Changes in health and lifestyle? You may have mold in your home
As a homeowner, mold and your health should be two of your major concerns when it comes to maintaining your residence. Have you noticed slight changes in your lifestyle or general well-being? You may have an air quality problem caused by the presence of toxic mold in your home. Mold has the uncanny ability to grow and fester in the darkest and inaccessible parts of your home. And mold is one of those problems that when left unchecked, will just continue to spread and even further reduce air quality inside your home. Mold is a fungus that requires excess humidity to develop and can take hold of many different kinds of surfaces. Your home may be lacking in proper air exchange and venting and high humidity hotspots could exist in many areas causing mold to develop on walls, tiles, wood surfaces, carpets and other common materials found in residential homes. Mold ruins air quality by releasing mold spores and toxic bacteria into the local air. Restricted airflow or the lack of air cleaning equipment can create a buildup of toxic pollutants in the air which can have mild to severe health related concerns humans who are constantly exposed to moldy air.
The negative effects of mold and your health
Mold is an organic compound that is a species of fungus and needs moisture to develop and grow. There are several different types of mold and commonly appear as streaks or smears on surfaces. Mold can also appear to ‘bubble up’ and can easily take hold of most common surfaces and materials that are found in your home. The reason that makes mold so dangerous in homes is that the fungus naturally releases mold spores and bacteria into the air. These spores and toxins are invisible and sometimes have a stale and understated odor to it but can easily inhaled by anyone located near the mold site. Because the moldy material is breathed in, there can be a wide range of health effects that residents could experience if constantly exposed to bad quality moldy air. Some individuals have been known to develop chronic health problems from breathing in the spores and bacteria from mold:
- Some people have been known to develop asthma as an adult by breathing in moldy air
- Those with low immunity may find it harder to recover from certain illnesses
- Fevers and shortness of breath
- Skin irritations and rashes
- Respiratory issues caused by bad air can create a host of other chronic problems such as
- lung infections
- constant tiredness and lethargy
- emotional and mental issues that are directly related to improper breathing and sleep patterns
- In more severe cases, long term exposure to moldy air can lead to certain types of cancers and other lung disorders
What you breathe in directly affects your quality of life and those that reside in the home. Mold is a nasty organic that can ruin the air quality in your home if left undetected and unchecked. The effects of mold and your health should not be ignored.
The specific symptoms of short and long term exposure to moldy air
Mold is a nasty problem for homeowners as it could develop in many different areas of your home and can silently degrade air quality by releasing toxic spores and bacteria into the airstream. While breathing in small amounts may be harmless, unchecked mold sites can grow large quickly and serious problems can arise. Even short term consistent exposure to moldy air can create health and quality of life issues for you and the residents living inside the home. Because mold changes the air in your home, some of the more common symptoms of moldy air are related to respiratory and tissue function and can appear as:
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Mold spores and bacteria may be microscopic but they are still larger than air molecules and take up needed space in your lungs
- Coughs and throat irritations. Moldy air that hits the throat through normal breathing can cause irritation and you may develop a cough. Coughs from moldy air can be mild or more severe and can also be persistent as you continually breath low quality air.
- Chest congestion and nasal infections. Because moldy air goes directly into the body, the first point of contact is your nasal and sinus passages which cannot cope with foreign material entering on a consistent basis. Nasal congestion can easily spread to the lungs.
- Allergy type symptoms. Some individuals with high sensitivities may develop allergic type symptoms to moldy air. Conditions like fever, itchy and watery eyes, skin irritations and sneezing points to low quality air which could be caused by mold spores and other pollutants from the fungus.
Mold is a serious issue and if you or anyone in your household experiences any of these symptoms on a regular basis, consider a professional air quality test and mold inspection. The after effects can be serious and you should not take chances when it comes to mold and your health.
Experienced professionals understand the importance of mold and your health
Air quality inside residential homes has been known to be much worse than that of outside air. Homes are designed and constructed with different materials and for many reasons, restricted air flow and excess humidity can create ideal breeding grounds for mold development. The toxic fungus can take hold in most areas of the home and even the more inaccessible or less traffic areas. Experiencing any symptoms or changes in quality of life might indicate a potential bad air quality situation caused by mold. Inspecting and diagnosing for mold is not a do-it-yourself project and hiring a professional inspector will provide an accurate assessment of your home’s air quality. Certified and highly trained inspectors, such as the one at InchByInch, take mold and your health seriously and have extensive experience in residential mold diagnosis and removal. Using the latest testing methods and equipment, the inspectors at InchByInch will provide a detailed air quality assessment and offer results that are easy to understand. If mold is confirmed, inspection crews will check common areas for mold as well as perform a more detailed inspection in other areas that could potentially have mold. Once completely detected, all mold sites are detected removal and remediation solutions will be provided and the entire process explained to you. The professional and experienced mold removal crews at InchByInch will use commercial strength earth friendly cleaners alongside the latest cleaning and remediation equipment to restore the area back to its original state. InchByInch disposes of material according to local bylaws and considers maintaining the environment a top priority when performing any mold removal job. After completion, inspectors will check all sites to ensure that all mold has been eradicated from your home and perform further test to confirm improved air quality. InchByInch can also offer solutions and advice to maintain and manage air quality and prevent future occurrences of mold.
