Mold is a constant problem in our lives. We find it spoiling our food, our house plants, and even the infrastructure of our homes. As summer begins, and the weather starts to get sunnier, warmth and moisture can create the perfect environment to allow mold to bloom in your home. Although mold is everywhere in the environment and capable of growing anytime of year, warm and moist environments are their preferred growth conditions. Although the cold and flu season of the winter is behind us, you don’t want unidentified mold growth to be affecting your respiratory health or exacerbating your allergies all summer long. Due to the excessive summer moisture, this means it’s important to be extra cautious in reducing humidity in your home to prevent mold growth. The summer months are also a great time to check your home for any sites that may have experienced damage during the winter or spring. The freeze-thaw cycles that occur every year can result in damage to your home and allow water leakage that can facilitate mold growth. Always remember that mold doesn’t have to be visible to be growing, and there can be moist environments that aren’t readily accessible in your home, such as underneath your floorboards.
Wondering if you have Mold in your home in Toronto? Learn the signs and symptoms!
If you are worried about mold that may be growing in your home, professionals can help identify and remove it, including InchByInch Inspections in Toronto. Through this article, we are going to help you learn the signs and symptoms of mold growth in your home, and how our team of experts can help you take action to get it properly removed. Mold can significantly affect both the integrity of your home and your personal health and wellbeing, so prompt and professional removal of contamination is essential. Below, we hope to answer some of your frequently asked questions related to indoor mold in your home and how to ensure you are minimizing your exposure.
What is mold and why does it grow in homes?
Mold is found almost everywhere in the environment and includes many different types of fungus that grow on anything from bread to wood floors to drywall. Mold comes in all different shapes, sizes and colours, including black, brown, green, yellow, smelly and fuzzy. These diverse microbes prefer to grow in warm and moist environments, making it important to pay close attention to potential mold growth following a flood, leak or storm damage. Usually, mold grows in homes that are not properly controlled for temperature or humidity, especially in rooms like kitchens, attics, bathrooms and basements. This means that the excessive humidity we experience during the summer months can be particularly challenging for preventing and controlling mold growth. Nevertheless, prevention is your best tool for combatting mold growth as part of your regular home maintenance routine. Reducing humidity, preventing water leakage and getting regular mold inspections can help ensure mold growth is identified and removed swiftly.
Can you get sick from mold in your house?
One of the reasons it is important to identify and remove mold from your home is that long term exposure can severely affect your health. Many individuals are allergic to mold and can develop persistent allergy symptoms, including itchy and runny eyes, sneezing and nasal congestion and skin and eye irritation. Mold exposure can also exasperate the symptoms of asthma or other pre-existing respiratory diseases and can increase your frequency of nasal and upper respiratory tract infections. Over time, mold exposure can cause difficulty breathing, respiratory distress, chronic fatigue, and headaches. Indoor mold in your home can also result in inhalation of mold toxins, which can cause more severe respiratory and neurological affects with prolonged exposure.
Indoor mold in your home affects individuals differently, depending on their age and health status. Infants and elderly people, as well as immunocompromised individuals, are more at risk for sensitivities to mold. This includes young children, adults over the age of 70, anyone undergoing chemotherapy treatment or recovering from a surgery/organ transplant, or individuals who are HIV positive. These people are more likely to develop severe respiratory problems, chronic fatigue and secondary infections if they are exposed to mold in their homes. If you, or anyone in your family, fits within these criteria, it is even more important that you get regular mold inspections and use professional removal services where appropriate.
What are the symptoms of mold exposure?
Symptoms of mold exposure can vary depending on if an individual is allergic to mold or exposed for a long duration of time. For the average individual, indoor mold in your home can result in symptoms including coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and general allergy symptoms. Over time, this can also involve chronic fatigue, headaches, or more severe neurological symptoms if you are exposed to toxic mold. If you experience any or all of these symptoms, talk to your health care provider about your concerns. As well, contact an inspection company such as InchByInch Inspections in order to locate and remove the mold that may be causing or exacerbating your symptoms.
How dangerous is indoor mold?
Indoor mold in your home can be dangerous if it remains undetected for a long period of time. Mold growth can impact the integrity and structure of your home, and over time can require costly repairs to fix mold-induced damage. This is especially true is mold growth is undetected in sub-flooring, or just below wood flooring or tiles. Over time, this growth can permanently damage your home, so regular inspection and removal of mold can help you avoid costly future renovations. Additionally, indoor mold in your home mold can negatively impact your health and wellbeing. This can include exasperating allergies and asthma or leading to more severe respiratory and neurological complications. In order to protect both your home and your health, its important to regularly check for mold and remove it as it is identified. This can help ensure that your home retains its structural integrity and that you and your family remain happy and healthy.
