Mold removal in Toronto should be your next move if you experience any negative changes in lifestyle, health and wellbeing. As a homeowner, you are already aware of the challenges in controlling humidity inside your house and the ensuing mold development that occurs in high moisture areas. Mold goes beyond the ugly visuals though and can drastically affect the health and safety of everyone living inside the home. Mold fields that are left unrepaired will continue to spread and will release airborne bacteria and mold spores, reducing the air quality. Constant exposure to 'moldy air’ can create a host of medical problems and will reduce the quality of life for you and your loved ones. Fortunately, professional mold inspection and removal crews such as InchByInch have the equipment and expertise to locate and eradicate all mold from your home.
Suspect moldy air? Consider mold removal services in Toronto to find out for sure.
Mold is a naturally occurring fungus-like organism that requires moisture and a surface to develop. In nature, mold plays an essential part by breaking down organic material such as leaves and dying plants. In the outside environment, mold reproduces by releasing mold spores into the air which land on moist surfaces and eventually turn into the physical fungus.
There are different species of mold and they can appear in various colours or textures. Common black mold appears as black or brown smudges and is the type of mold that you would find in your home. In the outside world, inhalation of a tiny amount of airborne mold spores is tolerable and will have no effect on the body. Some allergy-prone individuals may experience hay fever like symptoms during pollination periods. Inside a closed off space such as a house, mold spores have an increasing effect as they are not passed around the natural air stream. Moldy areas can spread and grow larger much faster and constant exposure to the airborne spores and bacteria may create more intense body reactions and health related problems. Residential homes pose a bigger problem for mold development because of the variety of surfaces and opportunities for excess humidity in various parts of the home. Mold can thrive on most wood surfaces as well as drywall, carpeting, grout, tiles and fabrics which can easily be found throughout any residential type property.
After mold has been discovered, the primary concern of the property owner is to have remediation. One potential hazard that is often overlooked is the presence of asbestos in the materials that are being remediated. If you are worried about these potential hazards, it may be helpful to schedule asbestos testing before mold remediation begins.
Mold in homes can come from a variety of causes
Mold is a very simple organism and does not require much to survive and thrive, but one of the main components in its lifecycle is moisture. Mold can thrive on many different surfaces and conditions but it does require some kind of wetness or dampness to take hold. In residential homes, most mold can be traced back to several specific causes:
- Excess humidity - Increased moisture in the air will transfer to surfaces in which mold spores could land and begin an infestation. Indoor humidity will naturally increase during the summer months and inefficient cooling or ventilation of the home will increase the possibility of mold development. During the colder months, overusing furnaces and humidifiers can also create an excess humidity situation. Seeing condensation on the inside of windows means there is way too much moisture in the air and a greater possibility of mold infestation.
- Leaking or broken plumbing - Indoor plumbing is hidden away behind walls and under floorboards to enhance the aesthetic but these pipes take a lot of punishment with constant water flow. A slow leak behind a tile wall may go undetected for a very long time and will most likely create a mold area nearby. Mold spores are microscopic and can travel through even the tiniest of cracks affecting air quality. Water stains and discolouration near water fixtures should be inspected immediately.
- Improper or broken ventilation systems - Homes are designed with outlets to allow air to circulate through the home and exchange with the outside. This also is supposed to clear out excess humidity but exterior vents that are not maintained, clogged or broken could restrict air exchanges and cause a buildup of humidity inside. Bathroom and laundry room vents should be used regularly to expel excess humidity produced in these areas.
- Flood damage - Homes that have experienced any type of flooding or other water damage could be extremely susceptible to mold growth. Areas affected by this type of damage need to be professionally dried and restored to minimize the possibility of mold growth. Things like carpets, furniture and bedding must be disposed of if affected by water damage as these could never be fully restored.
- Exterior water leaks - Older homes and homes that have been through severe weather or flooding may have developed holes or cracks on exterior walls. Even the smallest crack can allow moisture to enter creating a prime scenario for mold development. Cracks and holes in your home’s roof pose a larger problem as rain and other precipitation can enter and ‘trickle down’ creating a wide swath for mold to grow and spread.
- Inefficient outdoor water drainage - Basements are generally the most damp part of your home and is a major source of mold development. Improper drainage of rainwater can amplify the effect by causing more water to pool closer to the foundation. Draining rainwater away from the foundation is crucial in controlling the moisture around the exterior basement walls.
- Moisture - Mold grows when there is excessive moisture in a home. One way this happens is when homeowners leave their homes without turning the water off first. Water left running even for a very short period of time can lead to moisture building up inside the walls and eventually leading to mold growth. Another way this happens is when people take showers, baths or do laundry without properly drying the area afterward. Moisture and humidity also tend to build up over time in areas where there are leaks or cracks. It is important for homeowners to check their homes for any signs of water leaks or moisture buildup as these problems can lead to serious issues including fire, mold and wood rot. Mold will continue to spread if it isn’t contained and removed so it is important for homeowners to find out how much mold has grown in their home.