Being proactive with mold and your health can improve your quality of life
Mold is a biological organism that can only develop and thrive in spaces with excessive air moisture. When it comes to controlling and preventing mold growth, controlling and reducing humidity levels is the only way to stop the spread of mold and prevent new infestations. Higher humidity levels are more prevalent in the summer months but certain areas of your home can easily retain excess moisture in other seasons. Homes design of the last few decades employed venting systems along the roof and along the sides of the home. The grills and shutters are located in the upper part of the structure as these areas are more prone to heat buildup and elevated humidity levels and are constantly exposed to the elements. Cleaning and maintaining those vents should be on your seasonal maintenance checklist so that air is exchanged efficiently and constantly. Clogged or broken output grills and venting towers can easily cause humidity to build creating the necessary elements for mold growth. Home insulation is also a way to reduce humidity. Updated and properly functioning in-wall insulation provides a barrier from hotter outside air and reduces ‘air leaks’. Broken or old insulation may restrict air flow along exterior walls while missing insulation media can allow cooled air to escape while allowing hotter air in from the outside. Spring and summer months are actually much worse when your insulation is not effective. Dehumidifier units are a great solution to manage mold and your health as they can effectively reduce humidity in a defined space. Most units come in varying sizes for different sized areas and are usually plugged and have humidistat dials to achieve the desired humidity. These humidifiers are very effective in finished basements and main floor areas. Certain rooms have their own exhaust systems and bathroom fans, laundry room fans and range hood fans should be used on a regular basis to help exchange air in these generally high humidity areas.
Hotspots in your home for mold development
There are major areas of your home that are prone to high humidity and potential mold development. Excess air moisture can easily be found in bathrooms with water fixtures and showers or tubs. The use of hot water creates visible humidity in the form of steam and mold can easily develop on tiles, along grout, in toilet and tanks, shower curtains and most types of walls and baseboard trims. Bathroom rugs are a major mold development area as moisture can be trapped inside the carpet fibers. Bathrooms require their own venting system and most homes have an ceiling mounted exhaust fan that can be turned on or off by switch. Laundry rooms and kitchens exhibit the same effect as heat producing appliances and the use of hot water in washers are usual culprits in increased humidity. Your home’s attic is possibly the largest area of your home that could be susceptible to excess moisture and mold development. Heat naturally rises and constant exposure to the sun can create much higher temperatures all year round in poorly ventilated and insulated attics. Attics are the first area that experienced mold inspectors would look at. Basements and cold cellars are usually located sub ground which also prevents proper air exchange. These lower areas are highly prone to increased humidity and are another common area for mold development. If your home has a gas or electric powered hot water tank, there could be a greater possibility of mold development in and around the tank. The contained hot water increases humidity in the general area and in addition to your basement is limited ventilation capability makes hot water tanks a possible source of mold producing humidity. Investing in a hygrometer for each floor of your home can help manage mold and your health.
Think you have mold in your home? Contact the professionals at InchByInch for complete mold inspections and removal
Mold and your health is serious business and if you have or are experiencing any mold related symptoms or a reduction in quality of life, your next step is hiring the experienced mold inspection professionals at InchByInch. A detailed air quality test performed by highly trained and licensed crews will give you the complete air quality picture for your home. Any negative or questionable results will be investigated and diagnosed by inspectors who have extensive residential experience and know where the nasty and toxic fungus prefers to take hold and develop. Once identified, the mold site will be restored completely with the latest equipment and commercial strength chemicals that are also easy on the environment.
InchByInch uses removal and disposal processes that meet or exceed local and provincial requirements for the safe handling of mold and other organic materials. You can count on InchByInch as your trusted partner for any air quality and mold related problems and solutions. InchByInch is also the committed to customer service and will walk you through the inspection process, results and will propose detailed and easy to understand removal solutions. The job will not be considered complete until you are 100% satisfied with the work performed by InchByInch crews. Contact InchByInch today with all of your mold and air quality questions and concerns.