My House Has Mold, but I Work Remotely. Is it OK to be Around Mold?

Today, about a quarter of the U.S. workforce is working remotely in some capacity, whether it be full- or part-time. If you’re part of this crowd and you suspect your home has mold, you may be wondering if it’s okay to be around it. While you should call a mold restoration company any time you have mold, it’s not something you have to freak out about if you have it. 

Here’s what you need to know about mold, including when it’s no longer safe to be around it: 

Is Mold Dangerous? 

Generally speaking, yes, mold is dangerous to be around. However, the reality is that you’re likely always breathing in mold spores. 

Mold is common both inside and outside the home. As such, it’s nearly impossible to get away from it. Furthermore, most households in the Pacific Northwest do have a little bit of mold in common areas. Your bathroom, for example, may have some black mold in the bathroom due to how much moisture is around. 

If you have this, you’re likely fine. 

Small quantities of mold are rather common. The real danger comes from large batches of mold that go untreated for a prolonged length of time. For example, let’s say that your home suffered a basement flood. Since mold can develop in as little as 24 hours after water damage, it could cause serious problems if left untreated. 

This brings us to our next point…what are the common health problems associated with mold growth? 

Can You Get Sick from Being Around Mold? 

The answer is yes, you can get sick from being around mold if it’s in large quantities. The most common physical symptoms triggered by mold growth include: 

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Headaches
  • Skin irritation/rashes
  • Gastrointestinal issues

In some cases, mold growth may even affect your mental health, leading to increased feelings of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Mold growth may also exacerbate breathing difficulties in those with respiratory issues. 

In cases like these, it’s not safe to continue working in that environment. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to know if what you’re suffering from is a mold allergy or a regular cold. 

You can decipher between the two by determining when your symptoms start. Do they flare up when you walk inside your home? Into a particular room? Do they ease up when you go outside? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you likely have a mold allergy, not a cold. 

How to Find Mold Growth 

Sometimes, it’s easy to spot mold growth. In other cases, it isn’t. If you are suffering from the symptoms listed above, here are the signs of mold growth: 

  • Groupings of black spots. Keep in mind mold can also be green, brown, gray, orange, and pink. It may also be fuzzy. 
  • Rotted wood. 
  • Spongy tiles or floorboards. 
  • Foul, musky odors that don’t have an inherent cause. 

These are some of the most common signs of mold growth in houses. However, you should also be aware of the common signs of water damage. Though mold is common inside and out, it is usually the result of water damage. Mold needs moisture and humidity to grow. If these are present after water damage, mold growth is likely. 

So if you recently experienced water damage from a flood or bad storm, also look out for increased energy bills, hotter rooms, and wet spots on wood. While these may not be indicative of current mold growth, they’re indicative that mold growth is just around the corner. 

Is It Safe to Work at Home Around Mold? 

So, all of this brings us back to our initial question: is it safe to work at home around mold? The general consensus is no, it’s not safe if you’re experiencing the symptoms listed above. 

If you’re experiencing physical symptoms, do not continue to expose yourself to mold. Instead, call a mold restoration company as soon as possible. 

A mold restoration company will treat mold at the source. Unfortunately, household cleaners aren’t strong enough to treat mold. Instead, they only treat the surface. This is like putting a band-aid on the issue instead of fixing it. Let a professional help. 

Does Your Portland Home Have Mold? Get the Professional Clean You Need from PNW Restoration!

If your home has mold growth, don’t wait around. While a little mold exposure is common, the bottom line is that exposure affects people differently. If you’re coughing or suffering from insomnia, relief is available. 

At PNW Restoration, we have years of experience treating mold. Whether the issue is large or small, we are the providers Portland residents turn to to treat unsightly mold growth. We’re proud to help residents of Portland, West Linn, and Aloha. Contact us today to schedule your mold restoration appointment. 


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