Visual cues and odours from mold can help control and prevent growth
Common areas for mold in the home are spaces that are exposed to high moisture and humidity. Doing quick visual inspections can prevent small growths from becoming larger and damaging the surfaces they infest. Stopping or removing mold in its early stages will also improve air quality. Mold comes in a variety of species and types but the most common among residential properties is ‘black mold’. Depending on the surface, black mold appears black or brown and can form as smears or thick smudges. Black mold has also been known to appear as dots or uneven spots on surfaces and fabrics such as shower curtains and bathroom mats. Mold can also form in different colours and will create some sort of discolouration on the surface it attacks. Moldy areas also create an unmistakable stale or musty type odour in the immediate vicinity and is a major clue on the presence of the fungus.
Rising heat makes the top of your home more than a hotspot
One of the more critical hotspots for mold development is your home’s attic. Heat naturally rises and during the summer months, temperatures can reach above 40 degrees celsius in your home’s attic space. Most attics do not have sufficient insulation or ventilation and exposed wood beams provide a prime breeding ground for mold to take hold of surfaces. Mold in attics is a serious problems as unchecked fungus can easily spread and take over large parts of the space. Moldy attics can also greatly reduce air quality and reduce the effectiveness of other proactive measures to control humidity. Professional mold removal services in Toronto is your best bet for tackling any mold problems in your attic.
Improved air quality starts in the basement
Your basement is most likely either fully or partially below ground meaning the outside walls are surrounded by soil. This soil absorbs an extreme amount of moisture throughout the year and is one of the major causes for excess humidity in your basement. Basements by design are also poorly ventilated which creates an abundant breeding ground for mold. Unfinished basements that have exposed wood frames, insulation and concrete can experience mold infestations on all surfaces common to basements. Most basements also house the home’s furnace and hot water tank equipment which also contributes to elevated humidity in the basement. Furnace rooms should have their ventilation systems inspected regularly and should be checked for mold on a more frequent basis. Cellars and crawl spaces could also be havens for the fungus with little or no ventilation and constant dampness surrounding the exterior walls. Low traffic areas like your basement are problematic because they may have undetected mold with a virtually limitless source of food to spread itself to other surfaces. Larger, unrepaired mold fields are highly destructive to air quality and present a real health and safety issue for all the members of your household. Maintaining a dehumidifier in your basement is a good way to control naturally occuring excess moisture. Functioning and up to date insulation material is also an effective way to control and maintain humidity levels. Professionals who are experienced in residential mold removal can perform an assessment on your particular basement. They can also offer solutions for prevention or control of humidity and mold.
Your bathroom is the centre of humidity in your home
Do you ever wonder why there is a little fan in your bathroom? That little fan is crucial to exhausting excess moisture and humidity that is generated in your bathroom. Bathrooms have many different surfaces that are a hotspot for mold development and controlling humidity in that room is essential to reducing the chances of the fungus appearing. Mold is especially fond of tile grout and shower curtains and can spread very quickly in that environment. The use of a squeegee wiper after a shower or a bath can help wipe away excess moisture. Also, spreading out the shower curtain after a shower will ensure that it completely dries. Making sure that the exhaust fan is not clogged and is in proper working order is a must to expel excess humidity in the bathroom. Also, remember to check both ends of the unit to ensure that humidity is reaching the outside of the house. In bathrooms, most areas are fair game for mold to grow and frequent visual inspections and regular cleanings are necessary to keep the bathroom and the surrounding air quality safe for those living in the home.
Upper level rooms and bedrooms are also susceptible to mold growth
Upper floor bedrooms can also be havens for mold growth. As heat naturally rises, bedrooms are generally hotter than the rest of the home possibly creating those humid conditions that mold thrives in. Bedrooms usually rely on the home's natural airflow and do not have their own ventilation systems. Opening a window can clear our humidity but this isn't a practical option during colder months. Windows themselves can be a cause of excess moisture as condensation on glass can penetrate wood window frames and sills. Another reason for the potential for mold in bedrooms is their location at the top of the home. Water leaks from the roof will hit bedrooms and upper floor spaces, first creating excess moisture and possible mold fields behind the ceiling. Tell tale water stains on the ceiling are a strong indication of mold. Carpeting and fabrics in the bedroom are also ideal surfaces for mold spores to gather and become ‘moldy’. Considering how much time is spent in bedrooms sleeping, air quality should be a top priority and mold removal services in Toronto should be your next step to keeping your bedroom safe and healthy.
