If you have a chronic cough that won't go away with OTC medicine or sleep, test your home for mold. Although colds, flu viruses, and other illnesses can make you cough, mold can also potentially make your sick. Mold is a hardy fungus that lives or thrives in moist and warm conditions. The fungus doesn't do well in direct sunlight but can survive in locations with poor lighting, such as in your basement or bathroom. Here's how mold affects your health and where you can look to find the fungus.

Can Mold Hurt Your Health?

Many types of mold live in homes, including black mold. Black mold can cause health problems for anyone who has a weakened immune system or is fighting an illness. Elderly individuals and small children are also easily affected by the fungus.

The symptoms of mold exposure may include coughing and sneezing. Some people develop headaches, runny noses, and itchy rashes on their skin. The symptoms can mimic or seem similar to the symptoms of the common cold, allergies, and other respiratory problems. However, mold exposure symptoms usually don't go away with traditional OTC medications.

One of the most successful ways to get rid of your symptoms is to remove the mold from your home.

Where Can You Find Mold?

If you feel well enough, you can inspect your home for signs of mold. Mold can grow in colonies, or groups. The colonies can be small or large, depending on the environment. For instance, large mold colonies can cover a wall, ceiling, or flooring completely if the location is damp or saturated with water. Small colonies may show up as circles or streaks behind a leaking sink or plumbing pipe. 

If you don't find any signs of mold, contact a mold testing company for help. The company can inspect locations you might not have access to, including behind your walls and beneath your home's flooring. Once the company confirms the presence of mold, you can take steps to remove it. 

You may need to remove and replace the affected material or item. Mold can return if you don't remove everything that harbors it. Some companies use chemical treatments to destroy mold and its spores. The treatments typically contain anti-fungal and anti-microbial ingredients. You can decide on the best method for your family's needs before you begin treatment.

You can protect your health by contacting a mold testing company today.