Where can you find mold in your house?
Mold can grow anywhere in your home. Since mold prefers to grow in warm and moist environments, usually mold growth can be found in bathrooms, kitchens, attics and basements, especially if there has ever been previous water damage. This includes brown, black, blue, orange or green growth that may be detectable in your bathtub, shower or sinks, along windowsills or doors and lining tiles or floorboards. Older homes are also more likely to have reduced indoor air quality and an increased chance of mold growth due to poor air circulation. An important consideration is that mold growth is not always visible. Just because you cannot see mold contamination, does not mean there is no mold growing in your home. Professionals can help identify mold in non-visible and difficult to reach locations in your home that may be affecting your air quality and health.
What happens if you have mold in your house?
If you do have mold in your house, it is important that you get it properly removed. Professional services, including InchByInch Inspections, can provide expert opinions and services related to mold identification and removal. In order to prevent damage to your home and your health, be sure to regularly check your home for mold and remove contamination as it is identified. The longer mold is allowed to grow, or the longer it grows undetected, the more likely it is to cause structural damage to your home or negatively impact your health.
How can you identify mold in your house?
Unfortunately, mold growth is not always visible in your home. Mold grows in moist and warm environments, which can sometimes be hidden by floorboards, wallpaper, ceiling tiles or other fixtures. It can also grow in places in your home that you don’t frequent often, such as the attic, garage or basement crawl spaces. Some of the visible signs that mold may be growing in your home include staining or discolouration of walls, ceiling tiles or trimming, wood floors that are beginning to buckle or curve at any discernible angle or wrinkling or bubbling of painted or wallpapered walls. As well, water buildup on or near windows or in room corners can also allow mold growth, in addition to the visible signs of rot on wooden furniture or fixtures. This can include the telltale sign of black, brown, green, blue, orange or fuzzy growth on any surface. Finally, if your home or an area of your home starts to develop a different or unpleasant smell, especially in a location that previously experienced a water leakage, it may be caused by mold growth. If you notice any of these signs in your home, its time too consider professional help in mold inspection and removal.
How can you remove mold in your house?
If you suspect you may have mold in your home or are not sure, it’s best to initiate professional help in both identification and removal of contamination. In Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, InchByInch Inspections has a team of experts that are capable of helping with every stage of the mold removal process. Whether your home is brand new or older, the inspection team can help identify mold in your home and then professionally remove it to prevent a recurrence of the contamination. It is always recommended that mold be removed by a professional, as they have access to appropriate equipment and chemical cleaners that can remove all indoor mold in your home, even in tough to reach places.
What precautions can be taken to prevent mold growth in your house?
Many steps can be taken to help reduce the likelihood of mold growth in your home, especially during the warm, wet months of the summer. This can include using dehumidifiers and air conditioners to control temperature and humidity. Humidity should be kept below 60% whenever possible and air conditioning drip pans should be drained frequently to reduce moisture build up. Insulation should be added to cold surfaces, such as outdoor walls and windows, to prevent condensation and moisture build up, especially as temperatures drop in the fall and winter. It is also important to promptly respond to and fix any leaks or seepage of water during inclement weather within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
Specifically, sites in your home that are most likely to retain moisture including bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements and attics. In bathrooms and kitchens, exhaust fans should be used to help eliminate excess water vapour during cooking, cleaning, showers or baths. Opening a window can also help efficiently remove excess steam. Throughout your home, doors should be kept open between rooms to facilitate air circulation and allow the entire house to be heated, cooled and dehumidified, preventing pockets of moisture from forming. Basements and attics should be designed to prevent moisture, including installing appropriate installation and sub-flooring.
At InchByInch Inspections, we can help with any issue related to mold in residential homes. Our inspectors have extensive experience identifying mold and can recognize signs of mold growth that are not obvious to the homeowner. We combine a detailed visual inspection with air quality testing both before and after removal procedures. If mold is detected, a professional residential mold removal crew with appropriate equipment can then decontaminate the identified areas and repair any structural damage. Contact us at 416-826-7172 if you have any questions related to indoor mold in your home or want to inquire about how we can help identify and remove contamination in your home.
We can help you maintain the safety and structural integrity of your home, while also helping you live and breathe in healthier air. Mold growth can be worrisome and frightening and that’s why our team of experts is here to help remove the contamination and restore your peace of mind. As we head into the warm, wet summer months, don’t hesitate to ensure the safety of your home and minimize mold exposure.