds here. We have some problem with molds in our home, mostly from water residue. We have more problem with discipline in maintaining the house to prevent mold formation.

nap 01-09-2011 09:30 PM

there are molds that can actually cause death. There are some molds that cause simple irritation and present similar to a cold or any other allergy. There are molds that cause no real problems and there are molds that can save your life (Penicillium notatum).

There is a mold, typically called "black mold" that is known to be a serious health problem in houses (Strachybotrys chartarum or Strachybotrys atra) . There are also black molds that are not generally harmful. The only way to determine which type of mold you have is to have it tested.

epson 01-09-2011 09:35 PM

Yes mold can make you sick it can cause many health problems, ranging from minor to severe. The most common problems are similar in nature to allergies, such as runny nose, headache, sore throat and irritated eyes. More serious problems can occur, such as dizziness and difficulty concentrating. Mold is a dangerous byproduct of moisture entering into your house and remaining trapped there for a period of time. Mold is a living organism, similar in nature to fungi such as mushrooms that reproduce by spores. These spores are released into the air and can cause detrimental damage to our bodies if inhaled, ingested or exposed to skin. So yes this is very bad stuff…

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:42 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1