Mold in your home affects your health and quality of life
In addition to mold’s unsightly appearance and unmistakable odour, it also can create an unhealthy environment in your home. Unchecked and unrepaired mold releases breathable mold spores and bacteria into your home’s air stream. The larger the mold field, the more spores and bacteria get released into the air. Inhaling small amounts of mold spores is acceptable as mold does occur naturally and plays an important part in our ecosystem. Mold in residential homes, on the other hand, can be considered hazardous and constant exposure to moldy air can create a host of mild to severe medical problems. Exposure to moldy air has been associated to many different symptoms and chronic ailments and can greatly reduce the quality of life for those living in your home. Some common symptoms and reactions of mold are:
- Wheezing and coughing that could lead to difficulty taking deeper breaths
- Weakened immune systems which can lead to more viruses and longer recovery times
- Itchy and irritated skin and eyes
- Irregular sleep patterns that cause fatigue
- Headaches and nausea
- Respiratory infections and bronchitis
- Hay fever and allergy type conditions
Longer term exposure to moldy air can lead to more severe conditions such as asthma and other respiratory conditions. Mold exposure is also of concern to growing children who can develop asthma and allergies at a young age because of lower quality air. In some severe cases, some children have developed pulmonary hemorrhages which means essential bleeding of the lungs. These longer term issues could be a direct result of unchecked mold hidden somewhere in your home and it is important to be aware of any changes in lifestyle, health, wellbeing and quality of life.
Even the subtle changes can indicate an air quality problem which could be caused by mold. If you or anyone in your household is experiencing any symptoms or conditions, a professional air quality specialist should be contacted immediately to diagnose and repair the problem to restore your home’s air to safe and healthy levels. Professionals who have experience in residential mold removal services, such as InchByInch, have the latest air quality testing equipment and will provide a fully detailed air quality report. Once testing and inspections are complete, they will provide efficient and economical solutions for removing all mold from your home, restoring surfaces to their original state and improving air quality. You and your household will almost instantly feel better and your quality of life will improve once harmful pollutants are removed from the air. If you suspect moldy air, don’t wait to tackle the problem as the health effects of bad air cannot be ignored especially if you have children at home.
Awareness and planning can help control and reduce mold in your home
The presence of mold in your home is cause for concern because of the far reaching effects the fungus has on the quality of life for those living inside your home. Understanding how mold works is essential knowledge for controlling and preventing its growth. Excess moisture is the key concept in the mold’s lifecycle and knowing what to look for and where to look can help you discover mold infestations early on before they get out of control.
- Proper and effective ventilation is the key to reducing humidity in your home. Make sure all venting to the outside is in good repair and up to local building codes and bylaws. Maintain exterior vents during seasonal changes and ensure ductwork and shutters are clean, plus free of debris.
- Use appropriately sized dehumidifiers in basements and other damp areas around your home.
- Inspect mold hotspot areas frequently. Rooms such as bathrooms and laundry rooms can have excessive humidity and mold could grow on a variety of surfaces in those areas. Kitchens also generate excess heat and should be on your mold inspection list.
- Make sure furnaces boxes, fans and cooling equipment are inspected regularly and are in optimum working order. Maintaining an even and consistent temperature inside the home helps reduce humidity.
- Look for visual clues that mold produces. Black or brown smudges or uneven discolouration of surfaces are signs of mold development. Mold has a unique odour that may come across as musty or stale.
- Clean and maintain any central humidification equipment your home has. Change filters of all appliances as suggested by the manufacturer.
- During rain storms, check to see how well water is drained away from the foundation. Use gutter extenders to drive water away and check outside areas around the foundation after major weather events or seasonal changes.
- Install and use hygrometers to keep track of humidification levels in the vicinity.
- Make sure insulation is current and functioning. Older homes may need a more detailed inspection for insulation media.
- Visually inspect your attic during seasonal changes. Check for any cracks or holes in roofing panels and make sure any venting registers are clean and functioning.
- Use a heavy duty mold / mildew cleaner for the bathrooms in your home.
- Make sure all venting from laundry rooms are intact and are connected. Check output vents for material buildup.
- Take care of any excessively wet spots or damp areas around the home immediately. Spills and other moisture should be wiped up.
- Check for any water pooling issues around the foundation during seasonal changeovers and inspect the inside of basement walls regularly for water staining or drips.
- Perform air quality tests on a regular basis.
- Contact professional providers of mold removal services in Toronto for a complete evaluation of your home.
Sometimes prevention isn't enough to stop mold growth
Controlling humidity and moisture in your home is an uphill battle and prevention may not work all the time. There are many areas around the house that are inaccessible which could be infested because of improper ventilation and excess humidity. Professional providers of mold removal services in Toronto have the necessary training and residential experience that can help you locate and eradicate mold in areas you may not be aware of. Removing mold, especially larger fields can be a daunting task and is not recommended as a do it yourself project. Experienced crews have the strongest yet safest chemicals and the latest methods plus tools for the deepest possible removal of the fungus infestation.
InchByInch is your first choice for complete mold removal services in Toronto
If you suspect mold or have confirmed the presence of the fungus in your home, your best choice for handling the problem is by contacting the experts at InchByInch. Extensive residential experience combined with the latest methods and equipment ensures that our crews will test air quality and remove all mold from your home safely and completely. We are fully certified and adhere to mandated standards for mold inspection, removal and air quality management. Call us at 888-445-0737 or visit our services at mold inspection removal and remediation for more information.
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